Though the Sixers haven’t seen much of an improvement, Iverson has re-energized Philly fans.
Let’s face facts — the Philadelphia 76ers have a scroll of problems. It’s like a soap opera, addicting and disappointing. For the team’s faithful fans, it’s like a train wreck. There have been shades of excitement with first-round exits in the playoffs, but let’s be honest: This city hasn’t gone Sixers crazy since 2001, when they matched up poorly against the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA Finals.
With the playoffs slipping out of sight this year, the team’s fans haven’t had to endure an entire season of disappointment. Despite the franchise’s floundering success since 2003, when the 76ers last made it past the opening round and put up a fight against the Detroit Pistons, it’s grown apparent that the team has a newfound court leadership.
“I loved watching the old Sixers in the black and gold days,” senior business major Jeff Zamorski said. “They played with a swagger and could actually win consistently. There’s hope for them now that [Allen Iverson] is back to help out Andre [Iguodala], but they still need fans to help them out. Hopefully A.I. puts more butts in the seats. I’m trying to go [to games] more [often].”
Then, there is the team’s returning hero, who has made the city nostalgic for a 2001 playoff run.
Iverson’s new style in the backcourt has made Elton Brand more beneficial. He has forced players into new roles that have the team on a little run. Since Iverson’s first game Dec. 7, I’ve seen something in the Wachovia Center I thought I wouldn’t see for another year – the 76ers play like a team.
“I’ve only been a causal fan as of late,” first-year Temple medical student Jerry Farrell said. “It’s been hard to get into a team that doesn’t play like one, but with Iverson back, I’ve paid a lot more attention. He’s always been the heart of that team.”
That couldn’t be any more true. Iverson has been a great mentor for young guards like Lou Williams and rookie Jrue Holiday, who are both finally starting to show promise.
Playoffs or no playoffs, Iverson is holding this team together, and now that he’s guaranteed a full year, we can expect the 76ers’ glow to endure.
Christian Audesirk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.