06/27/11 12:59 pm EST
Have you ever been caught talking crap about one of your best friends? I mean everyone has to vent from time-to-time about the annoying characteristics friends sometimes smother you with on a consistent basis. Sometimes you accidentally chose to vent to the wrong friend (the girly one) and he happens to rumor it around with all of your close buddies.
Well the Sixers didn’t just tell a few close friends about their unhappiness with Andre Iguodala. They called the whole NBA to the gymnasium for an assembly to announce that they had to get rid of their best player. At nearly any cost.
None of us will ever really know the true story on why AI9 wasn’t traded during the 2011 NBA Draft. It’s possible the looming ownership nixed any would-be deal, because maybe they are bringing in an entirely new front office? It’s possible other teams backed out of potential trades at the last minute. I can admit that some of the offers really weren’t up to par. Then again who did you expect to get for a forward who scored less than 10 points (12 times), which was more than he scored 20 or more (11 times). Oh yeah, he shot just 69 percent from the free throw line too. Not exactly a fourth quarter kind of player.
It really can’t be possible that the Sixers truly intend to keep Iguodala until his contract expires after the 2014 season, can it? He’s due a whopping 15.9 million if he stays until the bitter end. Hopefully for the Sixers sake, the Mayans prediction of the world ending would come true by that point.
I’m a sports history buff who is here to remind you that the strategy of publicly disowning the face of your franchise has never worked out in sports. Even though they have multimillion dollars, athletes are human too. Getting relentlessly ripped apart by an employer is going to affect the employee. Check out the evidence.
A) The Red Sox were constantly critical of Manny Ramirez, especially at the end of his seven-and-a-half-year tenure with the in Boston. He stopped trying out in leftfield and seemed withdrawn from the team. Then all of a sudden he gets traded to the Dodgers, where he explodes for 17 home runs in 53 games. Manny was the ingredient that pushed the Dodgers all the way to the NLCS, while the Red Sox have yet to make a World Series since the sluggers departure.
B) Jason Campbell is nowhere near on the level of Manny, but the former Washington Redskin quarterback was rumored to be traded during every season of his residency in DC. Campbell couldn’t live up to the added expectations of wondering where he would play the following season. Campbell, unlike Manny, hasn’t seen success yet in his new Raider uniform.
C) How about Donovan McNabb in both Philly and DC? During the last two years, in two different jerseys, McNabb hasn’t had one ally in either organization, causing horrific play.
You could add A-Rod, TO and I’m sure several more athletes on this list who haven’t responded well to the lack of support from management.
I think Iguodala will play entirely for the Sixers in 2012—however many games the season ends up being. But I predict you’ll see his performance suffer, particularly his defense. Why on earth should he be entitled to give 100 percent to 76er organization? He owes this franchise nothing.
If he does decide to use this as motivation to become a better scorer, the Sixers will end up keeping him. And if that’s really what you think he wants at this point, you are being a delusional homer. It isn’t like he is the dominant leader of this team either. Many of the young players like Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner have cited Lou Williams as their mentor on this team.
Also, I can’t see Iguodala’s value going up any higher than it is. NBA players are usually entering the primes of their careers at the age of 27. Rarely do players get better from here on out. In my opinion the Sixers should’ve unloaded AI9 prior to the draft for Chris Kaman. Then all of you would’ve been thrilled had the team drafted Jordan Hamilton, Chris Singleton, Tobias Harris etc.
I’m not saying I hate the Vucevic pick at all. I kind of like it. I do hate that the Pacers got George Hill and the Pistons stole Brandon Knight with the eighth pick. Two competitors really strengthened their teams over the Sixers. Kaman is as good as Roy Hibbert and almost needs a change of scenery as bad as Iggy.
Hopefully Doug Collins can mend the damage done to Iguodala’s ego and soul during Collins’ extensive travel plans this week.
Otherwise the 2011-12 76ers season will have all the ingredients needed for a bad reality show.