Breaking News: Iverson Is Not Happy Coming Off the Bench

Allen MollContributor INovember 4, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 06:  Allen Iverson #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies staands on the court in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on November 6, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 114-98.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The fact that virtually everyone passed on picking up free agent guard Allen Iverson this Summer apparently meant nothing to the Memphis Grizzlies. Every other team could have seen this coming. My guess is the brain-trust in Memphis saw dollar signs as Iverson still has a decent following and puts butts in the seats. A couple quick facts about “The Answer“: 1) He is a once in a lifetime talent. True.  2)He is a probable future Hall of Famer. True.  3)He will leave your franchise in a much worse state than when he arrives. True.  Memphis knew about the first two.  After only Iverson’s first appearance as a Grizzlie, they are already thinking about the third.

Iverson scored 11 points in 18 minutes in his Grizzlies debut in an OT loss to the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. Not bad for a player recuperating from a hamstring injury and who hasn’t played in a regular season game in more than 6 months. The real headlines came during the post game press conference where Iverson was asked how his hamstring was feeling. A.I. replied that his hamstring felt fine but his butt was sore from spending so much time on the bench. In doing so, he obviously was voicing his displeasure of not being a starter. Coach Lionel Hollins countered that every injured player should be brought along slowly and thought that Iverson played the appropriate amount of minutes considering that he missed most of training camp and most of the preseason. Hollins also didn’t deny that he could use Iverson as a starter…………….. somewhere in the future.

Just a bit of advice to Coach Hollins. Make a decision and stick to it. History has a odd way of repeating itself. Check Iverson’s history in Philly, Denver, and Detroit. Every stop ended badly because of either insubordination towards a coach or issues with playing time, or both. It’s not a good sign that the same issues resurface in game one.

His traveling road show of tantrums and tirades have made more headlines than his actual play in recent years since he was traded out of Philly more than two years ago. Even incoming Philly GM Ed Stefanski, grew tired of Iverson towards the end with the Sixers, even though he ranks statistically among some of the greatest players in franchise history and was still annually among the Top 10 in scoring and steals. Why?………….Because Iverson is like a high maintenance model girlfriend that, although super sexy and gets you into all of the great parties, you can never seem to please her and eventually you must dump, because you cannot possibly provide her with her constant demands. Just as in real life, it ends badly, as you and she go your separate ways, as she moves on to another sucker and you are left deflated for years and never risk asking a girl of her caliber out again.

Iverson’s final comments after hearing his coach’s assessment of the situation was, “I’ve never been a reserve player or a sixth man. Go look at my resume. I’m not going to start looking at myself as a reserve player now.” In the aftermath, Iverson has spoken and cleared the air that he never was a bench player and apparently…………………..never will be.

Grab your popcorn Memphis!


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