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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.



  

Comments

Since: Oct 13, 2008
Posted on: September 9, 2009 7:39 pm
 

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

I love how all the sports writers show they have no Balls and follow like little sheep and write the same negative article because they are playing it safe.
BORING!
here is an idea write an article about what if this turns out good for the Grizz and AI.
Berger, to late for you, you'll just end up being a hypocrite. Good try though
Next!



Since: Nov 23, 2007
Posted on: September 9, 2009 6:14 pm
 

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

Berger the hater.  Always hating...   Where else could Allen Iverson have gone?  Back to Philly?  L.A.?  S.A.?  Boston?  Even the Thunder would'nt sign A.I.  Most teams have their minds made up with the players they have, and that's the only reason A.I. isn't somewhere else.  I don't think Memphis is THAT bad of a place for A.I.



Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: September 9, 2009 5:16 pm
 

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

Iverson as a coach?  I can't see it.



Since: Jul 11, 2009
Posted on: September 9, 2009 5:12 pm
 

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

Haha, safe to say that's probably the last Grizzlies report for the season unless Iverson or Randolph do something incredibly stupid.  Otherwise, here's to money stupidly spent on two selfish veterans when there were attractive young players out there.  Here's also to your young players getting out as soon as possible because they want nothing to do with this sinking ship.



Since: Aug 18, 2009
Posted on: September 9, 2009 5:09 pm
 

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

So it looks like it's about  (Father) time for A.I. to pack it in! Darn it ! Nobody played harder than Iverson! Out of all the Georgetown players he was my favorite! Hope when he goes into coaching ( and he will ) he remembers the grueling practices ( LOL ) that Larry brought him ! I have 1 old ( Sir Charles ) jersey I think it's time to get another one.  This 1 will say Iverson!



Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: September 9, 2009 5:02 pm
 

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

Whats sad is that CBS couldn't find someone else to right a better story on Iverson.

Not that he has created a buzz in Memphis as strong as it has been since the team moved here from Vancouver

Or that he maybe the greatest player ever to wear a Grizzlies jersey

Or how he commented on how he would enjoy the city of Memphis and mentoring the young stars the Grizzlies have.

NO you had to right another negative cliche'  article on the Memphis Grizzlies.

Please do us all a favor and not report on the Grizzlies again




Since: Dec 11, 2007
Posted on: September 9, 2009 4:23 pm
 

Iverson to Memphis: Sad

I would have killed for A.I. to replace Ben Gordon. Nobody plays harded than A.I., he leaves it all on the floor.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com