It wouldn’t be utterly out-of-bounds to suggest Allen Iverson has never been a status quo kind of guy. But in this instance the eleven-time NBA all-star seems inclined to heed the message of the messenger.
In balloting that garnered a measure of shock and awe on par with that witnessed in the recent Massachusetts senate race, the 34-year-old Iverson has been voted in as a starter by basketball fans in next month’s all-star festivities down in Dallas. To say both developments have thrown their respective electorates into a bit of a frenzy seems akin to asserting universal health care has been bandied about a time or two around Washington recently.
“You end up having guys that are in that position that are taking away from some deserving guys,” Denver guard Chauncey Billups, the man once controversially traded for A.I. and the one now leading the semi-revolt among players to change the rules that have landed him his latest honor, told FanHouse.
“You probably want to give the fans some kind of something to do with it, but I just think that’s way too much,” added Billups. “I would rather it be something like the players vote [for the starters].”
And just who anointed Chauncey Billups hoops emperor? More than 1.2 million fans have made their voices heard and desires known on the matter to the tune of casting their vote for Iverson. With all due respect to ‘Mr. Big Shot’, as deserving as he may be, the all-star game is, and should always be, celebrated as the people’s exhibition. This is the one game where all the fans that pay the salaries of Billups and all of his equally-wealthy colleagues get a chance to call the shots.
All the players voicing dissatisfaction with the all-star voting results need to realize a system is a system and a process is a process. It’s to be honored and adhered to until the point it is no more. Besides, to know Allen Iverson is to know he won’t back down.
“Should I worry about what those people say or concentrate on the million-plus people that voted for me? To me, it’s a no-brainer,” Iverson told ESPN in response to the growing speculation about whether or not he plans to participate. “My fans want to see me play and they have the right to put in who they want to put in the game.They voted me in, and it’s an honor. I don’t want to disrespect them by not participating in the game,” he said.
Even if you didn’t vote for Allen Iverson, you have to be a fan of the way he wants to make certain your voice is heard.