Today I just found out one of my worst fears as an NBA fan came true.
Allen Iverson has officially signed with the Memphis Grizzlies.
After learning that Memphis had acquired Zach Randolph months ago, I heard there was a strong possibility Iverson would play for Memphis in the 2010 season as well.
Those two on the same team scare me.
If they don't make a dent in the NBA West and make the playoffs, I'll eat my hat.
Allen Iverson's 2001 push in the NBA Finals made him one of my all time favorite players. There are those that say his single victory in the Finals against the mighty Los Angeles Lakers, denying L.A. an unbeaten post-season record, was a far more compelling story than the Lakers championship victory itself.
Since then, Iverson's been a disappointment to me and an apparent pariah to every team he plays for.
Iverson needs the ball.
Memphis is going to give Iverson the ball.
Meanwhile Randolph is player capable of averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. After the Portland Trail Blazers (my squad) decided to give up on him, he played for the Knicks (A god awful organization...they sell out every game because they're in NYC so there is no point to try to win.) and The Clippers. (Who are cursed because they always suck.)
Now Iverson and Randolph share something in common besides the fact they are both high scoring players with a chip on their shoulder; they've got to be desperate to prove something to the world:
We can still be a dangerous threat to the best teams in the NBA.
Don't mess with us. Don't even dare.
What better city than Memphis to make their point?
Is there any doubt that if these two veterans can help the young talents of O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay start winning games—serious games—that city is not going to go off the charts for them?
One truth I know as a Blazer fan—when your fans start going nuts when you win—as a player you go the extra length for the next win.
Nothing is better for an NBA player than a packed arena screaming for them.
You intensify your defense. You start pounding the boards. You practice extra harder to make those game winning, franchise altering, historic YouTube sensation shots.
And when they start to win, Memphis is going to explode. Their arena will be similar to the atmosphere at Atlanta or Portland.
Don't get me wrong, it will be a shaky start for Memphis. But around December they are going to figure it out.
They are going to win games. Big games.
They are going to be a new team of tough NBA players who will thrive off being dangerous, arrogant, and talented.
And they will enter the playoffs a team others dare to face.
As a Portland fan I'm upset, because the West is tough enough.
I don't need the hassle.