Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports News recently wrote a scathing article tearing down NBA Star and future Hall of Famer, Allen Iverson. It’s actually getting quite comical reading Jason Whitlock’s articles these days because he always tries to self-infuse a racial angle into every story he writes, even if there isn’t one there. Is there a copy editor in the house? *Cricket* *Cricket*
What does Allen Iverson being black or having lots of tattoo’s have to do with his recent struggles? How about the fact that Iverson had a tough upbringing? Does this mean everyone from a lower socio-economic status is doomed to be a selfish basketball player? Whitlock preaches about racism and prejudice, when in fact he is the one spewing prejudice laced in with layers of assumption. As an example Whitlock says:
Iverson is a one-man, no-country Army, more than likely the victim of a dysfunctional upbringing that left him incapable of embracing the concepts essential to teamwork, winning and sacrifice for the benefit of others.
Has the jolly big fella ever even played the sport? Comparing Magic Johnson to Allen Iverson? Whitlock says:
He could’ve been the second-best point guard in the history of the game (after Magic Johnson). But the idea of being a distributor first and scorer second stood in the way of a futile, ridiculous effort to chase Jordan. At 6-foot, 165 pounds, Iverson had as much of a chance of filling Jordan’s Jordans as yours truly being the next Ron Jeremy.
I’m fairly certain that Allen Iverson and Magic Johnson have about as much of a polar opposite skill set as you can get. Iverson IS and has ALWAYS been a pure scorer. No apologies needed, that’s what made him great. If Whitlock had half a brain he’d blame the General Managers that Iverson has played for, in trying to force fit Iverson into a system that didn’t take advantage of his skills.
And as for his comment above on Iverson’s futile attempts at chasing Michael Jordan, my only comment is ‘who isn’t'? Does that mean Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James and the like are all self-indulgent fools who should be scoring less and passing more in an attempt to catch Magic Johnson’s records instead of Jordan’s? C’mon Whitlock, be honest, did you just google the word basketball great and come up with “Michael Jordan” and “Magic Johnson” and try and figure out a way to work the names into your article?
The most contradictory part about Jason Whitlock’s weak assessment of Iverson is when he talks about Allen’s success in 2001, leading Philly to the NBA Finals:
In 2001, after the Sixers embarrassed him with threats of an offseason trade and with Larry Brown brow-beating Iverson nightly, he put together a remarkable, MVP season and carried Philadelphia to the NBA Finals.
That season was the one glimpse at what Iverson should’ve been. He won a career-high 56 regular-season games with Aaron McKie, Eric Snow, Tyrone Hill and 34-year-old Dikembe Mutombo providing support.
Whitlock just writes off the amazing season Iverson and the Sixers had to “Larry Brown brow-beating him Nightly”. Didn’t Larry Brown brow-beat Iverson nightly in each of their seasons together? Hmm….anyone with any respect for, or knowledge of the game of basketball may want to take a closer look at WHY the Sixers were successful that season. But wait….alas….the solution was sitting right under Whitlock’s nose. He mentions above, “Aaron McKie, Eric Snow, Tyrone Hill and 34-year-old Dikembe Mutombo”, any bells going off yet Whitlock? Probably not. Let me enlighten you. Instead of crucifying Iverson for being born and bred as a talented scorer, Philly tried a little experiment in which they surrounded Iverson with highly talented defenders, rebounders, and unselfish role players who could help harness Iverson’s scoring abilities, while making up for his defensive woes. What was the result? One of the best seasons in Philadelphia Sixers modern history. And proof, that if managed correctly, Iverson was and could be a winner in the NBA.
Jason Whitlock is an embarrassment to Fox, just as he was to ESPN. His ‘holier than thou’ attitude just doesn’t fly. It comes off as cocky, ignorant, and a sad attempt to cover up any factual base to his arguments.
I have to give Whitlock credit for something though. Reading anything he writes, certainly puts me in the mood to blog. He is an inspiration to basketball bloggers across the interweb. Without the Whitlock’s of the world, the bloggers ‘chickens would be coming home to rot’.