The marriage between Allen Iverson and the Detroit Pistons has turned out to be a pretty happy one, hasn't it? AI struggled with his shot after coming to Motown from Denver in an early-season trade and then hurt his back and missed 16 straight games. Upon his return, he complained about coming off the bench and then got shut down for the rest of the season and the playoffs because of his back.
All that adds up to a given that Iverson, a pending free agent, will be playing elsewhere next season. Which is just as well, since the Detroit News reports that he's no longer welcome at the city's casinos.
Iverson, though, has been banned mostly for his boorish behavior. He is a bad loser, and he loses a lot, often throwing his chips or cards at the dealer. He has been warned about improper behavior at the tables repeatedly. He is often loud and disruptive, according to witnesses, rude to dealers, other players and the wait staff.
He must be a really bad loser, because the paper also reports that he was losing tons of money at the tables. As you've probably heard, Detroit's economy isn't exactly booming right now and, generally speaking, casinos outside of Monte Carlo aren't really places where you find the most well-behaved clientele. The mind races in consideration of what Iverson pulled to get blackballed; was excrement involved?
With Iverson's stops in Denver and Detroit ending in disappointment, his next team will go a good way toward creating the final storyline in his career. His Philly run started with astounding efforts that surpassed his size, culminating in a trip to the finals, but his last few seasons have found him increasingly disparaged as a me-first player who doesn't help his teams win and whose lifestyle overshadows his play. One last stop focused on playing winning basketball would do a lot to restore Iverson's image as he shuffles off the stage.
Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.