We lost some interest in these exhibition games a while back, but when Allen Iverson shows up in November for his two-day “Las Vegas Superstar Challenge” (Nov. 12-13) in Las Vegas, it’ll give the game a new meaning. It’ll feel like it means something. None of us have seen Iverson – the real Allen (the dude we put on our very first cover) – in close to three years. We’ve seen a little of the faltering, has-been at the end of his career, and a highlight here and there of a very short overseas term. A wide-open exhibition game should bring out his old tricks. Yesterday, the players planning to join him were announced: Amar’e Stoudemire, Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce, Tyreke Evans, Lou Williams, Hakim Warrick, Chauncey Billups, Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Monta Ellis, Corey Maggette, Matt Barnes, Tony Allen, David Lee, James Harden, Ryan Hollins, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Derrick Williams and Marcus Morris. That’s an army right there … But how bad did Iverson’s tenure in Philly mess with former Sixers president Pat Croce? The overly excitable man is now out pirate hunting, saying “Here I am, a homeboy from Philadelphia in the Caribbean and we score! It’s pretty wild.” Croce calls himself a pirate aficionado as if that’s the same thing as being into cars or movies. The man was always a little off … The NBA World Tour is finally set to go. Yesterday, we posted the 18 players who were confirmed to be involved, but there was still no word on whether everything could be set in time for Saturday’s scheduled tilt in Puerto Rico, the first stop on the tour. But last night, Yahoo! Sports reported an agreement has been reached and it’s on now, starting Sunday instead of Saturday. Will this be the craziest NBA tour ever? Or are we just looking at a few more glorified pickup games? … Is Rodney Stuckey the next big NBA name to move on to China? It’s a strong possibility. The Guangdong Southern Tigers are going after him, but at this point they still have to face the biggest wall of all with these moves: can they convince Stuckey to come even though he won’t have an opt-out? Plus, with the way players like Deron Williams and Ty Lawson have been reacting to trips overseas, Stuckey has to be second-guessing himself right now. A young guy like that – especially someone who isn’t really a full-time point guard – he could use the game experience… or he could use the drill work of home as well. You know who might like to see him go? The other Detroit guards. Not saying that in a bad way, but that team is a mess, probably the most talented terrible team we’ve ever seen. It’s like they have too many guys in the backcourt who should be getting minutes that they all end up canceling each other out. This could mean more minutes for guys like Ben Gordon, Will Bynum and Richard Hamilton. Talent-wise, it might be a step down. But everything just doesn’t fit right now … Duke is known for coming up each season with random cheesy videos to continuously shove their team down our throats. Remember all that big head stuff the NBA did last year? Duke is jumping on the bandwagon late, putting out their own big-head video. We actually love this one though; It makes us want to punch them all right in the face … Hopefully some of y’all caught the documentary on HBO last night – Prayer For A Perfect Season – following St. Patrick’s High School in their quest for an elusive national championship. It mixed a ton of basketball highlights with some amazing storylines, like star guard Derrick Gordon earning a scholarship to Western Kentucky while his twin brother is serving a five-year sentence for a shooting incident. Unbelievable. The climax was the epic national championship game between St. Pat’s and St. Anthony’s. Overall, it felt like a mini Hoop Dreams, minus that one drug dealing father … And things are changing quickly with the NCAA. Even with the college governing body meeting to make some changes to how they do things this week, a petition signed by more than 300 athletes in just 10 days is calling for them to divide up the $775 million from TV revenues to help scholarship athletes pay for what a full education costs and also keep certain athletes from losing their scholarships. It’s a big step, and something people have been discussing for a long time. Are scholarship athletes compensated the way they should be? … We’re out like pirate aficionados.
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