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This Pistons lied to Allen Iverson...

IndianaBasketball
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This Pistons lied to Allen Iverson...

Thursday, October 1, 2009
Iverson says year was 'worst' of career

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ESPN.com

Allen Iverson calls his one season in Detroit the "worst year of my career" and claims team officials, and head coach Michael Curry, "lied" to him about coming off the bench instead of starting.

"They told me, straight up, 'Allen we would never disrespect you or your career like that' by making me come off the bench," Iverson said in an interview with ESPN.com Page 2 columnist Scoop Jackson. "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."

Iverson said that when he was traded from Denver to Detroit on Nov. 3, 2008, he was happy. "I talked to Mo [his uncle/manager Gary Moore] we both felt like it was going to be good situation.

The situation deteriorated when Iverson said he heard whispers that the team wanted him to come off the bench. He had started 824 of 829 career games before last season.

"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?" Iverson told Jackson. "Especially if you are telling me that they don't want to be around me like that?"

Iverson continued: "I'd never been on a team where a coach told me the guys gave up on me. You know what I mean? And I kept this under wraps the whole time ... because I didn't want to bad mouth any of those guys.

"... I don't have [anything] bad to say about the organization, especially Joe [Dumars]. I never had a problem with Joe. He's a stand-up person that I have love for and respect. He was not part of any of the problems I had in Detroit.

"But for [the coach] to tell me these things and for him to go back on his word like that, it was the hardest and the roughest season I've ever had."

Iverson missed 16 games near the end of the season with a back injury, then came back for three games and was used off the bench by Curry. He missed the final seven games and the Pistons' playoff series with Cleveland.

Curry was fired by the Pistons on July 1 after one season.

The Pistons, reached by ESPN.com, declined comment. Curry could not be reached for comment.

Iverson signed a one-year, $3.1 million deal with Memphis in September. Memphis opens the season at home Oct. 28 against Detroit.

In the interview, Iverson told Jackson that he's in a "lose-lose" situation in Memphis if the Grizzlies don't win, but that he's not going to "allow that to happen."

"I gotta win games," he said. "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."

Iverson said he expects Memphis, which won 24 games last year and had the leagues fifth-worst record, to be a playoff contender.

"I'm not going to be content and happy with [just making the playoffs]," he said. "And I want them to know that. Yeah, we [can] get into the playoffs -- God-forbid somebody knocks us out -- then yeah it'll be a successful season for them , but not for me.

"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."

He also said he has nothing to prove -- to the media or to fans who have criticized him.

"There's nothing that sells good about Allen Iverson if it's something positive about Allen Iverson," he said with a laugh. "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.

"So when I said, 'it's personal,' I meant it's not personal to me as far as people saying what they've been saying about me, about me losing a step and this that and a third. It's personal on a level to where I can have fun again playing basketball. Not worry about, 'Oh he should start or he shouldn't start,' and all of that nonsense. I'm talking about going to practice -- yeah, I said practice -- and have fun and come out of practice happy, go to games happy, leave the arena win or lose happy.

"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."


JNixon
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I mean, yea they went back

I mean, yea they went back on their word, but it was the good of the team. Anybody that watched the Pistons saw that Iverson was not a good fit, especially in the 1st unit. They wanted to win more games, and even though they barely made the playoffs they wouldnt have if Iverson was a starter. He still can be a great scorer in the L, but he's not quite a playoff-team level starter. He's instant offense at this stage.

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It would be different if

It would be different if they told him this up front. I knew before the trade happened it would not work.

Da1pot
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Iverson

So... If you're not playing well OF COURSE you are going to find yourself on the bench. No one lied to him...

the_truth34
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this is an old storie

the pistons did not lie when iverson went in his 1st pistons press conference he said he would do what ever to win a championship that means coming off the bench if it helps the team hes aging and hes trying to blame his bad season on the pistons blame the nuggets they traded you

Michael.S.
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He said they gave up on

He said they gave up on him(the players) and Rip told him if he's lucky, hell get 12 shots per.
F.u.c.k. the pistons orginizations and players, you would have to be dumb not to sense the dislike of A.I. on that team from day 1, for no reason, they cared more bout themselves and their shots then the team or winning

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I like how Dumars doesn't

I like how Dumars doesn't get any mention on this one. People blame Curry, Iverson, and the other players, but no one says anything about Dumars. He's the one who traded for AI without taking into consideration how he would fit with Rip. Shouldn't he have taken into consideration how they would all get along before he did that?

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That's crazy the team gave

That's crazy the team gave up on him. Not only did they not pass him the ball, they actually didn't want him around. In the article by Scoop Jackson, when Iverson was told the team didn't want to be around him, he told the coach that he'd come in, practice, lift weights and then just go home since they didn't want to be around him. That's crazy. I know Billups was a respected player and it was hard on them, but they didn't have to take it out on Iverson. He deserved more respect than that.

Michael.S.
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yeah man, and i absolutely

yeah man, and i absolutely believe him 100% it was quite obvious watching the games too, he said they would go down the court 6, seven possessions and just block him out like he wasn't even part of the team, give the man a chance, what did he do to them?

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AI

AI isnt a player that will fit in with Detroit offense and defense.

The lake show2
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im a iverson fan but i dont

im a iverson fan but i dont count that as lying since they were bringing him off the bench for the betterment of the team...i didnt watch alot of pistons games so i cant tell if they were better with him off the bench or not. i do believe he might of gotten iced out because he tends to call his own number on plays since thats what hes used to doing. i think dumars needs the blame for this and should be on the hot seat with that trade as well as the darko pick..do ya'll realize that melo could be a piston right now and they might have another ring

the_truth34
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that trade

turned out good we got BG and Charlie V for and old billups that this could be his final year that hes good and if we would have kept him when all are veterans got old we would have to start completely over taking years wasting good talent like maxiel and summers and stuckey

The lake show2
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im pretty sure billups will

im pretty sure billups will still be pretty good after this year but i agree with youre point detbadboy

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