The Allen Iverson to the Grizzlies rumor that first surfaced last week popped up again this morning. I'd heard some scuttle throughout the day that the deal was still being discussed, but nothing solid enough to report.
Now it seems to be tumbling out. First, ESPN's Chris Broussard, putting the potential deal in what I consider to be its proper context:
The Memphis Grizzlies appear to be the club with the most interest in Allen Iverson. I'm told the chances of Iverson going to Miami are miniscule. But for reasons that are as much about money as about basketball, the Grizzlies are contemplating adding Iverson to their club. That doesn't mean it's going to happen, but it could.
Neither party's motives are the purest. Memphis, which often has as many empty seats as filled seats at its games, knows Iverson is a huge draw and that's a big part of this. Iverson, on the other hand, is hoping to land with the Grizzlies solely because they're the only team willing to consider paying him more than the midlevel exception.
Iverson has been humbled a bit. He realizes that interest in him is low and that he's in for a severe pay cut. But he's also motivated. His mentality right now is that he'll take a one-year deal, play his butt off to re-establish himself as an elite player, and then cash in next summer.
The Commercial Appeal's Ron Tillery has also weighed in:
Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley wants to meet with Iverson and is seriously considering a one-year, $5 million offer, according to team insiders. Heisley’s renewed interest presents a sudden turn of events given the organization had all but decided to pass on Iverson.
What began as exploratory discussions with the Griz has turned into substantive talks, according to sources. And the Grizzlies are a house divided on the issue. There is little-to-no support for signing Iverson in the organization, but Heisley is having second thoughts.
Heisley will make the final call, and he is leaning toward the risk-reward given Iverson’s marketing appeal and basketball ability compared to his controversial work ethic.
I love Iverson as a player. One of my all-time faves to watch in person. But he makes no sense for this team at this time. But he might well produce more box office than he costs at this point.
More on this to come, surely.