Archive for September, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—The Memphis Grizzlies’ chemistry experiment with Allen Iverson(notes) is under way.
The biggest star ever to put on a Grizzlies’ uniform joined his new teammates Monday for a press session in Memphis. Then they boarded a bus for a trip to Birmingham, Ala., where coach Lionel Hollins has a week’s worth of two-a-day practices, meals and quality time together planned for the first week of training camp.
A franchise building through the draft jump-started the process this offseason by signing Iverson, the 10-time All-Star and former league MVP. They also traded for Zach Randolph and added three draft picks.
Iverson says he can understand people thinking his stay with the Grizzlies won’t work out. He said that provides motivation to prove the naysayers wrong.
Allen Iverson recently confirmed receiving a contract offer from Greek powerhouse Olympiakos, which he turned down to join the Grizzlies.
Iverson cited difficulties bringing his family to Europe, but added that he still has “enough fuel left in the tank…it does not close the door.” While overseas, A.I. saw Marc Gasol at the EuroBasket tournament (where Spain took gold). He said Gasol “looked good. I can’t wait to take the court with him.”
Source: Red Planet
I thought I’d take a break from all the trade/new team talks and give you guys something different. In the modern day league with some of the most physically tough athletes in professional sports, guess who made it to the number one spot as the toughest guy in the NBA. That’s right, Allen Iverson, standing at barely 6’0 but playing with a heart of a mountain, is the toughest guy in the NBA according to this article.
Toughness isn’t about how many people you can punch in 5 minutes. It’s also about the desire to keep going in the face of adversity. In this aspect, Iverson is arguably the toughest guy in the NBA today. He’s the 2nd coming of Tiny Archibald. A.I. always plays bigger than his alleged 6′0″ frame. He has a heart of a lion and he never takes a game off. Off the court, his tough guy status is undeniable. He’s been arrested for everything from DUI to firearms possession. A.I. moonlighted as a rapper, but the league frowned on his album because it was too “hardcore.” Pound for pound, A.I. is the toughest guy in the NBA.
According to Garry Moore, the Detroit Pistons weren’t exactly truthful with his client last season: ‘He went there, and he couldn’t really trust what people had told him,’ said Gary Moore, Iverson’s business manager and grade-school football coach. ‘People in Detroit weren’t very truthful with him.’ According to Moore, Iverson had been told that he would be the leader of the team when he arrived, and that was not what played out. The players were upset that the front office had traded away Chauncey Billups, Moore said. Iverson was persona non grata before he even showed up. ‘Allen couldn’t do anything about that,’ Moore said. ‘When you lie to him, that affects him.”‘
Allen Iverson has something to prove this season. He is making it clear.
“This year for me is so personal,” Iverson said.
“It’s basically going to be my rookie season again. It hurts, but I turn the TV on, I read the paper, I listen to some of the things people say about me having the season that I had last year and me losing a step, things like that. They’re trying to put me in a rocking chair already.”
Though the 10-time All-Star and former league MVP has scored more than 23,000 points in his NBA career, he wasn’t a highly sought-after free agent.
The 34-year-old guard heard all the talk that he’s lost a step, that last year’s dip in offensive production indicated he’s on the downside of an All-Star career, maybe even ready for retirement.
The Grizzlies announced they had signed the 10-time All Star on Thursday morning minutes before Iverson was introduced at a news conference.
Get ready for a amazing season. AI is back! He’s also rocking his braids (after he had cut them off last season). He’s ready for a fresh start and eager to prove the critics wrong. What are you thoughts? Will we see the high-scoring, high energy AI back?
Check out the new gallery with AI in his new Memphis jersey!
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 Hollinsabout 5 hours ago from web
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.about 5 hours ago from web
The build up had fans at the edge of their seats. But finally we can rest assured that AI will be back in the NBA next season.
Allen Iverson has agreed to terms with the Memphis Grizzlies and will sign a one-year deal by week’s end, a league source told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday.
He’s expected to sign a $3.5 million contract, with incentives to make more based on performance.
The Grizzlies expect to hold a news conference for Iverson before he departs for Europe on a trip next week.
Links: NBA.com David Aldridge
Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley, coach Lionel Hollins and general manager Chris Wallace attended the meeting. The source said there isn’t a timetable for Iverson to make his decision.
The Grizzlies have offered a one-year, $3.5 million dollar contract that could potentially be pushed to more than $4 million if the rights to guard Juan Carlos Navarro are renounced. While Iverson would like to be reunited with his former coach, Larry Brown, in Charlotte, the Bobcats have expressed only mild interest in him, given the franchise’s financial restraints. For now, Memphis appears to be Iverson’s only strong option to return to the NBA.
Despite Iverson’s preference to start, the Grizzlies would likely try to bring him off the bench while starting Michael Conley and O.J. Mayo(notes) in the backcourt. Hollins doesn’t want to slow the development of Conley and Mayo, the source said. The Grizzlies hope that adding Iverson would boost ticket sales and their profile.
In my opinion, the best situation would be for AI to land back with his old coach in Charlotte. I think a lot of fans also feel this way. However, it sounds like the Bobcats have financial restraints. Since Iverson has expressed his interest in making the Grizz “a winner”, it is still good news. His enthusiasm can be a good thing and at the end of the day, we all want to see AI back in the league…
I am looking forward to meeting the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies on tomorrow, along with his staff. I want to help them develop a winner.about 18 hours ago from web
h Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and other team officials on Monday night. The free-agent guard could sign a one-year contract with the team, the Memphis Commerical Appeal reports.
The Grizzlies appear to be Iverson’s only suitor. They have $3.5 million left under the salary cap to give him, a figure that could increase to $4.4 million should they renounce the rights to guard Juan Carlos Navarro(notes)
Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal
Sources indicate that Allen Iverson is very close to a deal and we may hear about it by Friday.
Iverson’s agent, Leon Rose, informed the Grizzlies earlier this week that a decision would come before the weekend. Iverson, 34, is a free agent for the first time in his 13-year career, and has expressed interest in playing for Charlotte and Memphis in recent weeks.
Iverson wrote on his Twitter account today that a decision is imminent: “Spoke with a couple teams this week, and I think we are getting real close to a deal. I hope so!”