The prodigal son has returned to Philadelphia.
Ladies and gentleman, the Answer, Allen Iverson, one of the greatest players to ever don a 76ers uniform, has returned. He led the Sixers to their greatest season in recent memory, taking the team to the Eastern Conference title, capturing league MVP honors along the way. He has three scoring titles, a plethora of all star appearances, and was the heart and soul of this city for over ten years. However, in 2006, it was clear that a parting of the ways was necessary for both sides. Iverson went to Denver, and in return we got Andre Miller, who took us to consecutive playoff appearances in 2008-09. While he was very good for us, he could never fill the shoes of Allen Iverson. The Answer failed to live up to expectations in Denver, failing to get the Nuggets past the first round for the two seasons he played in the Mile High city. This led to him being traded last fall to Detroit for Chauncey Billups, who went on to lead the Nuggets to their best season in recent memory. Iverson left Detroit, signed with Memphis, then retired, then came back to where it all started: Philadelphia.
So what does this all mean?
It means that attendance is going to temporarily skyrocket, something that is drastically needed, as it is becoming pretty embarrassing playing in front of a half empty arena every home game.
It means that the Sixers have a point guard for the time being while starter Lou Williams is on the shelf nursing a broken jaw.
It should mean that the team’s overall play will improve (it can’t get any worse, right?)
What it doesn’t mean is that the Sixers are going to completely turn the season around. There are still a lot of issues, including the poor defensive play nearly every night. There is also no way to tell how well Iverson will play. He is not going to be the same Answer we once knew. I still believe he can and will have something to offer. What we can’t have is an Iverson who is going to bring a bad attitude. He seems so happy to be here, back with the team and city that he built his legacy with, but then again his reputation preceeds him. Who knows how he will take coming off the bench once Williams returns to the starting lineup?
For now, though let’s welcome back A.I. with open arms and pray he can deliver some of the magic of old. He officially rejoins the Sixers tomorrow night against his former team, the Denver Nuggets.