Allen Iverson’s days as a Piston seem so long ago, even though it was just last year. All of the drama of the past three months has overshadowed last season’s drama, which involved Richard Hamilton being the on the wrong end of AI’s unwillingness to come off the bench.
The situation was not ideal. The Pistons struggled and then-coach Michael Curry even lost his job in part because of the way he handled the incident. Iverson was eventually dismissed from the team and they finished a mediocre season without him.
During the Hamilton/Iverson competition, there was a large group of people who thought that neither player should be relegated to a substitute role. Their choice? Rodney Stuckey. In those people’s eyes, Stuckey’s lack of tenure and combo guard skills made him the perfect candidate to become the Pistons’ sixth man. Surely he wouldn’t mind deferring to two All-Stars with a decade of experience more than he had.
That move never happened. But Stuckey never forgot about it. Iverson was a legend and Stuckey had grown up watching him, but there was no way he was going to relinquish what he had worked so hard to acquire. The starting spot was his and his alone. He would have fought anyone to prove that. Luckily he didn’t have to. But the doubters bothered him. Their lack of faith in him stung. He vowed to show them that he was the right choice all along. He would make them see. He would make them believe.
When Iverson signed with the Grizzlies, Stuckey saw his chance. He circled the date on his calendar, the season opener. He would have his revenge. He would prove his worth to the fans, to his coaches, to the players. He would solidify his status as an NBA starter.
The problem is, that matchup never happened. A hamstring injury kept Iverson out of the game and issues with the Grizzlies franchise forced the Answer to proclaim himself retired. That was it. Stuckey was left with nothing. His season averages of 18, 4 and 5 were respectable, as was his running the team while key players missed time due to injury. But there was no signature moment. Stuckey was just another guy on just another team.
But then Iverson un-retired to join the Sixers. His second game back would be against the Pistons. This was Stuckey’s chance. He’d show them all that they were wrong. Much like Iverson did his rookie year against Jordan, Stuckey would make sure everyone took notice.
You’re paying attention now aren’t you?
(You know this already, but the story above is a complete fabrication. We just thought it would be fun to give this thing a little depth, to hype it up just a little more than it already would be. You also know that Rodney Stuckey‘s crossover of Allen Iverson was definitely a push. And not a subtle push, like Michael Jordan on Bryon Russell, but a push that probably should have been called a foul. But it wasn’t. So here we are.
This is the best video we could find of the play, if you have something better, please send it along and we’ll get it switched out. Until then, make the best of it.)