Allen Iverson Dissed by ABC
The graphic of his stats put against those of Chauncey Billups is a direct slap in the face.
Despite being deemed too injured to participate in the playoffs, ABC thought it might be cute to compare him to the best player in the playoffs. Hardy-har-har-har.
Clearly, Allen Iverson has seen much worse throughout his lifetime, but this is just wrong. Why would the remote produces at ABC/ESPN feel inclined to do this? It’s as if A.I. were something of a joke to them.
Call me skeptical if you want to, but if Kobe Bryant were traded for someone and got injured, they wouldn’t compare his stats (or lack thereof) to that of his successor. They wouldn’t even think of doing something like that. Heck, if Kobe’s successor had better stats than a healthy Kobe, I don’t think they’d compare the two.
But perhaps that speaks to Kobe’s greatness, or the greatness that has been bestowed upon him. And perhaps that Billups/Iverson graphic speaks to Iverson’s lack of greatness, his inability to reach the heights of white-collar appeal that Kobe Bryant has reached. Certainly, if you were to ask a your average, middle-class, white-man who they respect more as a player and public figure, 90% of them would choose Kobe Bryant. Afterall, Allen Iverson allegedly threw his significant other out of his house while she was naked. Afterall, Iverson has more tattoos than Ozzie Osborne. Afterall, Iverson isn’t exactly the biggest proponent of “practicing.”
However, while mass (media) appeal isn’t exactly in Iverson’s favor, he does have the respect of more relatable demographics. Many people actually relate to Iverson because of his height. As the best 6-foot-and-under player in the NBA for over a decade, many fans of the NBA appreciated Iverson’s hustle, grit and endurance, despite being “undersized” for his profession. Other entities really respected Iverson’s hip-hop culture persona, especially the NBA. The NBA probably made more money off of Iverson’s hip-hop culture appeal than Iverson himself. They sold so many jerseys, pictures and tickets using his hip-hop swagger that it’s not even funny. And obviously, the people who bought those things truly appreciated Iverson’s hip-hop background.
But I guess when you only appeal to the hip-hop faction and the fans who can appreciate what Iverson did at barely 6-feet tall, you become a joke the second your career takes a turn in the wrong direction—at least with ABC Sports you do.
Don’t get me wrong, I know Iverson’s trade to Detroit ended up completely one-sided, and that it wasn’t his side that came out on top. And while some of that was his fault, a lot of it was the fault of the Detroit Pistons, whom made that trade in order to clear out cap space and not to become a better basketball team. Yet Iverson gets the blame and the jokes. Whether it’s fair or unfair, is really irrelevant. The fact is, someone out there, media, fans, or just a few high-ranking individuals, don’t like what Iverson is about. Either they don’t relate to him or don’t like his “off-court” antics, but whatever it is, they find him to be a joke. Unfortunately for them, the future Hall of Famer and former MVP is anything but a joke, even if their back-handed graphics suggest otherwise.