An Honest
Day’s Word

By Joe Edwards

Wednesday, May 19, 1999

Allen Iverson is the
NBA’s most valuable

THIS and that to chew on over lunch:

Now that Pat Riley and the Miami Heat are out of the NBA playoffs, maybe we can get down to some real basketball.

I know, I know, you might have read in this space a few times that the Heat would make it to the finals. But I'm over that now. Really.

No more Heat. No more Pat Riley. No more being fooled by gaudy regular-season records, and as you can tell by looking at the picture above, definitely no more hair gel.

Anyway, the real playoffs are finally here. So, without any further delay, some picks for postseason awards:

Bullet Most valuable player: Allen Iverson, 76ers. No one man can guard this guy. Take him off the Sixers and they're the Clippers. Or worse, the Grizzlies.

It'll be interesting to see if Iverson actually wins the award. He puts off many middle-aged white sportswriter types with his manner. As if tattoos were the scourge of the earth. But that's their problem, not his.

Iverson is the NBA's most exciting, most enticing, most valuable player. No doubt.

Bullet Sixth man award: Darrell Armstrong of the Magic seems a shoo-in for this, but let's face it, the guy's a starter. The best true bench player in the league is Jalen Rose of the Pacers.

His performance against the Sixers on Monday night was nothing short of sensational. Big game, playoff series opener, and the former Fab Five ringleader goes off for 27. A career playoff high.

I love this kid.

Bullet Coach of the year: Gregg Popovich of the Spurs has taken a team heretofore thought of as too soft and made them the toughest team in the West.

You beat Tim Duncan to the hoop? Ooops. There's David Robinson waiting for the swat.

Soft? The Lakers are crying to anyone who will listen that poor little Shaquille O'Neal is being manhandled by the Spurs. Get used to it, Shaq Daddy. It's playoff time and the Spurs are for real.

Bullet Comeback player of the year: Latrell Sprewell of the Knicks. What did this guy do last year? Choke.

Granted, it was his coach, and he missed all but a handful of games with the Warriors.

This season, he has carried the Knicks into the conference semifinals. His scoring punch is just what that team needs when Patrick Ewing deflates, which is all too often these days.

Plus, he has the best sneaker ad I've seen in a long time. Some people say he's America's nightmare. He says he is the American dream.

Bullet All-23-and-under team: Iverson, Duncan, Kevin Garnett of the Timberwolves, Shareef Abdur-Rahim of the Grizzlies and Kobe Bryant of the Lakers. Iverson is the old man of this bunch. He turns 24 on June 7. Garnett turns 23 today. Kobe? He's 20.

The future of this here league is solid.


So, there's a lot of hoo-ha about Tiger Woods playing David Duval later this summer in a made-for-TV match.

Much will be made during the telecast, I'm sure, about the pressure of putting for a million bucks or so. Like in the Skins Game, it's all phony baloney.

Where's the pressure of playing for money put up by some car-maker? If you miss a shot, are you out anything? No.

Players ought to put up their own money. That would change things, wouldn't it?

I'd love to see Tiger and Duval putting for a couple million of their own cash.

Then we'd see who roars and who meows.

Joe Edwards is sports editor of the Star-Bulletin.

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