In a four-sport city, with fans that live and die for their teams, this move was just that, for the fans. The Sixers are 4th out of the 4 professional teams in Philadelphia, without much looking positive for the future either. Iverson, certainly, is not the future either. But, as all sports columnists and bloggers have been saying, this will sell tickets. I believe I saw somewhere that this game has sold more tickets than any other game of the season, including the first day tickets began being sold.
What this all tells me is that the Sixers franchise has given up. It was a statement (if thats waht you want to call it three years ago (amongst other reasons) when the Sixers abided to Iverson's trade demands. Iverson, who refused to play a 4th quarter, had worn out his welcome. Iverson could not mesh with Larry Brown, one of the greatest coaches of all time and could not mesh with Maurice Cheeks, the greatest point guard the Sixers have ever had. Couldn't mesh with Denver and George Karl (another all time great coach) couldn't mesh with Detroit and couldn't mesh with Memphis, who desperately needed any help they could get. So how is Iverson going to mesh with Eddie Jordan (a pushover as a coach anyway, who has the team off to one of the worst starts in franchise history)?
Keep in mind, Samuel Dalembert, Andre Iguodala, and Willie Green, all major components of the team this year, were on the team when the Iverson cancer spread. All of them are still there. Sure all will be great and fine when Iverson returns and smiles and hugs will follow. But the minute that the first turmoil hits, memories of 2006 will surely return.
Back to my point about the Sixers giving up. Iverson's return to Philly will show great rewards financially for a few games. But he won't be with the team for long. At best, through next year. At worst, Iverson might not make it past three games like he did in Memphis. Therefore, Iverson is a temporary effort at a fix to a huge problem. The Sixers tried rebuilding three years ago, using their draft picks and trades to get younger and cheaper and rebuild a franchise that has given up on paying for half time performances. Even Elton Brand comes off the bench now.
With Holliday, Williams, Green, Dalember, Iguodala, Smith and Young, the Sixers have no real need for Iverson in their future plans. They are young (no pun intended) and have their rebuilding mission. This mission is failing. Miserably. They can't find a decent coach. They cant win a game. They can't fill the seats. Here you go Philly, we gave up. Here's Allen Iverson. But we can't even begin to think about getting through the first round of the playoffs. Hopefully this will keep you occupied for a bit...