My loyalties have been homeless for some time—last seen ditching my dignity as I jumped off the Knicks’ Conestoga. Tonight, though, I begin my season-long allegiance to the Detroit Pistons. With Allen Iverson debuting in Detroit’s starting backcourt, power in the NBA may have just shifted to Motown.
A.I. has easily been the league’s most inspirational talent since Jordan dipped out of the spotlight in ‘98. Standing less than 6 feet, the little guy has been battered and bruised over his career. Yet, he has still managed to collect an MVP award, a Finals cameo, and multiple scoring titles despite playing against relative giants. The only obstacle too tall to conquer was Shaq in ‘01, but Iverson may have another go at a title this year after hooking up with the 2004 champions.
Last year’s finals featured the Celtics and Lakers, a matchup that seemingly went down every year of the ‘80s. The other big rival for the chip during that decade? The Pistons.
This season’s three-horse race may have another entry, though. By the end of the ‘80s, a precocious Jordan had begun threatening the triumvirate. This time, the young gun joining the race could very well be a member of Team Jordan. Don’t be surprised if Chris Paul is the one orchestrating a title run if neither A.I., the boys from Beantown, nor Kobe can quite pull the right strings.
– Devin Chanda