A.I. Used to be The Answer, "Things Done Changed"
The late rap-star Christopher Wallace (a.k.a.) The Notorious B.I.G. recorded a song from his 1994 debut album named 'Things Done Changed'. It's one of the most popular songs from the rap legend. That title song can be applied to the NBA career of Allen "The Answer" Iverson.
The Detroit Pistons entered the 2008-09 season with a plan to make it back to the NBA Finals and win a 4th NBA Championship for the franchise. They had the second best record in the league last season 59-23 to the Boston Celtics 66-16. Boston would defeat Detroit in the Eastern Conference Finals series 4-2.
Coming into the 2008-09 season the Motor City Bad Boy mystic of a team that reached the Eastern Confence Finals for 6 straight seasons was starting to fade on the rest of the league. Joe Dumars the President of Basketball Operations needed to make some changes to compete with Boston, the surging Cavs, and the up and coming Magic.
On Novenber 3, 2008 a week into the season Detroit made a trade with the Denver Nuggets for the 4-time NBA scoring champion and 2001 NBA MVP Allen Iverson. The Pistons were giving up team leader Chauncey Billups for Allen practice, practice, practice, did I say practice Iverson. Was this going to be another great move by Joe Dumars, that's "The Question."
In 2003 former Sixers coach Larry Brown bolted Philadelphia to take the Pistons job and led them to the 2004 NBA Championship. He had grown tired of Iverson in Philly and wanted out. A year earlier in 2002 the Pistons almost had Iverson when he was 27 and in the prime of his career. They didn't make the move and won a Championship 2-years later. Good move by the red, white, and blue Pistons.
6-years later the Pistons wanted a 33-year old Iverson who did average 26 ppg last season for the Denver Nuggets. At 33 is A.I. still "The Answer" or a big "Question Mark". For the Nuggets last season A.I. helped them to a 50-win season for the first time in 20-years (1988) since the days of Alex English and Fat Lever. They were beaten in the first round of the playoffs for the 5th straight season.
Iverson is averaging a career-low 18 ppg. His previous low was 22 ppg during his second year in the league in 1997-98. His 27.13 career scoring average is 5th all-time behind M. Jordan (30.12), Chamberlain (30.07), L. James (27.52), and Elgin Baylor (27.36) http://www.nba.com/playerfile/allen_iverson/index.html.
Allen Iverson has been inactive for the Pistons since a February 25th 90-87 loss to the New Orleans Hornets with a bad back. Iverson scored 2 points in 8 minutes of play. The Pistons are 34-36 2-games under .500 and fighting for a 7th or 8th playoff seed spot. If the playoffs started today they would face those same Boston Celtics that beat them last season in the Eastern Conference Finals.
When Iverson enterd the NBA in 1996 he would soon be the face of hoops and hip-hop culture. His cross-over, tattoo's, cornrows, and swagger became a symbol to urban America. His cornrows are gone, and his superstar style game of nearly 13-years is in limbo.
Iverson the hoops and hip-hop culture icon is the # 1 Most Influential Person of the 25-year history of the hoops and hip-hop culture fusion (The "Dunkadelic-Era") born in 1984. His legacy to The "Dunkadelic-Era" In America, will remain iconic. His game and status as an NBA elite player well just like Biggie said, Things done changed.
To honor the 25th Anniversary of The "Dunkadelic-Era" In America, June has been selected as National Basketball & Hip-Hop Culture Month http://hoopedia.nba.com/index.php?title=National_Basketball_%26_Hip-Hop_Culture_Month.