NBA Roundtable

Grizzlies Sign Iverson

In Free Agency on September 10, 2009 at 2:08 pm

RealGM has the press release

The Memphis Grizzlies today released the following statement from General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace.“The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed in principle to enter into an agreement with free agent guard Allen Iverson. We anticipate signing him to a contract very soon.”

And — link

The Memphis Grizzlies signed guard Allen Iverson, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced on Thursday. “We are excited to announce the signing of Allen Iverson,” Wallace said. “He is one of the all-time great guards in the history of the NBA. This is a great day for the Grizzlies organization, our loyal fans and the city of Memphis.”

Earlier in the day, RealGM reported some of Iverson’s comments on his twitter page

Allen Iverson says he’s now a member of the Grizzlies.Iverson made comments on his Twitter page Wednesday morning hinting that a deal is done.

“God Chose Memphis as the place that I will continue my career. I met with Mr. Heinsley, Chris Wallace and my next head coach Lionel Hollins,” Iverson tweeted.

A few moments later, he wrote: “I feel that they are committed to developing a winner and I know that I can help them to accomplish that. I feel that I can trust them.”

Shortly after Iverson’s tweets, a league source confirmed to Yahoo! Sports that he has agreed to a one-year deal with Memphis.

Scattered Thoughts

This is a bad signing.

The Grizzlies are a club in the middle of a long drawn out rebuilding process and their impatience + boredom with the process has made them make two stupid decisions in acquiring Zach Randolph and Allen Iverson.

Allen Iverson’s bad traits — the over dribbling, the lack of passing, ostracizing his teammates, killing the rhythm of his offense — are problems with two of the Grizzlies young players, Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo, each to a lesser degree than Iverson. These players need a proper mentor, someone who’ll help show them the right way to play and how to effect the game in ways outside of scoring. Iverson’s big name and big brother-like appeal will have a huge effect on each player … Iverson will continue to lead them astray, hurting their development and the franchise’s future in the progress.

Also, remember when Denver’s offense got really ugly at times? With Melo and AI taking turns destroying offensive possessions and limiting their teammates? That’s nothing compared to what we’re going to see in Memphis next season with Iverson, Zach Randolph, Gay and OJ Mayo.

My heart goes out to Mike Conley. This is a nightmare scenario for a pass first point guard like him. It’s going to be incredibly difficult for him to consistently ensure any type of rhythm + team play to the game for the Grizzlies.

Update: Marc Stein reports that the deal is worth $3.1 million. I presume that’s all the space Memphis had to offer beneath the salary cap.

Link: Pretty good article on the move with some quotes from those involved.

  1. Interesting quote from Grizzlies’ GM Chris Wallace on how Iverson’s mentality could help improve the Grizzlies:

    Iverson’s presence, he said, is intended to add fire to an organization that seemed content to lose as long as it competed into the fourth quarter. Iverson may want to start, and may want the ball 40 times per game, but he will play hard.

    “The passion in which he plays the game every night, the intensity, the desire to win, the frustration when he loses, those qualities will be noticed by his teammates and will help us immensely,’’ Wallace said, “because even during the controversial days of his career, I never once read an article that said Allen doesn’t care, Allen is a good loser, or Allen doesn’t play hard.

    “He wears his emotion on his jersey, but that’s very positive. It’s very easy to get numbed by losing in the NBA when you are a team trying to build.’’

  2. “Stupid descions” and “The lack of passing” two qoutes that can agruably the two most Stupidest quotes in reference to the Grizzlies tis summer. First of all future point guard Mike Connely is a decent point but int he class of Chris Duhon. Even if Allen Iverson wasn’t there this season, He wouldn’t average more assists than Iverson. Also MC is not a play maker and can’t get his team mates high percentage shots by penatrating to the D, HE also can’t get to the free throw line which can help his team mates like OJ Mayo who shoots at a high % from there. Connely is the Answer to the future of the Grizzlies?

    Rudy Gay, “Potential”…”Sleeper”…”Break out season”. This guy is still sleeping and hasn’t broke out…I guess. Remember when AI played with an ultra athletic wing(Andre Igoudola). Iggy had a career high in FG% that year thanks to…Samuel Dalembert had a career high in scoring thanks to…Also Kyle Korver had a career high in scoring and FG% thanks to… Allen Iverson and Rudy Gay can co-exist on the same court in an uptempo offense. Gay, Mayo, and AI can score and run which leads to higher FG% and points. Gay should work on being the teams Defensive Ace. He has the size and athletiscim to become a great defensive player and a Ron Artest scoring average(17 ppg).

    As for Zach Randolph, to me is more of the question mark than Allen Iverson. How can you deny a player that can get you 20-10. The Grizzlies cant rely on Mayo and Gay shooting contested jumpers all game long. Zach and Thabeet will be a good one 4-5 comboesp. out west. Zach makes up for Thabeet’s lack of offense and Thabeet makes up for Zach’s lack of size and Defense. So they compliment each other well. And when you play a team like the Spurs out West you need someone you can dump the ball into and attack Tim Duncan. Prior to aquiring Zach and Thabeet, Duncan would easily eat up the Grizzlies front line. Guarding players like Marc Gasol and Hakim Warrick, didn’t give Duncan a defensive challenge and make him use some gas guarding them.

    The Grizzlies are going to be the surprise team out West. And if they don’t make the playoffs this season…they will be disrupting the seedings out west.

    Allen Iverson comeback player of the year. Connely will have a hard time averaging AI’s career low in assists.

  3. Lance,

    Appreciate your posts as always … good to see your interest in Allen Iverson is still alive and strong.

    I think assists per game is a decent measure of passing ability but not a perfect one. When a guard has the ball in his hands as much as Iverson does, he should at the very least match Iverson’s assists numbers.

    The reason why I think Iverson is a bad passer is because he over-dribbles the ball + turns down several passes which hurts ball movement + player movement which creates a stagnant offense. The majority of his passes are only made when he has an opportunity to get an assist, which again hurts the team’s overall offense.

    Iverson doesn’t care about offensive rhythm or the team’s overall cohesiveness … and as a result it’s difficult for talented offensive players to play alongside him … the main reason is because he doesn’t share the ball well, which is down to his passing ability.

  4. I really hope Rudy Gay works on his game this off season and awaken from his “sleeping slumber”. The “P” word is always going to be associated with him. There are glimpses of “Potential Star” in his game. But would you label him better than Josh Smith or even JR. Smith?
    The news this season and at the end of the season will be focused on Allen Iverson and Rudy Gay. If Gay’s numbers stay the same or decrease, the blame will be on Allen Iverson. Even though he averaged the same stats when he wasn’t there. Iverson would get the blame for Gay not averaging 20-20+ points this season. There is way too much hype and pressure put on this player(Gay). I think he falls under the same umbrella as JR. Smith and Josh Smith…You know they have the talent, size, and skills, but can they harness it to become one of the elite players in the league. I think OJ Mayo’s rookie season out played Gay’s third year as a pro and Mayo is only going to get better.

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