Sunday , Sep , 06 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Why Allen Iverson might not be The Answer for Memphis Grizzlies

Iverson, an unrestricted free agent, is out of options. Contenders have no interest in adding a shot-first combo guard. Middle-of-the-row clubs have concerns about his baggage, while most rebuilding sides want to develop their young pieces. Memphis is in a precarious situation. Sure, they have Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo, but these blue-chippers have failed to win games, sell out Fedex Forum, and erase the culture of losing that began in Vancouver …


Why Allen Iverson might not be The Answer for Memphis GrizzliesAfter months of speculation, delay, and gossip, it appears Allen Iverson will sign a one-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies.    

Yes, ‘The Answer’ is on the verge of calling ‘The River City’ home. Only one hurdle remains: Iverson and Grizzly owner Michael Heisley have scheduled a little get-to-know -‘ya’ meeting.

Their sit-down should be interesting. After all, both parties need each other.

Iverson, an unrestricted free agent, is out of options. Contenders have no interest in adding a shot-first combo guard. Middle-of-the-row clubs have concerns about his baggage, while most rebuilding sides want to develop their young pieces.

Memphis is in a precarious situation. Sure, they have Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo, but these blue-chippers have failed to win games, sell out Fedex Forum, and erase the culture of losing that began in Vancouver.  

This move is a lifeline for all involved: Iverson gets to redeem himself after the fiasco in Detroit and the Grizzlies get a player with a global following. Even so, it’s still an awkward pairing. 

There are too many shot-first players on the roster. Consider that Gay, Iverson, and Mayo, three players who dominate the ball, will have to share touches on the perimeter, while the newly-acquired Zach Randolph will also want ‘his’ on the block.

Coach Lionel Hollins lacks the resume to mediate issues between players. To be fair, Hollins, a long-time assistant, took steps towards ending the country club atmosphere in the locker room. There is, however, a difference between firing the team chef and squaring off with Iverson and/or Randolph.

Finally, what happens if the Grizzlies fall out of the Western Conference playoff race by January and Hollins gives minutes and shots to kids like Gay, Mayo and Mike Conley? Iverson, who is playing for his next contract, would find such a scenario difficult. And the fall-out would be another black-eye for Memphis.

Iverson joining the Grizzlies is a risky proposition. Unfortunately, for both sides, this is the best available option.

Will Iverson work in Memphis? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below and follow Oly’s work on Twitter and HoopsVibe. Image courtesy of Exothermic.