- The Washington Times - Monday, July 15, 2002

Allen Iverson remains a parody of the street tough, mimicking the badactors of a cartoon subculture that strains to be real.
The amusement is all ours.
Iverson functions in the spirit of the once Iron Mike, as a mini-Mike, only he wears a rag on his head and the baggy pants of a plumber and does not bite.
He is not a bad guy, just a misunderstood guy, the obligatory response of those at a safe distance from the misunderstanding.
A domestic dispute is usually routine stuff, practiced by many Americans in the interest of self-expression to stem the boredom of the day-to-day tedium.
You did what?
That is sometimes the first question in the communication process at home.
An expletive soon follows, and the rest is marital bliss.
Iverson undoubtedly argues with a lot of emotion, the juice he employs to play basketball at 110 percent, the beat-up cliche that often passes as his absolution.
Why practice? Why follow the rules? Why agree to disagree with the woman of his dreams?
Iverson is said to have thrown his wife, naked, out of their gated premises before conducting an intense search of her whereabouts with an unlicensed handgun sticking from his waistband.
A naked woman is certain to resonate as a detail, which is the naked truth of nakedness.
A handgun is helpful as well, the corollary to a naked woman, as persuasive as a box of chocolates and bouquet of flowers.
A handgun winds up being the answer to the question, which is: Have you seen a naked woman?
They don't call Iverson the Answer for nothing.
A bunch of charges, including four felony counts, are pending against Iverson, as if the legal issue matters.
Iverson is guilty of nothing, perhaps not even poor judgment, at least in the context of who he is and what his money can buy.
Iverson might receive a judicial order to show up to an elementary school and recite whatever inanities are deemed necessary to make everyone feel better. This is the wink-wink that goes with the tsk-tsk. He is bound to be sentenced to another season in the NBA.
Iverson is expected to surrender to authorities tomorrow, assuming he can fit it into his busy schedule and has recovered from his all-night party over the weekend.
The patience of the authorities is remarkable. A nobody could not expect the same.
The timeout was granted to Iverson because of Richard Sprague, Iverson's attorney who was in Europe on vacation. Sprague apparently was so unmoved by the circumstances that he did not feel obligated to catch the first flight back to Philadelphia.
Maybe the sense of urgency was eliminated after Iverson's wife rustled up some clothes to pose with her husband for a family portrait that appeared in newspapers last week. The two were caught smiling, and better yet, Iverson appeared to be unarmed, except for a cup in his left hand.
Larry Brown, the coach of the 76ers, is employing the customary script favored by most team officials during an oh-so difficult time. Brown is ever supportive of his player and hopeful the matter can be resolved, which is easy for him to say. He is neither naked nor hiding out in a hotel.
"He's part of our family and will always be a part of our family," Brown said, being fashionably trite.
The comment might as well have come with a laugh track.
Brown also revealed that Iverson is "hurting," possibly from the search or the all-night party.
On his best days, Iverson is a gift to the chattering class, whether he is squabbling with his coach, the fans, the media or his wife. He gives good gossip and poses with the best. The pose works to his financial benefit with Reebok, the shoe company that embraces his so-called edginess.
The artifice is hardly unique, considering the culture is awash in edgy souls who aim to entertain.
Their kill-kill-kill lyrics jar the first time. Now more and more listeners hum along to kill, kill, kill.
Iverson can relate to the street anthems from his mansion, and there's nothing wrong with that.
We get to watch the court jester.
There is a naked woman, a handgun and a rush to judge the beaming sweethearts.
All too many American couples have been there with the Iversons, except for the nakedness, the unlicensed handgun and the terroristic threats.

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