Wednesday, November 18, 2009

That was Quick

A.I.'s time in Memphis lasted a whole 3 games and came to an abrupt, but not surprising end on Monday when the Grizzlies announced that they were parting ways with Iverson in a "mutual agreement". 

This is likely to be another footnote in the missunderstood, sometimes strange, and always entertaining career of one of the leagues greatest and most unique players.

On the surface, the situation might seem like another greedy NBA star who isn't happy with his playing time and screwed his team over.  In reality, you can't pin this all on Iverson.  The decision by Memphis to sign AI in the first place made less sense than Matrix 3: Neo's Revenge. 
The Grizzlies already had backcourt scoring in OJ Mayo and Mike Conley, in addition to Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph.  Memphis is in its continual rebuilding phase and wasn't looking to go anywhere (anytime you trade for Zach Randolph you're not planning on doing much winning).  There is no where near enough shots (or weed, for that matter) to go around and AI is not the kind of player (great) who is willing to come off the bench for a bad rebuilding team.  The relationship was doomed from the beginning. 

The only realistic reason that Memphis signed the Answer was to genterate some buzz in their horrible fanbase and sell some tickets and merch.  A Memphis Iverson jersey is now a hillariously poor decision item - up there with a Cavs Kemp jersey, a Penny Hardaway Suns jersey, any Stephon Marbury jersey, any 2004 USA Olympic basketball jersey (unless your name is Carlos Arroyo), and anything with the word "Gasol" on it.

Anytime you sign a player for profit reasons not related to helping your team get better, I promise you, it will not end well (see Dallas - TO).
Give Iverson some credit, the usual NBA decision in these cases is to mope around all year until your team gets so sick of you that they terminate your contract and pay you to leave (see Steve Francis, Starbury, Jamaal Tinsley).  Iverson took a small percentage of his contract and allowed Memphis to continue on unscathed.

AI could still help plenty of decent teams, most teams have that quick scorer off the bench.  He would help the Celtics (he is better than Eddie House), Bulls (better than Pargo), Cavs (we may never see Delonte West again), just to name a few.  The team rumored to be interested is the Knicks.  That doesn't really seem like the answer for AI or the Knicks, so hopefully another team will come along.


  1. "Anytime you trade for Zach Randolph you're not planning on doing much winning."

    Now you're just trying to start something.

  2. Zach's head weighs 40 pounds and he shoots way too many 3's. He is indefensibly bad.

  3. Hey, if Zach ever checks out Free Keon and sees this post, you'll be sorry. That's all I gotta say.

  4. Nice work Nate, I really do think if AI ended up in Boston, Chicago or Cleveland those teams would all get better. Why does everybody knock the Grizzzzzzzz, I swear they've got enough young talent to be good in a few years.


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