WELL THIS IS AWKWARD…

Posted by: Kevin Jones
06/27/11 12:59 pm EST

Iguodala is going to remain a 76er for the time being, even after several trade offers were dangled in front of the organization for a number of weeks.

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 He stopped trying out in leftfield and seemed withdrawn from the team.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.


 
 
 

9 Responses to “WELL THIS IS AWKWARD…”

  1. Owes Nothing?
    27. June 2011 at 13:52

    Iguodala owes us nothing? How about the contract he’s getting paid? He’s a big boy, and I’m not saying criticism is helpful, but life isn’t always cherry blossoms, but you still need to do your job. Being paid to play professional sports and earn millions is a luxury few get to enjoy. Not giving full effort just adds insult to injury for people who work more and earn a mere fraction of what these athletes are paid.

  2. mattSg
    27. June 2011 at 20:39

    He owes us nothing but 82 mil!

  3. Kevin Jones
    28. June 2011 at 10:21

    What if I was your boss and pretty much told you your entire career I wanted to fire you or demote you? … I understand sports are different but these athletes are not super humans. They have emotions. Clearly he owes the 76ers his effort, but in his mind do you think he does?

  4. phillysports04
    28. June 2011 at 10:33

    He owes us nothing? Are you serious? How about giving back half of his contract. He got paid to become a superstar and lead our team, but obviously won’t happen. He never put in the work to become a dominant scorer. He got paid and then sat on his ass. If you tell me he worked hard after he got his big contract then why has he never become a great player? He will never be a leader. He will always be a good 2nd to 3rd player on a team. No where near worth his 82 million contract. So what does he owe us? How about acting like a leader and actually earning your contract.

  5. migel
    28. June 2011 at 15:34

    How about not shooting jumpers in the first 10 seconds of the possessions?Tha’s his bosh fault too… If I don’t recall badly, Doug Collins has always spoken wonderful things about him…

  6. Josh
    28. June 2011 at 17:30

    “He owes this franchise nothing.” Yeah I guess everyone else pointed this out, but I gotta disagree too. He’s getting paid to play. He owes the fans, in the very least. If I’m gonna shell out a couple Grants to see him play, he better not tank. We work for our money, too. He owes the fans and owes it to himself to take advantage of the gifts he’s been given.

    To me, the bottom line is this: He was given the opportunity to become the centerpiece of this team. But I’d say its more than an opportunity, but rather, a responsibility. The fans were pinning their hopes on him after the whole Iverson fiasco and he said no thanks. To accept that responsibility and hold yourself accountable on all fronts takes maturity and confidence, but he doesn’t seem to have (enough of) it.

    I understand he’s a quiet guy, and I admire that. But when you’ve been given the responsibility to be the main man on a team, you’ve got to undertake it. It’s an honor, a privilege, and a duty. Instead, he wants out, and we’re happy to accommodate him…for the right price, of course.

  7. TheAnswers76
    28. June 2011 at 21:05

    This is stupid. The organization has not ripped Dre. Show me one quote. This trade talk is all fan and media driven. Thorn, Stefanski and Collins are Dre supporters.

  8. Lou
    28. June 2011 at 21:07

    Well he has done is part!! everyone says they want the money back, but its the sixers who paid him all that money!! he was always a #2 option. i dont know what yall were expecting from him but thats it. And he plays great defense, which no one else on the team does. he is more worth his contract than brand is for his. its not his fault.

  9. Bart S
    29. June 2011 at 00:46

    As usual, the truth lies somewhere in between the hyperbolic stances taken here. Kevin, nice website. It’s very enjoyable to have a source of consistent Sixers content. But your emotionally-driven “owes this franchise nothing” comment and then subsequent semi-backpedal are off base and I’m sure you know it. Of course he owes the franchise, his teammates and the fans 100% of his attention and effort at all times. It’s what being a professional is all about. He has been lavishly compensated for his time in Philadelphia and to suggest being openly shopped (which makes him far from unique) somehow overrides this and gives him carte blanche to half-ass it is not a defensible position.

    I agree that no matter how much money one makes, the feeling that you are not appreciated or wanted sucks…and it sucks a lot. It’s easy to see the number of zeros on these guys’ contracts and lose sight of the fact that they are human beings with real emotions. You nailed that. But your analogy of having a boss who constantly wants to fire and demote you is, again, hyperbolic and inaccurate. That’s not what is happening here. Unless you are privy to some highly-sensitive conversations going on at the Wells Fargo Center, I seriously doubt you actually believe Iguodala’s treatment is as you described. Had Sixers management really shown him such open disdain, he certainly wouldn’t be cashing game checks from an $82MM contract. The 76ers valued him highly enough to pay him handsomely (some might say too handsomely) and their recent attempts to trade him during the past few seasons is nowhere near tantamount to the mistreatment you claim he has suffered through his “entire career.”

    Having said that, Iguodala has been unfairly treated during his tenure with the team…by the fans. His ceiling has been, and likely always will be, the 2nd or 3rd best player on a contending team. But he was never given that opportunity here. Instead, he was made the de facto franchise player after the Iverson era came to an abrupt and unceremonious end. He has been a reluctant #1 option ever since that day and has dutifully attempted to fill that role. He is the best perimeter defender in the league and before this season, he never missed time. Yeah the contract was big…but this is the NBA. Rashard Lewis and Joe Johnson got max money. Arenas got it AFTER he blew out his knee. We paid a lot of money for a borderline All-Star coming into his prime. Shocking. Had we possessed an alpha-dog scorer like Wade, Kobe, Pierce, Durant, etc., Iggy would be putting up his 15-6-6 while playing his true role of 2nd fiddle scorer, lockdown defender, setup man and transition playmaker and his contract would look like a bargain. But bad moves, bad timing and bad luck never allowed for that puzzle to come together. And instead of potentially thriving, he has never been able to fit the role he should never have been asked to play in the first place. Unfortunately that has caused fans to heap a great deal of blame and misguided ire in his direction.

    The end of the second “AI” era is definitely on the horizon unless an equally violent shakeup occurs elsewhere on the team. Iguodala deserves the chance to fill the role he was built to play in this league without shouldering a burden he was never fit to carry. If I didn’t completely agree with the Sixers’ concerns over Lamar Odom’s potential mood swing disaster, I would have loved to see that trade happen for both parties. However, until the exact moment that this franchise stops signing his paychecks and his nameplate is taken out of the locker room, he owes his employers, his co-workers, his profession and his fans the very best effort he can muster. Anything less would betray all the work he has put it in since the day he has arrived in Philadelphia. And that is not defensible.

Leave a Reply