IMI PARE RAU











By all appearances… That trade consummated between Kiki van de Weghe & Billy King turned out well, no? Iverson’s pairing with ‘Melo, for his career-first duo-galacto experience, drew a sixth seed & minor upset potential against the Spurs. Turns out, one win in a seven game set makes an “upset” in the contemporary, favourite take all format that the NBA has adopted for its championship, though.

Too bad. So sad.

We have now entered phase three of W. Axl Iverson’s professional career, then. If the mid-season trade to Denver was the dismissal of Izzy Stradlin’ — in this case, Iverson leaving Philly, where he had been twined with Iggy (Andre Iguodala) — & the resultant half-season ascent into the playoffs the Use Yr Illusion series (with ‘Melo reprising the role of Gilby Clarke), then a full season of A.I. at altitude will be The Spaghetti Incident?

It will start out well enough, with Iverson re-assuming the mantel of go-to guy — cue: “Since I don’t have you” — but as the rest of the cast is integrated into the performance, we will see that the Nuggets are pretenders to championship basketball, an easy-out in the first-round, if that much. There will be games where they live & die on the three-ball of Duff Mc Kagan (Steve Blake), or the intermittent virtuosity of Slash (Nene), or the pale imitation of past glory of Matt Sorum (Kenyon Martin/Marcus Camby), but in the end, there will be more killed than sustained tempos.

& Axl will need out.

Where to, though, for the Answer?

Memphis.

A turn to the Grizzlies will inspire Iverson to his grandest ambitions… But not amount to that caress of the Larry O’Brien Trophy that he craves, that he needs to validate his professional existence. But damned if he won’t pour his sweat & David Geffen’s millions (I mean, the Grizzlies owners…) into the project.

In Memphis, A.I. will find his Slash, in fact, a more technically skilled Slash (Pau Gasol) than his previous Slash (Aaron Mc Kie). He will find a more drink than drug damaged Duff, one who can actually carry a song, the former Replacement Tommy Stinson (Mike Miller), in place of Kyle Korver & Steve Blake. He will have his propulsive, almost disco-metallic low-end at the kit like he used to have with Steven Adler (Dikembe Mutombo/Samuel Dalembert), in the person of Brain (Stromile Swift).

¬†All the pieces will be there. Maybe even his original mentor. But it just won’t be enough. The lightning in a bottle of Appetite for Destruction (the Sixers run to the ’01 NBA Finals) will not flash twice. They may get forty-five wins out of the line-up, but another playoff fade, a la the ’06-7 Nuggets will follow. Or, more likely, another trip to the lottery for The Answer’s team. Thirty wins, tops. Iverson, a beaten man; Larry Brown, unable to erase the taint of his season in the Garden. It will be glorious… gloriously awful. But it will behoove us to watch, so we can capture, in our mind’s eye at least, what might have been.

Axl… I mean, Allen, you do speak Chinesse, no? Maybe a word or two, a diss, you’ve picked up from Yao, if nothing else?



et cetera