Murphy: Hey Allen, try this nickname on for size

Liam Murphy

Allen Iverson showed his true colors this past weekend when he “couldn’t make” a chartered jet to go see his coach, Larry Brown, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

We all know where he wasn’t (what are we talking about, practice?), so this leaves me to wonder what was more important than supporting the only man that has continued to support Iverson throughout the past five years.

Now, I don’t mean to go off on a rant here, but Iverson has messed up an innumerable amount of times in his short career here in Philly, the two most recent times being the press conference last spring when he babbled on and on about how he didn’t need to practice to be a good player and his arrest this summer where numerous media representatives camped out in front of Iverson’s Main Line residence. Both events drew national exposure and attention. The charges against Iverson were all either dropped or dismissed, but what in the world was this guy thinking? Putting himself in a situation like that is just dumb. And who was there to support Iverson during all this? It wasn’t the NBA, the 76ers owner or his teammates who came out in public and spoke up for Iverson.

While “The Answer” was busy throwing a party in his honor the night before he was supposed to turn himself in, it was Brown who was there for him, talking with the media in support of his so-called star player. And what did Brown do after AI showed how dumb he was at the press conference? Brown came out and said that he, the coach, and his players needed to talk; they needed to get on the same page. What Brown did was support his player.

So I ask this; what is Allen Iverson really “The Answer” to? Why do we call him this? I think we need to throw the word “wrong” in that nickname. “The Wrong Answer” sounds good to me.

He hasn’t solved any of the 76er problems yet. He hasn’t even solved any of his own problems. In order for the 76ers to be successful they need to get rid of Iverson. He does nothing except shoot too much and cause problems within the organization.

At the opening of training camp this week, Keith Van Horn talked about chemistry and how there really isn’t much of it yet, understandably. I agree with Van Horn – a team needs chemistry in order to succeed.

Little does Van Horn know that Iverson does not help his team, but rather only thinks of himself in most situations.

So what does one of the best coaches in basketball have to do in order to have the support of his “franchise” player? Posting 26 of 30 winning seasons and compiling a 1,237-819 record is apparently not good enough. Earning Coach of the Year honors for the NBA and NCAA, along with being a two-time gold medal winner at the Olympics (once as a player and once as an assistant coach) isn’t enough either.

What does Iverson have? A couple MVPs and a few scoring titles isn’t that impressive when you look at his coach’s resume.

Iverson has quite a bit to learn about basketball, and about life as well.

So what do we do to turn “The Wrong Answer” into the right one? Who really cares anyway? But just for fun, let’s say we fire the recent inductee to the Hall of Fame and let Iverson be a player-coach. If that were to happen, I bet AI would put up 55 shots a game and his players would demand trades within the first week of the season.

I find it hard to believe that there are actually players in the NBA who want to be on the same team as “The Wrong Answer.” Who would want to be on the same team with someone who never wants to practice, who hogs the ball and misses the majority of the shots he takes?

Coaches are the ones who make teams win games, not the players. Sure the players in the NBA are some of the greatest athletes in the world, but without structure, leadership and teaching, these players will never make it. They will lose their games. Larry Brown is known for his idea of “play the right way.” That means sharing the ball, making teammates better, and playing hard.

Allen “The Wrong Answer” Iverson needs to understand this concept, because right now he only gets credit for completing one of those three tasks – playing hard. Who wouldn’t play as hard as they can when they are ball hogs and not team players? You have to play hard if you want to look good as an individual.

I do not question “The Wrong Answer’s” heart and desire to play basketball; I question what his goals are. Maybe showing his coach that he wants to play for him and that he respects him should be the on top of that list.