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The Answer ... To A Stupid Question

Allen Iverson to the Miami Heat? The idea is ridiculous, but leave it to Pat Riley -- the king of supposed quick fixes -- to slobber all over the idea, damn near literally. According to Israel Guttierez in today's Miami Herald, the Heat coach and president said:

''I would be delinquent in my responsibilities if I wasn't interested in Allen Iverson. That's all I'm going to say. Just like when Shaquile [O'Neal] came out there, I was frothing at the mouth. So my level of interest can be gauged on that comment.''

Naturally, Dave Hyde is all over this idea, loving it, writing this morning that Riley "should be pressing whatever buttons available and should be working every angle to land such electricity on his team." We can expect such unthinking, knee-jerk drivel from Hyde, but Riley? Well, he's obviously desperate and addled from the pressure. He can't stand losing and, after a terrible start to the season, he's dreaming up a new savior to wash away all the Heat's troubles.

But Iverson? Look, I love the way The Answer plays as well anybody. He's phenomenal. But all he would do if he came to the Heat is

gum up the works, both on the court and in the ego department. There are already two superstars on this team and there's not enough room for three.

And it would only hurt Dwyane Wade's development as a superstar in this league. He's way more than just a go-to scorer; he's becoming a brilliant playmaker and passer (dude is in the top ten in scoring and assists). Throw in Iverson -- a temperamental prima donna if ever there was one -- and confusion sets in; Wade's flowering as a player is stymied. The two have very similar games, talents will be duplicated, turf wars will develop, the natural order of things will be destroyed.

And to get Iverson, you have to throw away key role players that helped the Heat win a championship last season. James Posey? With his three-point shooting and tenacious defense, he's become enormously important to this team. Udonis Haslem? Well, he's the heart and fury of this team. Jason Williams? He's still making his way, but that's part of the fun isn't it? Seeing what will happen ...

And that's what's really wrong with this. Bringing in Iverson would be the King Daddy of quick fixes. But big-money marquee players don't necessarily bring in championships. (Ask Steinbrenner in New York).

It's a good thing that this trade if far-fetched from a Sixers point of view. They likely won't want what Riley is offering. When it's over, the coach needs to chill out. Shaq will be back soon (if he wasn't hurt, I seriously doubt Riley would have ever cooked this up in the first place). The Heat (which underachieved in the regular season last season too) will start churning out wins. So relax Riley and stop looking for the easy Answer.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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