The 1-9 Knicks have had a few much needed days off. You would think that a team doing as poorly as the Knicks would take those few days to rest and lay low from the media.
Well, think again.
The Allen Iverson saga is already over in Memphis, which means Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni are fielding nonstop questions about the possibility of the disgruntled guard joining the Knicks.
Both have pointed out that there are many things to consider when it comes to Iverson. The decision whether or not to sign him is obviously at least a few days away.
In the meantime, here is some advice.
Everyone knows that the Knicks are all about 2010. If the team’s record does not prove that, who knows what will? Nevertheless, the team needs to look presentable. The Knicks are completely lacking a go-to scorer, and lose on account of their poor defense just about every night. D’Antoni is certain to become the scapegoat at one point or another this season, if he has not already.
The fans need a distraction, and that is exactly what Allen Iverson would provide. Iverson is one of the most well known players in the NBA. Once one of the league’s most exciting players, his career took a hit last season while playing for the Pistons.
Iverson needs to be the center of attraction for a team. He would easily become the biggest profile player the Knicks have had in years, and furthermore, would be allowed to reign free and supreme in D’Antoni’s offense.
Were last season’s struggles just a fluke for Iverson? The answer is yes. Iverson has never been one to play in a “team-oriented” offense, and when you are replacing Chauncey Billups in that type of atmosphere, how can you possibly succeed?
Although he can only be judged by three games in Memphis, Iverson looked good. After averaging 12.3 points and 3.7 assists while shooting nearly 58 percent, (including an 18 point and 7 assist effort against Golden State) Iverson became frustrated.
People need to start looking at the situation from Iverson’s point of view. Being a reserve is one thing, but playing only 22 minutes per game? Those minutes are not even sixth man worthy. If it were not for the Knicks and the Nets playing worse than expected, the Grizzlies would again be hitting complete rock bottom. If Iverson was playing so effectively in limited minutes, why not give him more opportunity? Are the Grizzlies crazy? The team could not do any worse.
And that is the mindset the Knicks should have when considering Iverson—what is the worst that could happen?
There are numerous potential immediate, as well as long term, benefits. The Knicks optimist in me begs the question; what if Iverson were to do well? D’Antoni and the Knicks would be credited with rejuvenating Iverson. If Iverson can become relevant again, it is possible that he could opt to re-sign with the Knicks and become the team’s one major asset as far as credibility goes to other stars.
Does it hurt that Iverson and LeBron James have the same agent?
Granted, he is known to be somewhat of a locker room cancer if he does not get his way. There is no way Iverson could make this team any worse. Should it not work out, he would only be signed through the rest of the season, and would be ushered out as soon as it is time to welcome the 2010 free agents.
If it really became so out of hand before the season is over, the team could terminate Iverson’s contract just as quickly as Memphis did.
Walsh and D’Antoni alluded to their concern for Iverson stunting the growth of the team’s young players. Although becoming a prominent force in the Knicks’ offense, Danilo Gallinari needs to learn how to efficiently pass the ball, and having to defer to Iverson every now and then may help him improve that. Wilson Chandler is already going in the wrong direction, and there seems to be no current cure.
Only Chris Duhon would stand to lose his starting job, and at this point, maybe he deserves to. Toney Douglas thus far has been impressive, but as a shoot-first guard, perhaps he could learn from Iverson.
At the end of the day, is Iverson “the answer” to all of the Knicks’ problems? No. I am not necessarily advocating signing Iverson.
At the same time, I simply ask Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni, when envisioning Iverson as a Knick, to join me in pondering...what is the worst that could possibly happen?