Why I Love Allen Iverson

Thanks Pinterest!

Okay, I lied. This post won’t be all about why I love Allen Iverson. But I do love him. I have a “Got Allen Iverson?” bumper sticker and hoards of memorabilia to prove it. I have every jersey for every team he’s played on, minus Georgetown and Turkey. But I just want to talk about basketball in general, thanks to inspiration from another blog. Just some things on the mind:

1. There is nothing worse than a “show” fan. I went to a Portland Trail Blazers game this past weekend and we (I say “we” because I’m an Oregonian until I graduate from college) were playing the Miami Heat. Fun fact: The Heat have the most bandwagon fans on the face of this planet. And perhaps Mars too. Don’t get me wrong, I think Dwayne Wade and Lebron James are amazingly attractive. I mean talented. But just because you love a player doesn’t mean you just hop from team to team to team like a basketball hussy. I’d marry Lebron in a nanosecond but I still rooted for the Blazers like a tolerable human being. Anyone who started liking the Heat in the past two years should have a soda poured on their head.

2. Objectivity is impossible. Irrationality is possible. Disliking players and teams for no reason at all is very enjoyable for me. But what’s even more enjoyable is latching on to something totally unrelated and using that to hate on them. Example: Tony Parker cheated on his beautiful wife, Eva Longoria, with his teammate’s wife. So in my mind he went from a talented point guard to a sleazy Frenchman. He’s having the best year of his career, go figure. Damn him. P.S. I could spend a whole post dissing on the Lakers in this fashion but perhaps that will come later.

3. Basketball is more than a job. Or it’s just a job. How many times has someone said “It’s not personal, it’s business”? Countless. Dwight Howard basically said it when he demanded to be traded a while ago. Players do that from time to time and usually they get traded immediately. The Magic, however, kept him and could keep him the whole season before his contract runs out.

What if marriages or divorces worked like that? “Oh hey honey, I want to leave you right now. I want to be with someone who will give me more money. You don’t do enough for me and I’ve stuck around for years and years and I’m not happy so I’m done.” And the spouse replies, “No, sorry, you’re stuck with me for the year. ” Talk about awkward. All of his teammates know he wants out. All of the fans know. How do you still want to be around the guy? If it’s just a job, then why can’t he pack a box of sleeves and Under Armour shirts and just leave?

4. I love Allen Iverson. Yeah, I really do. He deserves a ring. Luke Walton should hand over his ring, that’s the truth.

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A Tweet Slam Dunk

No one did it like MJ! Photo from Pinterest

My third Linky Love post is about a favorite topic of mine: basketball. This weekend is the All-Star Weekend for the National Basketball Association. It’s a time when every team takes a break from regular games and some players get elected to participate in certain events. This year the weekend is in Orlando, Florida.

Players can be voted into the All-Star game, the Dunk Contest, the Skills Challenge, the 3-Point Contest, Shooting Stars and The Rising Stars Challenge. The majority of these events find a winner easily depending on the score of the game or the amount of shots made. The Skills Challenge is an obstacle course so the fastest time wins. The Dunk Contest has always been the most intriguing of the events because the victor was decided on a panel of judges. Mostly NBA experts or past players, they judged each dunk on a numerical system.

This year, however, is a new year. The NBA, like the rest of the world, understands social media. They know that fans Tweet and post about the events and have opinions to share. The article I read today (by Sam Laird) talked about how, for the very first time, the Slam Dunk Contest won’t have a panel of judges. The winner will be decided by you, the fans. Email, Tweet, and text who you think should win…and they very well could.

I’ve played basketball all my life and have been an NBA fan since I can remember. Immediately I see a couple problems with this new method. Sure, it’s innovative and it involves the fans like they’ve never been involved before. But we aren’t experts (as much as we wish we were). We are swayed by popular opinion. The writer joked that thank goodness Knick’s point guard Jeremy Lin wasn’t competiting. He’s right…that guy is so popular right now for how he’s performed in the past seven games that people would probably say he’s the best dunker for no reason at all. Also, if you’re a diehard fan for a certain team you may only vote for the dunker who represents your team. Or on the flip, you may hate a candidate for being on a rival team. Neither of those reasons have anything to do with the quality of the dunks that these men will be doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure excited to watch this contest. I may just Tweet about it!