Blog Entry

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

Posted on: September 9, 2009 2:59 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2009 7:33 pm

It seems poetic that Allen Iverson announced his signing with the Memphis Grizzlies on Twitter. Think I'm too old? I'll break news on a medium that most 34-year-olds don't understand.

That's my A.I. Always tweaking (tweeting?) the doubters, never shy with the rhetoric.

Iverson in Memphis, a city that can barely support its NBA team with a league-worst average paid attendance of 7,570 last season -- is a sad bookend to an otherwise remarkable career. The problem with Iverson, though, is that the end will be much like the beginning and the middle. Too much sizzle and not enough substance.

Selfishly, I wanted something better for Iverson. So did he, presumably. I wanted him to swallow his pride and accept a reserve role for a contender. He didn't accept such a role in Detroit last season, then boldly proclaimed that he'd retire before coming off the bench ever again. He almost had to make good on those words, which came back to haunt him. No contenders came calling. Only teams desperate to squeeze the last few drops out of Iverson's uncanny ability to sell tickets.

One of the fascinating aspects of Iverson's Hall of Fame career has been his ability to connect with fans -- especially kids. No one who has watched Iverson for any substantial length of time can say that they haven't been struck by how hard he plays -- every night, every play. No one who has watched him can deny the ooh-and-aah factor. It's still there.

But if Iverson couldn't win with Toni Kukoc or Chris Webber, how is he going to coexist on the same floor with Zach Randolph? It promises to be one of the boldest and spectacularly doomed experiments of modern times. I suggest the following promotion to the Grizzlies' marketing department. It'll be a smash hit. Sign up a watch company -- Bulova, Movado, get your bids ready -- and see how many a lucky fan can smash with a sledgehammer during a timeout. No. 1, it's got to be better than the T-shirt toss, and No. 2, the Grizzlies now have the two biggest clock killers in the NBA.

Iverson gets a one-year deal from the Grizzlies, and at 34, it's sure to be his last. That's too bad. There was still a place for Iverson, who by his own doing has never gotten enough credit for his basketball IQ. His ability to score ... and score, and score ... combined with his knack for steals would've been valuable off the bench for a team that is close to championship contention. There could've been no better stamp on Iverson's career, no better way for him to quiet his critics, than coming off the bench with equal doses of scoring punch and humility to win his first NBA title in his last season. Obviously, that isn't going to happen in Memphis. What's worse, his presence is going to be beneficial only in the attendance column -- not the win column. The minutes and touches Iverson will demand undoubtedly will slow the growth of the Grizzlies' younger guards, who need the experience and the burn.

Will Iverson pass to Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo, Mike Conley, or Darrell Arthur? Sure, because he knows they'll give it back. If I were Randolph, I wouldn't expect Iverson to be looking for me too often. Once the ball goes into the post for Z-Bo, it rarely finds its way out.

What do I hope? I hope Iverson can play the role of veteran mentor for a team that, despite its unfortunate surroundings, has built a pretty solid nucleus of young, inexpensive players. But I also take note of all the winning teams that took a pass.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: September 10, 2009 2:55 pm

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

dont worry bout it, bebout--its just the anal eng prof coming out in me

Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: September 10, 2009 11:45 am

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

Hey guys I usually post on the Grizzlies message board where you can go back and correct mistakes if you make one.

Check it out if you like

I hope I spelled everything write this time...oops right this timeEmbarassed

Since: Apr 17, 2009
Posted on: September 10, 2009 11:03 am

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

iverson is a great player. im sure he learned a lesson this summer.
i remember being on campus at u of m when dajuan wagner was a freshman.
iverson blessed tiger basketball with iverson adidas gear and completely flipped the team's look.
basketball players are more confident when looking cool.

having a grizz jersey on next to one that says 'iverson' will make oj play better.
rudy was looking sad last year that kyle lowery jersey turned 'red' mid season.

this will boost the entire teams confidence.
watch oj have a breakout year and rudy/zbo will be better team players.

this team will surprise some of you who only watch nba playoffs, but act like analysts.

Since: Jun 14, 2009
Posted on: September 10, 2009 10:50 am

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

If Iverson rubs off of the younger guards, you are absolutely right. Memphis will be very tough to deal with. For the coaches. For team management. For the fans. For pretty much everyone but their nightly opponents.

Since: Jun 14, 2009
Posted on: September 10, 2009 10:47 am

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

"Iverson" and "just what a team needs" don't belong in the same sentence.

Since: Jun 14, 2009
Posted on: September 10, 2009 10:42 am

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

You are so write about that! (pun intended)

Since: Aug 20, 2009
Posted on: September 10, 2009 10:19 am

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

I see all the comments about, how Iverson to Memphis was a bad decision. You all say that, you wanted him to go to a team with the contention to win a championship, but some of you say that, he is a team killer, he's a ball hog, Memphis is the wrong place for him if he wants to get a ring. Why do you all care about Iverson or the Grizzlies decisions, as long he's not killing your teams or causing a distraction on your teams. So what if the Grizzlies are trying to boost their ticket sells, why not make a move to get Zach Randolph or Iverson, I mean, the Grizzlies wants to win a championship to. Maybe not with this team, but maybe this might be what the Grizzlies need to jumpstart something good in Memphis. Is it because, Memphis has been a bad team for so long, that they don't deserve to have good players(Randolph,Iverson) come to Memphis, that they don't deserve to make themselves better in order to develop into a championship team, or is it because it's just Memphis. The Grizzlies has a good nucleus of young players and adding Randolph and Iverson, might be just what they need.

Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: September 10, 2009 9:55 am

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

This is sad on so many levels. First off the problem with the Grizzlies is not that the city does not support the team it's that they have some sort of ticket fix going on. I have been living here in Memphis for a very long time and every time I try to purchase tickets for a good seat they are always sold out. I check ticketmaster, stubhub and you name it. Most of the time all there is are nose bleed seats available. Then when I see highlights of the game on the local news you see seats galore empty. Go Figure!!!!!!! Second management is horrible. How do you give up Pau Gasol and some other good young talent gift wrapped to other teams. Third the coaching staff changes over quicker than you can flip a pancake. But the A.I. thing just puts the icing on the cake. This is sad because it's only to put butts in seats. I admire A.I. and all he has done for the league but he deserves to end his career in a better situation. A.I. does share the blame for this because he should have been the bigger guy and sacrificed his hunger for the ball in Detroit and became more of a team player. But one thing is for sure you can't ever say that A.I. didn't give his all and leave everything on the court. Good Luck A.I. and hey Memphis Grizzlies let go of some of these tickets that you are holding for these corporate executives that never show up for the games.

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: September 10, 2009 2:12 am

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

Why in the hell would Iverson coach?  Who would actually hire him to coach?  What good is a player who has relied on nothing but talent for his entire career?  How would he inspire other players to show greater work ethic?  Don't tell me he'd be a great offensive coach.  What could he possibly contribute on a bench for anything more than a high school team?  I mean, seriously, don't confuse your respect for his abilities as a player with him actually being humble enough to coach a player with his same problems into a winner.  If worded properly, this could be a great joke, but I'm actually humiliated for you that you think he could possibly pull that off.  Nobody likes a hypocrite, and that's what Iverson would be whenever he said things like ball movement, pass, practice, shot selection, just say no, stay out of trouble, play your role and anything else other than look for your shot at all costs.

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: September 10, 2009 12:32 am

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

Berger, if you knew anything about basketball or wanted what's best for iverson, you would see this as an opportunity for iverson to show that he is still good enough to help a pretty talented team make it to the playoff and not ride on the shirt tails of a team that is already established with all the right pieces.there is nothing sad about him going to memphis.

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