At the beginning of the NBA season, Allen Iverson and Stephen Jackson were disgruntled, cancerous ballplayers on their respective squads, the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors.
Fast forward two months, both players have righted things for the sake of their seasons and are instrumental pieces in the recent success of their new individual squads, the Philadelphia 76ers and Charlotte Bobcats.
The Sixers (13-28) are still struggling for wins but have played much better ball since acquiring Iverson on Dec. 2. Since the start of the New Year, the team's 4-4 with two tough losses to the Toronto Raptors (108-106) and New York Knicks (93-92). The four-time NBA scoring champ's averaging an efficient 15 points and 5 assists per game. However, his best statistic is the 11 shots a night.
Earlier this month after the Sixers guaranteed his contract the rest of the year, Iverson announced: "I'm back to feeling good about basketball and coming to work, and feeling good about the people around me, and my situation."
In Charlotte, Jackson scored a career-high 43 points last week in a Bobcats' comeback victory over the Houston Rockets. Currently the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference, the Bobcats are 20-19 and have won five straight games. Since being traded on Nov. 17, Jackson's averaging 18.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, but more importantly the vet's providing leadership to the young Bobcats.
"I'm just excited about being on a team that wants to win and has a chance to go back to the playoffs," Jackson said after the Bobcats routed the Phoenix Suns 125-99 on Saturday night.
Hopefully for the Charlotte Bobcats fans that excitement can endure the remainder of the NBA season.
Dwayne C. Nelson is also on Twitter. You can follow him at: http://twitter.com/dcn2010.