December 11, 2006
Allen Iverson is one of the most exciting players in the NBA. I was always impressed with his ability to get the most out of his body when I saw him star for John Thompson at Georgetown.
Now he wants out of Philadelphia, seeking a trade. If I was a general manager, the first thing I would look at is his contract. He is supposed to get te big bucks, $17 million, $19 million and $21 million over the next few years. Frankly, I would not trade for him.
To me, watching Iverson is like going to a concert. He is a great individual player, and you want to see people laying high fives on him. You also get to see a team struggle with him.
Iverson needs the ball in his hands and he dominates possessions. His teammates often stand around, get the Kodak camera out and take pictures because he must have the rock.
For Iverson to be dealt, he must go to a team that has a strong leader up top. He has to blend in with other people and be part of a winning environment. Iverson must share the ball and things could work out.
I remember years ago when the Knicks acquired Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. There was talk that he could not play together with the veteran Knicks and blend in. Those critics were wrong as Monroe teamed up with Walt Frazier and Dick Barnett to win a world championship. Monroe did not have to dominate the basketball and the trio made great music.
Iverson always plays hard, with intensity and feeling. You must understand that some of the negative factors won't change. Iverson doesn't always enjoy practice and he does what he wants to do and when he wants to do it.
I have a lot of respect for his effort, and I do appreciate his talent. He is a hard worker and goes at it every day. Iverson is an exciting individual performer.
He is a one-man show, and it would be difficult to blend with other teammates. He must have the ball in his hands. I don't think a team can win it all with that kind of individual play.
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.