The Philadelphia 76ers are in the process of giving Allen Iverson a full-court treatment worthy of the former Soviet Union: to wit, erasing him from the history books and sending him out into the Gulag where he will become a non-person. Of course they cannot really expunge eleven years of hogging the ball just like that so they are doing the next best thing: barring Iverson from the arena (for both games and practice), clearing out his belongings from the locker room, removing his name plate from the stall he used to call home and, get this, re-editing the team video to remove his presence from the highlight reel. Man, that has got to be one short highlight reel now, eh?
The whole sorry affair is really GM Billy King’s fault but as long as Ed Snider owns the 76ers we can expect King to escape the same fate that has befallen his former franchise player. Remember, Snider is slow, painfully slow, to pull the trigger on executives he’s hired no matter how lousy they are at the job. See Bob Clarke for details. In King’s case it can hardly be said he has endeared himself to his boss the way Clarke did.
What Iverson’s imminent departure means is that there is a serious vacuum for future pretenders to the sports medal stand in this town. Indeed, by my reckoning, things stack up like this: Ryan Howard currently wears the gold; Chase Utley the silver; and Brian Dawkins the bronze. No one else is even entered in the race.