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Sports Then and Now



Allen Iverson Crashes the NBA’s All-Star Party 4

Posted on January 24, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Allen Iverson has been selected to the NBA All-Star team for the 11th straight season.

Allen Iverson has been selected to the NBA All-Star team for the 11th straight season.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem unusual to have Allen Iverson listed as a starter for the NBA All-Star Game. After all, Iverson has now been selected to 11 straight All-Star Games and has twice been named the game MVP.

However, what has made his selection to start the 2010 game somewhat controversial is that he is no longer playing at an All-Star level.

Iverson began the 2009-2010 season with the Memphis Grizzlies, but after three games was released and is now back with his original team, the Philadelphia 76ers. Though Iverson sports a 26.8 career scoring average, he is averaging only 14.3 points per contest this season and has only played in 21 games.

Even with his pedestrian performance, Iverson remained on the minds of NBA fans and was selected as a starter for the Eastern Conference.

As could be expected, the selection of a player clearly no longer among the best in the league has sparked a new round of controversy about the legitimacy of fan participation in selecting starters for league All-Star Games.

I have no intention of making a case for the inclusion of Iverson in the All-Star lineup based on his statistics this season, but I will spend all day if necessary defending the rights of the fans to have a say in which players appear in All-Star exhibition games for any professional sport.

For those who have forgotten, the original purpose of All-Star Games was to provide fans with a chance to see the best stars of the game, not necessarily to reward success in that specific season. While recognizing current greatness has become an integral part of the All-Star process, there should always be a place in these exhibitions for long-time fan favorites. Read the rest of this entry →

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