Named a starter to the Eastern Conference squad for the forthcoming NBA All-Star Game, Sixers guard Allen Iverson used the occasion to comment on the sports media psyche in the City Of Brotherly Love. From the Philadelphia Daily News’ Phil Jasner.
“The worst thing is, just reading, looking at the newspapers, you see terrorism on the front page, then you see all the deaths in Philadelphia on the local page and all that negativity, then you get to the sports page, and when there’s supposed to be something gratifying, you see even more negativity,” the 76ers star guard was saying yesterday. “You see the Donovan [McNabb] thing, then you see T.O. [Terrell Owens], then you see the trade talks with me. The whole paper is like a book, ‘Tales Of The Dark Side.’ That’s just the way it is here. I realize it. I understand it’s going to be like that. If I’m here next year, if I’m here the year after, it’s always going to be negativity.”
He didn’t limit his target to one newspaper or any specific media outlet.
He said “Y’all.”
“It’s not like it’s coming from my teammates or coming from the loyal fans, it’s just y’all,” Iverson said. “It’s the newspapers, the media.”
He has a point, to a degree. There have been, over the years, opinion pieces suggesting he should be traded, other pieces saying he should stay. In truth, the Sixers had him traded to the Pistons in the summer of 2000, only to see the deal collapse when the Pistons were unable to include the trade kicker in teammate Matt Geiger’s contract within the constraints of their salary cap. The media did not make that deal; the Sixers did.
If all of that is to be lumped together, that is Iverson’s prerogative. And it is understandable when he says he is tired of it.
“I’ve been tired of it,” he said. “I understand that’s just the way it’s going to be. It’s negativity, all around this place.”