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.
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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.