Archive for July, 2009
The Lakers and Lamar Odom reached terms on a deal yesterday that should become official sometime today. The big hold up was indeed the fourth year as we’ve been discussing in this space for the better part of 10 days.
Allen Iverson has also had talks with Miami, and is said to be strongly considering the HEAT, but they will not go into their median exception for Iverson, even on a one-year deal. That stance may change now that Odom is off the board. Iverson is said to have talked with the Knicks this last week and league sources close to the situation characterize Iverson as having several teams to choose from most offering $5 million or more for next season. Iverson is said to be looking for the right situation to re-start his career after a dreadful showing in Detroit and is far more concerned about roster composition and fit than anything else.
According to the NY Daily News, either Ramon Sessions or Allen Iverson could land a role on the New York Knicks. Ramon Sessions could receive a contract offer from the Knicks as early as Friday, assuming they don’t have a change of heart and shift their point-guard focus to Allen Iverson.
Mike D’Antoni is said to favor Sessions, a restricted free agent who enjoyed a breakout season for Milwaukee last year. However, Iverson could be a cheaper alternative because the perennial All-Star is willing to accept a one-year contract that would cost the Knicks their $5.85 million mid-level exception. Sessions, 23, is hoping to receive a multi-year contract starting with the mid-level exception. The Bucks would have seven days to match the offer.
According to a team source, Knicks president Donnie Walsh and Iverson’s agent, Leon Rose, met two weeks ago to discuss the possibility of Iverson joining the Knicks.
The Knicks would sign Iverson only if D’Antoni endorsed the move. Iverson, 34, has a history of clashing with head coaches, which would obviously concern D’Antoni. However, there is also a feeling that Iverson will thrive in D’Antoni’s free-flowing offense.
Plus, signing Iverson would generate buzz for the Knicks, who have thus far been shut out in the free agent market. They failed to land Jason Kidd, Grant Hill and Andre Miller. In fact, the Knicks have yet to sign a player in what is historically the busiest month for transactions.
What do you think? Would Allen Iverson fit with the New York Knicks? Poll has been updated with Knicks option.
Here’s a great column by ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons‘ on Iverson’s current situation. It may be a bit rant-like but it speaks volumes:
“The general consensus,” Simmons wrote of Iverson, is that “his career as an effective player is over. How did we reach that conclusion? I have no idea. He averaged nearly 27 a game two seasons ago in Denver. Denver traded him to a declining Detroit team soon after opening night, where he was forced to play in a new system for a bad coach, and GM Joe Dumars soon made it clear Detroit traded for Iverson’s expiring contract (and not Iverson himself).
“When the situation inevitably self-combusted and they asked Iverson to come off the bench, he ‘coincidentally’ came down with a back injury and that was that. Meanwhile, Billups turned Denver around, enabling people to stupidly make the connection that Billups was wonderful and Iverson was the anti-Christ. Now everyone is afraid to sign him.
“My first question: If we’re writing off Iverson for the previous paragraph, why aren’t we writing off Rasheed (Wallace) — just as enigmatic, just as much of a volcano, just as much of a coach killer over the years — when Sheed played worse than Iverson did last season?
“My second question: Since when was it a good idea to bet against Iverson? Name another NBA player who overcame more obstacles over the years. For ESPN’s “30 For 30″ documentary series that premieres this fall, one of the first films is called ‘The Trial of Allen Iverson’ (directed by Steve James of “Hoop Dreams” fame). I have only seen a rough cut. It has a chance to become one of the most important sports documentaries ever.
“Why? Because you will never think of Iverson the same way again. You will like him. You will feel bad for him. You will connect with him. You will admire him in a way that you never imagined. After witnessing what he endured legally and racially — how unfair it was, how un-American it was — and marveling at the dignity he showed as he put his life back together afterward, I promise, you will never bet against this guy.”
I can’t wait to see this documentary! I will make sure I post the details on when this documentary gets aired. Simmons goes on to call this Daily Press video as “one of the best three minutes of the sports year.”
“You probably didn’t hear about it,” Simmons said of Iverson’s remarks at a Hampton news conference to promote his charity events, “because the sports media and the blogosphere is more interested in talking about Brett Favre, Michael Vick, civil suits, how ESPN is the devil and everything else.
“Occasionally, some relevant stuff slips through the cracks. Like this clip, for instance. Please watch it, then tell me why everyone is so willing to count out one of the best 30 basketball players of all time, as well as one of the greatest pure athletes in the history of sports, at the tender age of 34 when he has something to prove. We have not heard the last from him. Just wait.”
Good stuff. I think all of us AI fans agree.
Detroit Free Press: Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley was emphatic over the weekend that a roster move was not made to create more salary-cap space for former Piston Allen Iverson(notes).
‘Iverson wasn’t even part of the conversation,’ Heisley told the Memphis Commercial Appeal after renouncing the rights to power forward Hakim Warrick(notes) ($3 million in savings) late last week. It set off immediate speculation that the Grizzlies were going to renew contact talks with Iverson, whom the Grizzlies flirted with shortly after the free-agency period began July 1. But Heisley quelled that talk.
‘I think we decided we wanted some flexibility,’ Heisley said. ‘But the idea that there is a target is completely false. As for Iverson, I think he’s trying to get with a team like L.A. (Clippers) or Miami or someone like that. Frankly, I’ve tried to tell everybody that I don’t think we’re at the top of Iverson’s list, but no one wants to listen. All it is, we’re basically opening up cap room for us.’”
This is all the better for Allen Iverson – Grizzlies are definitely not a fit for him as the owner is notoriously bad and purely wanted Iverson’s name to sell tickets. Miami and LA Clippers still seem to be the potential teams. However, Miami seem to be focused at signing Odom at the moment which may have deferred away from any Iverson-related deal.
Although Yahoo! Sports reported earlier this week that talks between SG Allen Iverson and the Grizzlies were dead, that didn’t stop at least one Grizzlies player from speculating that the new cap space could be used on Iverson.
“If it’s to make room for Allen Iverson, I definitely think we’re making a step forward,” G O.J. Mayo told ESPN.com, “and as a young player in my second year in the league (it) definitely gets me excited that we’re going the right way and making some good choices for the organization.”
Sounds like the Grizzlies and their desperate owner may not have given up on Iverson. What do you think?
An Internet blog reported that Vick was seen at the strip club Atlantis on Monday night with Allen Iverson, hours after he completed his 23-month sentence for operating a dogfighting ring. Vick’s lawyer said Vick was not in Virginia Beach that night and has not been to any strip club.
Iverson was pulled into the picture in that it was mentioned that Vick appeared with Iverson and his wife. Leon Rose, Iverson’s agent, said the basketball star hasn’t seen Vick since the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback’s release from prison.
What do you think?
Here’s some highlights of Allen’s annual Hampton Celebrity Charity basketball game.
Also shows the clip of Allen getting emotional when talking about his scholarships.
Dr. J-Water over at The Hoop Doctors blog makes a good point about A.I.:
“I think a lot of people that look at Allen Iverson’s exterior and judge him like they would a book by its cover are missing out on what this man is all about. He’s a work horse, he’s tough as nails, and he puts his friends and family before all else.”
According to this Yahoo sports columnist, both the Grizzlies and Clippers are no longer pursuing AI.
Don’t expect Allen Iverson to wear a Memphis Grizzlies uniform next season. His chances of suiting up for the Los Angeles Clippers don’t look too good, either.
Two sources with knowledge of the Grizzlies’ plans said Thursday that any negotiations between the team and Iverson were “dead.” Memphis offered Iverson a one-year, $5 million contract with the stipulation that he would likely need to come off the bench. The Grizzlies, however, have not spoken to Iverson or his management team since early July, and neither side appears to have any interest in restarting talks.
“Why would a future Hall of Famer come off the bench for a team that won’t make the playoffs?” said one Western Conference executive.
That makes sense, I can’t see AI willing to go to a team whereby they stipulate that he would need to come off the bench.
Much like the Grizzlies, the Clippers were intrigued by Iverson’s ability to sell tickets, as well as his talent. One agent who had spoken to Clippers officials in recent days said the team was distancing itself from Iverson after acquiring point guard Sebastian Telfair(notes) from the Minnesota Timberwolves and is possibly weighing an offer to free-agent guard Ramon Sessions(notes) – though one NBA source cautioned there was still “some life” in talks between the two sides.
Clippers second-year guard Eric Gordon(notes) stands to be among the most impacted should the team sign Iverson, but he’s kept an open mind (at least publicly) about the possibility he and A.I. could become teammates.
“Iverson is a Hall of Famer,” Gordon said at the Team USA minicamp. “But everyone is talking about how he is a different guy in the locker room and on the court. A.I.’s a big personality. Dude is a warrior. You can always learn from that and take that as an advantage for any of his teammates.
“We almost play the same position, but I’m not too worried about it. Things happen all the time. You just got to adjust.”
It sounds like AI’s options are running low. The two biggest potential teams would be the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Bobcats. Miami would be a best chance for AI to make a final play-offs/finals run, whereas the Charlotte Bobcats would reunite him with Larry Brown, the coach he has had the most success with. What do you think?
In an interview with NBA TV, Free agent guard Allen Iverson told NBA TV that he wants to finish his career in a ‘happy situation.’
Iverson says it’s “unfair” how the media is treating him and his image and says that “the chip on his shoulder” is that much bigger.
Good to hear Iverson say he still has passion for the game.
AI just wants to be in a team where he’s wanted.
NY Daily News states that Clippers owner Donald Sterling wants Allen Iverson
“It’s out of our control,” complained one Clipper executive this past week. “This is owner-driven.”
Apparently, Sterling has noted that Clippers tickets are moving as slowly as L.A. traffic. He sees Iverson as a box-office draw, even in a bench role following a disastrous season in Detroit that ended with him being sent home for the playoffs.
It seems that the stage is being set for Iverson’s arrival.
“I LOVE AI,” Clipper guard Baron Davis chimed in on his Twitter page. “He is TOP 50 … he would be a great vet for our young guys to learn from.”
What do you think of this potential trade? Does the owner simply want AI just to sell tickets?
Interesting article by this author on bleacher report – The Philadelphia 76ers and Allen Iverson: One Last Hurrah
It appears that Andre Miller’s days in a Sixer uniform appear to be numbered. Rumors are swirling about a sign and trade with the New York Knicks.
That will leave the 76ers with the mid-level exception to improve their roster for the upcoming season, for which, as it stands, they will be competing for one of the last playoff spots, and another first round exit.
Allen Iverson has already expressed interest in signing a one-year contract for the mid-level exception.
What do you think? Does Philly offer a better opportunity than say, Miami?
In my opinion, it is the Bobcats because he can reunite with Larry Brown and it would be like the 2001 Sixers team again—except A.I. would not have to average 31 ppg. This is because the players around him are more talented. I am not saying they would go to the Finals, but if this happens they will make the playoffs as a six or seven seed.
The Los Angeles Times, citing “a source close to Iverson who was not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations” said talks between the team and the free-agent guard are “very serious.”
Iverson, 34, reportedly has also drawn interest from the Miami Heat, the Times said. Reports out of Florida indicate the Heat are offering only $2 million on a one-year deal, substantially less than the $5.8 million midlevel exception Iverson is seeking.
Allen Iverson became emotional when he talked about his scholarship program. He talked about the inability to be perfect in everybody’s eyes and mentions Michael Jackson being criticized his whole life. He talks about his own life and how he has had to overcome so much and reason for his scholarship.
“With AI, you look at a guy who is one of the best to ever put on an NBA jersey,” Wade said in an interview with Miami’s WQAM-AM radio this week, “a guy who can still score in the right offense, in the right flow. So you can never turn your nose up at a guy like Allen Iverson.”
His tenure as a Piston officially came to an end Wednesday, when he became an unrestricted free agent. The Pistons did not make him an offer, which surprised no one.
There also have reports that Miami has interest. Wherever he ends up, it will be his fourth team in four seasons, and he will take a huge pay cut, possibly getting $5 million or less. But he said he didn’t care about the money, he just wanted to enjoy basketball again.
“I just want to go somewhere,” Iverson said, “I can be happy to go to practice every day.”
Iverson, 34, remains in the Detroit area tying up loose ends (like waiting for his kids to finish summer school) and contemplating the next step of a journey that began as phenom in Hampton, Va., in the early ’90s and will end when he is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame five years after he hangs up his sneakers.