Remember Allen Iverson? He used to be a member of the Denver Nuggets. In fact, he used to be the Nug who, in tandem with Carmelo Anthony, was supposed to lift the team to the next level. And when he was swapped to the Detroit Pistons early in the season in exchange for Chauncey Billups, plenty of observers expected disaster -- not a dominating 2-0 lead over the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the NBA playoffs going into tomorrow night's contest in the Big Easy.
This shouldn't be construed as a knock on Iverson. If he's not as great a player as he once was, he's still formidable when he's healthy and fully engaged. With his help, the Nuggets reached fifty victories last season -- and he was on his best behavior during his Denver stay. No rants about getting in trouble for missing practice. No controversial forays into rap music. No arrests on weed and gun charges. Indeed, he was pretty much a perfect gentlemen during his Colorado stint. But would the Nuggets be where they are right now if Iverson was still on the squad? Errr, no. So enjoy your time in Detroit, Al. We'll take our chances on Chauncey.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.