September 09, 2009
Veteran point guard Allen Iverson(notes) confirmed Wednesday in a message on Twitter that he has joined the Grizzlies. Why? Because God loves a good BBQ. Here's what they're saying out in the ether about the news ...
Jon Hecht, SLAM: "It is highly unlikely that one of the NBA's greatest, who still made $21 million last season, will actually want to continue serving as a bench player in Memphis for what could be his final season. He might bring a few thousand more Grizzlies or old Sixers fans to the FedEx Forum, but rest assured they would be the only ones to see him in action. Simply put, the Griz do not garner national attention or TV ratings, with or without him. Iverson would also be competing for playing time with young guards O.J. Mayo(notes), Mike Conley(notes) and Marcus Williams, as well as veteran Marco Jaric. Surrounded by such a cast, A.I. may only play 20-25 minutes per game in that system. Finally, Mayo, along with Rudy Gay(notes) and Zach Randolph(notes), demand the ball throughout the game. We all know Iverson is not the kind of player who likes (or needs) to share."
Chip Crain, 3 Shades Of Blue: "Iverson is the most storied player ever to grace a Grizzlies uniform. He may no longer be the player that averaged 27 ppg and 6.2 apg over his career. He's definitely not the player who averaged over 30 pts and 7 assists a game for Philadelphia from the 2004-05 to the 2006-07 season. At 34, and with a lot of miles, it is unlikely that he will ever play to that level again, but he is capable of helping the Memphis Grizzlies win games. What Iverson will be able to do is come off the bench and shoot. I pity the backups and rookie guards trying to stop him. Iverson can get his shot off against the best players in the league. Not always the best shots for the team, but he can get his shot off just the same. Now he gets to educate the scrubs to his particular brand of basketball. These guys won't likely be able to keep Iverson from getting good looks at the basket like the starters could."
Brian Spencer, Empty The Bench: "I don't think I'll be catching many Grizzlie games this season (not that I or the vast majority of the global population would anyway). Watching Iverson stride onto the court in drab Grizzlie grey and blue for the first time is not something I consider entertaining — it'll be depressing and deflating, especially if/when he starts stealing valuable minutes from promising youngsters still very much in development like Mike Conley Jr. and O.J. Mayo. Along with good-intentioned high-flyer Rudy Gay (and, I guess, second-overall pick Hasheem Thabeet(notes)), these players have to be considered the cornerstones, or at least building blocks, of this directionless franchise, and they deserve better than to be saddled with the overweight baggage of Iverson and recent acquisition Zach "Black Cancer" Randolph. The upcoming season should be about them, not Randolph and Iverson ..."
Zach Harper, Talk Hoops: "This move just doesn't make sense. Maybe five years ago this signing would have brought fans in droves to the Grizzlies games but now, Iverson is nothing more than a 20-point per game scorer on a bad team. He can't influence the game like he used to. If he's scoring 20 points per game but giving up 20 and his team is still below 35 wins this year, what has he done? It's not like the Grizzlies will be playing in front of packed houses in January. They'll still be in the bottom ten and probably the bottom five of attendance this season because most people can look through this transaction as a farce. All he will have ended up doing is stunting the growth of two guards who are supposed to be the future of this organization."
Dennis Velasco, Barkley's Mouth: "... Iverson is going to come off the bench? HAHAHAHAHAHA [etc.] Sorry, I thought a paragraph of laughter was warranted. I don't see how Iverson will be content being a bench player, a stipulation of his signing a reported $3.5 million one-year contract. I believe Iverson still has the ability to be a starter, which is why Michael Heisley (owner that needs to sell tickets), Chris Wallace (how is he still a GM), and Lionel Hollins (soon to be fired head coach) have to be kidding themselves in thinking that Iverson will be happy coming off the pine. It won't be long before Conley sees his time start to diminish at the lead guard position."
Henry Abbott, TrueHoop: "In signing Iverson and Randolph, the Grizzlies have gambled. They have gambled that these kinds of veterans, even with mediocre-to-horrid rankings from stat geeks, will help them win more games, draw more fans and matter more in the world of basketball. And in one sense, the analysis is hard to argue. The team hasn't even managed 25 wins in any of the last three seasons. The two players they added (neither with long salary commitments) are, today, arguably their two best players. This team had no right to expect much, so there is not much risk in messing it up. On the other hand, look at how hard it was for Memphis to get good, young, affordable players like Conley, Gay, Gasol and Mayo. It might not be an All-Star team, but it is something to build around, which was very hard to come by. Assembling that crowd took giving up two of the NBA's more productive big men: Kevin Love(notes) and Pau Gasol(notes). It took years of waiting and draft picks. And the payoff will take many more years of nurturing, and plenty of good luck."
Bobcats Baseline: "The Charlotte Bobcats lost to the Memphis Grizzlies today in battle to acquire Allen Iverson. [...] Which means our organization is obviously NOT committed to developing a winner. We can only hope there is something else in the works for the Bobcats; otherwise, with the current roster and management team, we have another losing season ahead of us."