Welcome to The Pulse, the place to find out what the sports world is thinking. Every day on ESPN.com, SportsNation registers its opinion on a wide range of topics by casting votes and chatting with experts in The Show. We collect the daily highlights and put them in The Pulse.
Story of the Day: Allen Iverson
Attempting to restore the United States to a perch atop the mountain of international basketball is no small task, and Jerry Colangelo isn't about to let a little thing like conventional wisdom get in his way.
The man in charge of the U.S. national team for the upcoming World Championship and Summer Olympics will soon announce the names of 25 players who will vie for spots on those teams. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will be on the list. Shaquille O'Neal has an open invitation to join the team. Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan won't be on the list because they doesn't want to play. But one big name not where its owner would like it is Allen Iverson.
Despite a positive contribution in Team USA's otherwise lackluster effort in Athens in 2004, and despite saying he would like to play again, Iverson reportedly won't be on the final list. When we asked SportsNation to pick a squad back in December, Iverson made the cut with ease. And popular opinion hasn't wavered, with 84 percent of voters saying Colangelo is making a mistake.
Should USA Basketball have invited Allen Iverson, who said he wants to play, to join the men's national team? (11,471 votes)
Amare Stoudemire narrowly missed the cut for SportsNation's roster, perhaps because of health concerns about the emerging superstar. But now Stoudemire has been cleared for five-on-five practice, and that's big news considering only 28% of voters say the Suns (38-17) can win it all without him. Vote!
"I'm not expecting him in a real game until late March at the earliest."
Marc Stein in chat
Voice of the Fan
Allen Iverson can't shoot the 3-pointer very well. He gambles too much on defense. He needs the ball too much on offense. I don't think he should be on the team.
LeBron James is on Team USA, but will he have a playoff appearance under his belt before then? LeBron's Cavs looked like locks, but injuries and a four-game slide are taking their toll on public confidence. The good news is 84% of voters think the Cavs make the postseason. The bad news is 63% think they won't win a series. Vote!
"The difference this season compared to last season is that the Cavs have a much bigger cushion above the No. 9 spot -- seven games at this point compared to only three at the same stage last season."
Marc Stein in chat
I think it's a bad move. Allen Iverson has always been a stellar athlete, fans love him, and he's one of the best players in the league. He needs to be in the games.
Josh (Clintwood, Va.)
Awful decision. Iverson was the only that wanted to play and actually cared about the games. You need someone with his attitude on that team. I guess Coach K had to make room for J.J. Redick?
I think it's bad. Iverson was the one guy who wanted to be in Athens. Reward the guy; he'd most likely do what you asked him too.
Okay, they leave off the ONLY guy who gave his heart and soul at the 2004 Summer Olympics? Un-bleepin'-believable.
Iverson is terrible at the international game. He has a poor jump shot, and he's not a classic point guard. Jason Kidd and Chris Paul should be the PG on the international team.
Klinger (Yankee Nation)
Iverson was about the only leader the U.S. team had two years ago, and from the way he talks, he loves representing his country. However, he may not be able to meet the physical demands it will take because of the pounding he gets night after night. With that said, I think he deserves to be on the team.
Iverson is not a good fit, but he has grown up so much over the years that he has become a leader and a legitimate ambassador for the game.
I don't know if he fits the international game, but I still want to see him on the team, just due to the fact that he's one of the only ones from the last team who truly wanted to represent his country and play hard.
Brian (Edison): I have to say that I'm annoyed, borderline outraged, that Allen Iverson got snubbed by the Olympic committee, he deserved a chance for gold in a better situation.
Marc Stein: Me, too. I know AI can be a hard guy to play with, but I LOVE his patriotism. This guy really cares about wearing the Team USA jersey. Which counts extra with me.
Matt (Chicago): Is Rashard Lewis going to be in play this summer? I believe he is a superstar player hidden in Seattle. Somehow I think the Sonics, could trade old for new and rebuild. Your thoughts?
Marc Stein: Another guy Isiah Thomas loves. Another guy whose team, I submit, will have very little interest in the pieces NY has to offer. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the Knicks have a shot here. But there will be a long line for Lewis if the Sonics make him available.