SPORTS

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August 2, 2002

NBA this week: Terror, trades, TV

Hey Philly and David Stern: smile, you're on the World that Continues to Turn for Allen Iverson.

As I'm writing, I'm anticipating the last misdemeanor that Iverson was charged with, two counts of terroristic threats, will be overturned by that old fart, Judge James DeLeon. Only recently, this Monday, the judge dismissed twelve of Iverson's thirteen charges, ranging from brandishing a gun to breaking and entering.

In explaining why most of the charges were cleared, the "honorable" DeLeon said, "It sounds like you had a relative looking for a relative at the house of a relative." Well you old fart, if by "looking" you mean stalking and if by "relative" you mean half-naked wife tossed out of the house by Iverson himself in the middle night, you have one perverted sense of justice.

The "Answer" is like a little child who needs to be "hit in the hand" when he tries to reach for the cookie jar. He needs to be punished.

What the league needs to do is demand; no, require that the Sixers trade Iverson to the Chicago Bulls. The only way he can learn from his mistakes is if he lives them. Playing on the Bulls, one of the worst teams of the NBA, will make Allen repent his evil ways and regret his every little dirty deed.

If Stern wants to send a message to the media and his budding young players that rules are not meant to be broken, he needs to banish them to the lowest, dreariest areas possible in the NBA. Nothing like five seasons on the Golden State Warriors to completely drain you of all sinful conduct. Nothing cures all more than a trip to Memphis.

With my plan, no one can say, "A.I.'s talent is wasted." He could be out on the courts, entertaining and playing his heart out while the mounting losses would slowly eat away his spirit.

Nothing would make me happier than watching Iverson try to muster one of those "I don't need no stinking practice" grins while explaining another consecutive 65-loss season.

Alas, Stern is still occupied with technical fixes for the game. Fresh from allowing zone defenses and implementing three-second lane violations in an attempt to improve officiating and reverse flagging attendance, Stern and Co. decided to implement instant replay. On July 29th, representatives from the 29-member Board of Governors voted overwhelmingly in favor for adoption of instant replay.

The driving force for this was a string of controversial calls that plagued the game last season. In a blatant miscall, a ref waved off a three pointer by Baron Davis at the buzzer, which could have won a playoff game in regulation. Despite the obvious fact that every replay conclusively showed Davis releasing his shot with 0.2 seconds left, the ref had already decided before the ball was inbounded that it wasn't "humanly" possible for Davis to turn around and shoot within 0.7 seconds.

Instant replay will prevent a similar mistake like this from ever occurring. Next season, instant replay will be invoked automatically on shots at the buzzer. Unlike the NFL, coaches will not need to issue challenges to force a review. All three refs will look at a designated monitor displaying either network television or in-house footage.

Rumors and Trades:

Surprisingly, Darius Miles was packaged with Harold Jamison for Andre Miller and Bryant Stith. What I think should have happened: Lamar Odom with Melvin Ely or Chris Wilcox for Andre Miller and whoever to make it work. The Cavs got too little from this trade. They started with the hope of getting two young budding stars for Miller; instead, they got Miles, an extremely skinny and funny looking non-starter, and Jamison, who at 26, struggled for miniscule minutes on a Clippers roster. Are the Cavs essentially declaring "LeBron James or bust?"

What will happen soon is a New York Knicks trade of which I keep getting wind. Scott Layden, the Knicks' GM, has been going on a shopping "spree," talking with other teams and considering trades for Sprewell. Layden's problem has been that he is seeking equal market value for Spree in the form of an All-Star caliber point guard or fledging center.

Yao Ming for Spree? Scott has always coveted the highly regarded Chinese center. The Houston Rockets wouldn't even consider it, especially since their next big man is Kevin Cato, who is not very big. Either way, Layden should take what he can get; his head is on the block.