Iverson signing sets Memphis back
If you are
If you are a Grizzlies fan, well, you are looking for the nearest blunt instrument to cave your own head in.
Iverson's signing with Memphis is one of the most jaw-dropping moves in recent NBA history. Not because Iverson isn't still a viable player; even in last season's debacle in Detroit, Iverson still managed to score 17.5 points per game. But because Iverson is the last -- repeat, the last -- thing the rebuilding Grizzlies need right now.
Consider: From a distance, Memphis is a franchise that appears to be in dire straights. The Grizzlies haven't won more than 24 games in each of the last three seasons and they have rotated five coaches --
But look closer and you will see that the Grizzlies are several stages into what has been a comprehensive rebuilding process. They have dynamic young talent at the wing positions in
Not anymore. By adding Iverson (as well as
And at what cost? Iverson is little more than a well-paid mercenary using Memphis to try to revive his stalled career. He will certainly cut into Mayo's and Conley's minutes and likely will take time away from the slimmed-down
Iverson will demand shots that should be going to Gay and he will be given key fourth-quarter scoring opportunities that should be going to anyone else. The same things can be said for Randolph, who will eat into Gasol's and Thabeet's minutes and will frustrate his teammates with his unwillingness to pass the ball out of the post and his propensity to launch shots from anywhere inside the half-court line. One of the most frequently repeated lines by NBA coaches is that they hope Randolph makes his first three-pointer -- because that guarantees he will take five more.
It will be interesting to see how Hollins handles the Grizzlies' lineup. In a perfect world, Randolph would slide into the starting power forward spot (with Thabeet coming off the bench) and Iverson would become a
But what seems more likely is that Iverson eventually forces his way into the starting lineup and Iverson, Mayo and Randolph battle each other for shot attempts (contested or otherwise) while Gay is left to scrap for leftovers.
Multiple sources say the interest in Iverson came from the owner's box. That makes sense. Because this is not a basketball move, it's a financial one. As basketball moves go, this one is the worst.