With his one-year, $3.1 million deal with Memphis tucked in his shirt pocket, Allen Iverson celebrated his fresh beginning in the traditional way: By blasting his former team. And his vitriolic quotes come to us courtesy of … wait for it … Scoop Jackson. This makes us very happy here at SbB, because a day including Scoop and AI is always a good day.
In short, Iverson is peeved that he had to come off the bench for the Pistons, says that the coaching staff lied to him about his potential role with the team, and most amazingly of all, said that if he didn’t accept that role, he was warned that the team would “lie down” on him. You know, when most people leave a place of employment, there’s a party in the lunch room with some cake. That was too much to hope for?
Iverson’s comments to Our Scoop for ESPN Page 2 mostly resembled an exit interview by a disgruntled employee, not that I would know anything about one of those. One would think that with all of that money in hand and a new horizon to conquer, Iverson would forget past slights and be, I don’t know — gruntled. But it was not to be. Some excerpts:
“They told me, straight up, ‘Allen we would never disrespect you or your career like that’ by making me come off the bench. That’s what they told me to my face. And after that, I never thought about it again. I just went back to playing. Then, they came to me saying that they felt it would be in the ‘best interest of the team’ if I came off of the bench behind Rip (Richard Hamilton).
“… After that, they told me that if I didn’t come off the bench — the team was going to lie down [not play] on me.
“… When he told me that, that’s when I felt that this was the worst career move I’d ever made and it was the worst year of my career.”
“If you are a head coach and you feel strongly about this, what would make you think that I want to be around these guys? Especially if you are telling me that they don’t want to be around me like that?”
“I gotta win games. Because if we lose games and I score a lot, they going to say I’m scorin’ too much. If we lose games and I don’t score a lot, they gonna say I’m not scoring enough. It’s a lose-lose, unless we win. So all I can do is huddle up with these guys and try to win basketball games.”
“I’m going to let guys know that I’m not here to just go to the playoffs. I believe in these dudes here. All I want them to do is trust me and trust that I’ll do everything the right way and lead them to where we need to be.”
“There’s nothing that sells good about Allen Iverson if it’s something positive about Allen Iverson. You know, you don’t want to hear about how much money I donate to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America or to AIDS Awareness or to give out scholarships, you don’t want to hear about that.”
“Man, again, I’m 34-years old, I don’t want to be going to do what I love to do and it’s hurting me. Like every time I show up to games I got an attitude all the time. I don’t want that. So when I said ‘it’s personal,’ I mean as far as me wanting to have fun again and have that love for the game all over again.”
AI, you have only yourself to blame. You played quarterback in high school — you could be playing for the Lions right now.