“We Would Never Disrespect You Or Your Career Like That” | Allen Iverson Says When He Joined Detroit Pistons The Organization Flat-Out Lied

Allen Iverson is one of the most iconic basketball players to pick up the orange. He was also the franchise superstar for the Philadelphia 76ers in the early-to-mid 2000s and commanded the respect of any team he went up against and/or played for throughout his career.

But according to AI, as his career entered the later stages, the Detroit Pistons didn’t get the memo and figured his skill set would be best served as a reserve.

AI told ESPN that the then-head coach of the Detroit Pistons flat-out lied to him about his role when he joined the Detroit Pistons for the 2008-09 season.

“They told me, straight up, ‘Allen, we would never disrespect you or your career like that,’ by making me come off the bench,” Iverson said in an interview with ESPN Page 2 columnist Scoop Jackson. “That’s what they told me to my face. And after that, I never thought about it again. I just went back to playing. Then, they came to me saying that they felt it would be in the ‘best interest of the team’ if I came off of the bench behind Rip [Richard Hamilton].”

Iverson said, “After that, they told me that if I didn’t come off the bench, the team was going to lie down on [not play with] me. … When he told me that, that’s when I felt that this was the worst career move I’d ever made and it was the worst year of my career.”


Iverson Says His Career Went Downhill: He Was Lied To In Detroit

Iverson spent two all-star years in Denver before he was ultimately traded to Detroit, where, according to Iverson, everything went downhill from there.

Though Iverson still managed to produce another All-Star season in Motown, averaging 17.4 ppg on 41% shooting from the field, and 4.9 assists per game, he only lasted for that one season before he went to Memphis.

But in Detroit, he revealed that he didn’t see eye to eye with anybody in the Pistons organization besides general manager Joe Dumars.

“I don’t have [anything] bad to say about the organization, especially Joe [Dumars, the team president]. I never had a problem with Joe. He’s a stand-up person that I have love for and respect. He was not part of any of the problems I had in Detroit,” Iverson continued.

“But for [the coach] to tell me these things and for him to go back on his word like that, it was the hardest and the roughest season I’ve ever had,” he said

Coach Michael Curry’s approach didn’t prove to be fruitful; he was fired after one season with Detroit.

But Iverson went on to play decent basketball for the last few years of his career, being named an All-Star in Memphis and in his return to Philly, all the way up until his NBA retirement.

It seems that the Pistons missed out on a chance to pair their roster — which still featured a lot of stars from their 2004 championship squad — with another All-Star who was still playing at a high level.

Related: The Retirement of Mr. Me Too (theshadowleague.com)

Many will blame Iverson’s ego and attitude, which was famously put on display throughout his career in the NBA, even after his prime years. But at the time Iverson was still putting up great numbers, although it seems that the league was trying to force him into a box and eventually out of the game. His reputation followed him to Detroit, where, AI says, he wasn’t given a fair chance.

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