It was March 12, 1997. I was just seven years old, and I was attending my first professional basketball game. At the time, I was a soccer player and for whatever reason, a diehard Philadelphia Kixx fan. I barely knew who the 76ers were. But watching the Sixers and Bulls that night opened by eyes to this wonderful game. For the diehards out there, you might remember this game because it was the night that rookie Allen Iverson famously crossed over Michael Jordan. I remember laughing at Clarence Weatherspoon’s name and asking my dad if it was fair for Shawn Bradley to play because he was too tall. And I remember that crossover.
Fast-forward 15 years. I’m 22 years old, and I’ve spent the last 15 years worshipping my hometown Sixers. I was with them through good times and bad. I was with them when Iverson stepped over Lue, and I was with them when they hired Eddie Jordan. And I would love to stay with them until the very end. But some of the decisions that Ed Stefanski and Rod Thorn made in recent years have tested my patience as a fan. And I’m at the point where I need something to happen. I need them to make a splash that injects some life back into this team. I need them to do something that gets the fans excited. I need them to do something that gets me excited.
One year ago, there were rumors that Andre Iguodala would get shopped on draft night. I foolishly allowed myself to get excited about a potential Iggy departure, and I was left disappointed. Now we’re here on the brink of the 2012 NBA draft, and once again Iguodala’s name that has come up in trade rumors. The Warriors, Bobcats, Raptors, Lakers and Kings have all been linked to the “all-star” forward. The Raptors have apparently offered a package of Ed Davis, Jose Calderon and the #8 pick for Iguodala. The Warriors are offering the #7 pick and a throw-in player. Kings ditto with #5. Lakers are shopping Pau Gasol, who would instantly become the best big man in Philly since Moses.
My point is there are options. In recent years, maybe they didn’t pull the trigger on an Iguodala trade because the options weren’t there. Well we’ve endured another season with #9 on the roster, and I’m done with it. If Rod Thorn or anyone else thinks the Sixers can be more than a 6 or 7 seed the way the roster is currently constructed, they are mad.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not an Iguodala hater. I grew up an Arizona Wildcat fan, I loved the pick at the time and I think Iggy had a good run in Philly. He is a good player, a great defender and a really good guy off the court. But its time for Thorn to realize that he needs to move on. For better or for worse, its time to see what Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner are capable of, and that can’t happen unless Iguodala moves on.