For some, not seeing Allen Iverson during the weekend’s All-Star Game was a shock. But for those who have followed the recent news on Allen, the reaction has been sympathetic. The comments have been flooding in from fans (who voted him as a starter) that are sending their wishes and prayers to Allen and his daughter Messiah, who has been ill with an unknown sickness.
Stephen A. Smith from the Inquirer has a piece about the perception of Allen Iverson. Around the league, coaches and players have been sympathetic to Allen situation.
“He’s where he needs to be right now,” said George Karl, who coached Iverson for more than two seasons before trading him to Detroit for Chauncey Billups in November 2008. “Allen’s always been a guy that . . . his family is very important to him. Maybe of the 10 conversations I’ve had with him, eight of them have been about his family. So I think anytime your 3-year-old child is sick, it drives you crazy. And not having an answer yet – from what I’ve been told . . . there’s no answer about what’s wrong with her – it’s got to be tough on him. I feel for him right now. We all should.”
His article also notes:
“Sickeningly, folks are sending e-mails questioning if, indeed, Iverson’s daughter is sick. A few have said they have seen him on City Avenue in Philadelphia in the a.m. hours, when reports have him with his family in Atlanta. Others are claiming the Sixers are being hoodwinked, that Iverson didn’t attend all- star weekend only because he knew it would be a public relations nightmare.
There’s not a shred of proof, of course. But it’s all in the perception Iverson has created for himself. A perception, for all of his greatness throughout the years, he has failed to change from his irresponsible ways.”
It’s unfortunate that there’s still so much hate going around. It’s sad that people hold on to their own perceptions and lose sight of human compassion in times like these.
Our prayers continue to go out to Allen and his family.
Iverson’s status remained intact as of last night’s Sixers game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, even though he missed his fourth game in succession while attending to his ill daughter. The 76ers announced that Iverson also will miss tonight’s game in Toronto, the team’s final game before the All-Star break, but that he will return Feb. 16 against the Miami Heat in the Wachovia Center.
This will be Iverson’s 11th straight All-Star appearance, and the first by a Sixer since 2006.
“Our understanding is, he will still be an All-Star,” league spokesman Tim Frank said last night in an e-mail.
A source familiar with the Sixers’ situation said Iverson intends to make his All-Star appearance.
Earlier in the week, Sixers coach Eddie Jordan would not address whether Iverson would remain a starter when he rejoins the team; Iverson is averaging 14.7 points, 4.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 22 games since signing Dec. 2 as an unrestricted free agent.
“He’s been great, in the locker room, on the court,” teammate Elton Brand said. “Whatever the big bosses decide, I’m sure he’s going to go with it and come back and help us win games.”
Iverson has missed the Philadelphia 76ers’ last three games to be with his 3-year-old daughter in Atlanta, and the team doesn’t have a timetable for his return. Philadelphia plays Minnesota on Tuesday and at Toronto on Wednesday before the All-Star break.
“The situation with his daughter is very serious, very delicate,” the source told Yahoo! Sports. “But he still hopes to play in the All-Star Game regardless to whether he plays in the two games before it.”
Our prayers go out to Allen’s daughter and hopefully we’ll be able to see Allen this weekend.
“I was surprised,” Coach Jordan said with a smile before turning serious. “He wanted to practice today to show leadership. He feels good about our growth. It’s very encouraging.”
76ers coach Eddie Jordan understood the irony yesterday when he was asked about Allen Iverson’s participating in practice after he had played 34 minutes in the team’s 93-92 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday.
The veteran guard is nursing a troublesome left knee that has made his availability day-to-day.
“We had our opportunity to win the game,” Iverson said. “We were one shot away. We had a lead in the fourth quarter, and we let it get away. It’s extremely hard to come in here after a loss, especially a loss like that. It’s something we have to do. It’s our job to come in here and give everything you’ve got.
“We tried to get something out of the practice, and that’s what we did today.”
A.I.’s gratitude. Iverson on being second among Eastern Conference guards in the All-Star Game fan voting:
“That’s an honor. Without the fans, there wouldn’t be us. I think my situation is unique. I haven’t played as much as the other guys, but the fans want to see me play. That’s a good feeling, just to know that people that support us and make us want to see me play. That’s a great feeling, but it’s also a tribute to the teammates and the coaches I’ve had.”