Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Legend Retires and Is his Former Team Really Tanking??

There were rumors prior to the NBA season started that an anonymous coach had admitted that they were planning to tank this year with the hopes of a high draft pick. Everyone immediately pointed to the Philadelphia 76ers. This was due to the Philadelphia 76ers trading away Jrue Holliday for Nerlens Noel and then reporting that Nerlens Noel would sit out the whole year. Not to mention that it is clear that the 76ers are in rebuild mode.

Why tank? Well if you have heard anything about Andrew Wiggins you would know why. Andrew Christian Wiggins is a Canadian college basketball player. He currently attends the University of Kansas. He was the top college basketball recruit in 2013 and is considered the favorite to be selected with the top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Andrew Wiggins is the most talked about prospect since LeBron James. 

The Philadelphia 76ers had their first game of the season tonight against the world champions, Miami Heat. The Philadelphia shocked the world as well as the Heat when they won 114-110. Michael Carter Williams the rookie they took with the 11th pick in the 2013 draft, had 22 points 12 assists 9 steals and 7 rebounds. This was an unbelievable rookie debut for this rookie that many accused of being a bust. For someone who could not shoot and had no business taking three’s, McW made four out of his six three’s.

Now I know it is too early to say that the Sixers are not tanking. And yes, Dwayne Wade had the night off. However, this was a special night for the 76ers. On a night where Allen Iverson officially retired from the NBA, the Sixers actually showed up to play and managed to beat LeBron James and the Heat. I was interested as to what the reaction from fans and the reaction from the management would be after the win. Obviously in the short term, they are excited and have the right to be. But, I’m curious to if this was one more win then management had hoped they would get this season.

After beating the Heat, even without Dwayne Wade, I’m left to wonder how many more teams this team has the possibility to beat and contend with. Could the 76ers actually manage 30+ wins? I would say no but who knows. We have witnessed both the Lakers and the Sixers beat two teams who have both been picked as possible title contenders.  

After the game Michael Carter Williams was asked what he thought when he heard the word tanking associated with the Sixers to which he responded, "I take it very personal. My whole life I have never been a loser. I have always been on winning teams and tried my hardest. So to hear that we are trying to lose, I take that personally."

Now onto “The Answer.” Allen Iverson officially retired today from the NBA. I have to admit that while I was watching his press conference, I could not help but be upset. There was something I loved watching about Allen Iverson, even as a Lakers fan, which I haven’t seen in a player since and probably won’t see ever again. I do not think that there will ever be another Allen Iverson.

"I gave everything I had to basketball," Iverson said at the Wells Fargo Center. "The passion is still there but the desire to play is not. It was a great ride." 

Another interesting part of his speech to me was when he thanked Michael Jordan. It was a sweet moment when he took the time to thank the man that inspired him to play basketball. Iverson did not have his number retired though, this is expected to happen later on in the season.

He played parts of 12 seasons in Philadelphia after being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 draft. It was a decorated career that included 11 All-Star Games, four scoring titles and the 2001 Most Valuable Player Award. He was one of the biggest draws in the NBA during that time and his popularity with young kids led Reebok to sign him to a lifetime contract. Iverson is definitely a player that the NBA and NBA fans will miss.


Lindrit Shkodra is originally from Diber, Macedonia but lives in Maple Shade, NJ. He is a sophomore in the Sports Management program and is currently the Treasurer of the Drexel Sport Management Student Union. He has work experience with Ron Jaworski's Celebrity Golf Challenge and Ridgewells Catering at the 2013 U.S. Open.  Follow Lindrit on Twitter @LindritShkodra.

Connect with Lindrit Shkodra on LinkedIn.

No comments:

Post a Comment