For Knicks, Iverson Is Not The Answer

Anthony TripicchioContributor INovember 18, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 06:  Allen Iverson #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies on the court 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 Answer doesn’t solve this problem.

New York Knicks’ President Donnie Walsh would be wise to steer clear of current free agent and future hall of famer, Allen Iverson.

Although he is one of the most prolific scorers to ever play in the NBA, Iverson would be an impediment to the development of young building blocks. Iverson’s insistence on starting in Memphis proves he continues to be unwilling to take a deferential role in the twilight of his career.

“I’d rather retire than do this again,” said Iverson about coming off of the bench. “I can’t be effective playing this way.”

Memphis, despite an ill-advised decision to ink the four-time scoring champ in the offseason, eventually came to its senses before it was too late. Ticket sales that Iverson’s signing was supposed to attract should take a backseat to the future of the franchise. With Mike Conley and OJ Mayo in the backcourt, there was simply no place to put Iverson but the bench.

The presence of a disgruntled superstar not only creates a horrendous distraction, but sets an awful example for the rest of the team.

Though there certainly is room in the Knicks’ starting lineup this year with Chris Duhon struggling mightily at the point, Iverson conflicts with New York’s top priority on the court.

This season, the play of Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Tony Douglas, and Jordan Hill is more significant to the Knicks’ franchise than wins and losses. The aforementioned four players will need to be, at the very least, complementary players after owner James Dolan throws his checkbook around during the 2010 summer free agent frenzy.

Meanwhile, Iverson serves no purpose beyond this season and the inevitable summer spending spree.

Let’s be serious. Already a woeful 1-9, the Knicks are going nowhere this year. If you are only going to circle a cul-de-sac anyway, would you rather do it with a 13-year veteran or teach someone else to drive?

Acquiring Iverson would take shots away from Gallinari and minutes from Douglas. The short-term benefit of adding a few more victories should pale in comparison to hindering the growth of the youngsters.

One advantage Iverson does have in his corner is the fact that he is represented by Leon Rose, who is also LeBron James’ agent.

While the Knicks may want to placate Rose to curry favor, Rose will not let a veterans’ minimum signing determine the destination of his ace client.

Teach the kids how to drive.


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