Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The depature of A.I.

It is finally over. Allen Iverson has worn out his welcome in Philly. I do not blame him, the fault lies squarely with upper management.

Whether you manage an office or a basketball team, you are still managing people. The problem with the Sixers was they let the superstar man/child take over managing the team by default.

There was always a separate set of rules for Mr. Iverson. That is not his fault. He filled the arena so it was always, Allen just being Allen. Like the star employee who manipulates management, eventually the star either fades or bursts before crashing into the universe.

Basketball is a team sport. Mr. Iverson needed to be taught how to play within the framework of a team. To that end, he needed to be surrounded by skilled players and a management team willing to enforce standard rules. We are not talking extraordinary rules. Let's start with the basics, show up and on time. Practice is part of his job. After his infamous riff about practice, he should have been traded or deactivated immeditately.

He did not get it. But like most gifted athletes, from an early age, they are placed on a different career path or in a bubble. The rules are different for the Iversons in the world because schools, boosters and management created these rules.

When players continue to act "special," there is shock in management when the behavior of these "special" players bite them in the ass.

In the corner, sits the coaching careers of quality coaches, who pleaded with upper management not to undermine their efforts to enforce the rules to The Answer or ship him out.

The fans have voted with their feet. Management made a ton of money by tolerating Iverson's failure to follow basic workplace rules. Now they will lose money because, not only is the star gone, the supporting cast of characters are mediocore at best.

The Sixers should make additional changes. With the departure of Iverson, Billy King and Ed Snyder should do the honorable thing and resign.

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