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Allen Iverson : Pressure to Perform
Posted on by Dal

As the 2007-2008 NBA campaign is almost here Allen Iverson even though now living in Colorado should be starting to feel the heat. Last year preseason everyone new Allen Iverson or no Allen Iverson the Philadelphia 76ers were either about an 8 seed or less even in the lowly Eastern Conference. Then it happened Allen Iverson’s demand was answered and the Denver Nuggets came calling. With half a year including playoff experience the expectations should be higher than it seems they are, and this team is only built to win now.

Few teams in the NBA have a bigger star power in the NBA. Teams like the Heat with Dwyane Wade and Shaq, the Boston Celtics with their new trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, but I will contest there is no bigger star power on one single team then on this Denver Nuggets team. Last year, the Nuggets two stars were the only players to have both of their jerseys in the top 15 in jersey sales in the NBA. People may argue that this is just because Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson have there own cult like followings partially based on where they went to college and partly based on the way they carry themselves. I think it is because the level of players they are. Allen Iverson has been a league was a number one overall pick in the NBA draft, MVP, and NBA finalist, he has the 3rd highest points per game average in NBA history, and in my estimation is the only player ever to single handedly carry a team and a city to the NBA finals (which is why he has my favorite player besides being the most dynamic). Then there is Carmelo Anthony who up until his little scrape last year with the New York Knicks was the leagues leading scorer, was the number 3 pick in the NBA draft (most people forget probably that Darko was number 2), and lead his Syracuse Orangemen as a freshman to the NCAA Championship. Both men also care about their country enough unlike many other superstars to put on the team USA jersey and play in the Olympics.

The point I am trying to make here is that Allen Iverson last year my favorite NBA player got everything he asked for, he got a new coach in George Karl, he got a great supporting cast in the Denver Nuggets, and he got another proven superstar in Carmelo Anthony. Last year it could be said that the reason the team only went 5 games in the 1st round against the NBA champions the San Antonio was because Allen had not had enough time to learn the system and the team still was not entirely in sync. I disagree it was poor play down the stretch by Iverson and Anthony that lost them that series. I saw game one where the Nuggets looked unstoppable in San Antonio and it seemed if the Nuggets two superstars played well they would be unbeatable, and I still think that is the case. In addition it seems the Nuggets will be helped by the return of power forward Kenyon Martin another number 1 overall NBA draft pick and former NBA all star, as well as in the off season the team signed a veteran point guard in Chucky Atkins.

Personally, I think this team needs to win an NBA championship this year to be considered a success, and that is exactly what I think the will do. In this league I do not see a team better than them. When you have a team with the 3rd best scorer in NBA history based on points per game (Allen Iverson), the man who was leading the NBA scoring for almost half a season last year (Carmelo Anthony), and the best defender of year (Marcus Camby) it is unreal to me that this team is not getting any consideration. Yes, they have made early exits every year since Carmelo Anthony got there but until last year that was expected. Now with the addition of Allen Iverson this team is much more capable and had they played well last year in their only post season series we may have seen the Nuggets winning the NBA Finals. The fact is though is that the pressure is on Allen Iverson wanted a team that could win, he got one, now there is only one thing he needs to do right, which is win, and that should not be that hard for a guy who single handedly carried a team to the finals right? I guess we are all about to find out.

By Ben Bernstein, Writer

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