Jay Mariotti laughed. Tim Cowlishaw cringed. Rick Bonnell, spectre, Keetch, Swedd523, dnbman, and many other BCP members were terrified by it. Fred Whitfield denied any knowledge of it. What is it that I speak of, you ask? That would be that outspoken, practice-skipping, bench-cooling, injury-faking, $20 million dollar “stealing”, “non-team player”, “washed-up”, tiny Allen Iverson becoming a Charlotte Bobcat. But guess what, that’s not such a bad thing. Despite his attitude, lack of respect, and potent quotables, he is not unlike our beloved coach, Larry Brown. Both are loud, both have an intense love for the game, and both know the backcourt better than most who have ever stepped on the court. That’s why they feuded, that’s why they had such a respect for each other, and that’s why they we’re the best each other ever had. After one of the best rants in sports history, Iverson’s “We’re talkin’ ’bout practice” highlight reel, most coaches would have come back with some politically correct statement fining or suspending the MVP-winner. But instead, the equally outspoken Brown came back with one of the best one-liners in sports, saying “He hasn’t been at practice as many times as he said ‘practice’.” Iverson only ever praised Brown among his coaches, and Brown has had few in his illustrious and well-traveled career that he has admired like AI. Brown publicly stated that Iverson can still play, and while sticking to the franchise’s objective of not being interested in Iverson, it was clear that he still admired what Allen brings to a team. Iverson’s been in Charlotte lately, last Friday at a Jennifer Hudson concert, yesterday at Alive after Five, and now for a 50 Cent concert. Supposedly he has been signing autographs at Concord Mills, and was on Lake Wylie the other day, and was apparently quoted as “looking for a new home.” But why Charlotte for his friend 50, when he could pick anywhere in the country? Fred Whitfield denies any knowledge of AI being here, but that’s likely because AI is still under contract with the Pistons, and free agency hasn’t begun. No tampering charges, now! But he is probably talking to at least AI’s agent, and finding out what the price is on the man soon to be on the open market.
That brings me to what really matters, and that’s why Allen Iverson wouldn’t be a bad fit for the Bobcats. First off, I am going to assume that he is being signed under either Larry Brown’s request or permission (Team Player, will play defense, hustle, and have fun), and so far that has worked out very, very well for the Bobcats. Last year, the Bobcats were next to last in the league in scoring, their leader bein Gerald Wallace at 16.6 points per game. Just this season with the Pistons, in that mess with an inept coach, aging veterans, and a bad situation for Allen, he still averaged 17.4 points. That’s more than any Bobcat. While that number may drop even lower in Larry Brown’s slow-down offense, AI would provide instant offense at the 1 or 2 guard, and for all of you Felton haters or those of you who think Raja Bell can’t cut it, that should shut you up. He is the closer we have been lacking for the last five years, and could rest or move down to point on the nights we play the Lakers or Celtics, so Raja can go at it with the All-Star 2 guards. Also, last year the ‘Cats were 26th in attendance and even lower before the 3 out of 4 sellouts to close the season, so signing a proven All-Star and MVP would certainly give a much needed economic boost that could justify his salary, and in these times that’s something that cannot be ignored. I don’t care how much you say we should focus on the product on the court, if you look at our owner, our promotions, and the current state of the world, it’s a good reason to sign a guy that sells tickets, jerseys, ads, and gets people interested that would never be otherwise. And last, but not least. Allen Iverson wants to be the feature. Charlotte is a young team where he can be the feature, yet still lead a team into the playoffs and maybe win a series or two. He knows that this is his last contract, and he can’t screw it up. This is his legacy if he does it right, or if not, he just fades away like so many who don’t know when to give up. Larry Brown is his coach, he’s from Virginia, so this is his reigion, and this is his chance to prove Detroit, and that rookie Michael Curry, wrong. This is also Larry Brown’s last shot. He’s 68, misses his family, is trying to prove New York wrong, wants to win one with the UNC team, and he wants to get the Carolinas back into the NBA fan experience that George Shinn ripped away. Oh, and there’s that messy divorce with Detriot too. So he know where AI’s coming from. If you believe in heaven, this could be a match made there, if AI and LB want it to be that way. But if not, well, it could be one made in that other place…the one George Shinn is going to.
I’d like to thank all of you for suffering through my first foray into the blog here at BCP, I have some experience elsewhere, but none in the sports world. I’m Teej, and I’m a high schooler in the public school system, so if you find outlandish opinions, bad grammer, or just bad blogs, that’s why. I’m looking forward to sharing opinions with you guys, and don’t forget to leave a comment!