It never ceases to amaze me as to the narcissistic attitude of today’s athletes ! They in effect think that the world owes them something after they’ve graced us with their presence on the athletic stage. Case in point , it is being widely reported that Memphis Grizzlies’ guard Allen Iverson has taken a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons.
Four time NBA scoring champion Allen Iverson seen here alongside team coach, Lionel Hollins, left,general manager Chris Wallace and team owner, Michael Heisley , pictured far right. Iverson formally became a Memphis Grizzlies’ player, having just agreed to a two year contract with the team. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Lance Murphy …………
However, what should also be noted about this situation, was that the player had voiced his disapproval with the team in having to sit on the bench. Iverson , though had suffered an injury prior to signing with the team and they thought it best that he rehabilitate and recuperate before returning to active play for the team. The player felt he was fit enough and ready to contribute something to the franchise and to the team. Be that as it may, what Iverson shouldn’t forget is that this it is the team first and all else is secondary in nature in terms of attaining success for the organization. It’s certainly not about what he wants but what is best for the team. It’d appear that at present this is lost on Iverson and what he believes to best for him and not for the team.
Rudy Gay (22) of the Memphis Grizzlies goes for the layup against the Los Angeles Clippers in a game played at the Staples Center , Los Angeles, California. Looking on is Gay’s teammate Zach Randolph (50). The Grizzlies would go on to lose the game to the Clippers 113-110 .
picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Noah Graham …..
And if not to make things worse the Memphis Grizzlies(1-6) are off to a horrendous start within the Southwest Division of the Western Conference of the NBA. And things are only liable to get worse for this young team that’s strong on youthful exuberance , talent and a zeal to play the game. What the roster is sorely lacking is that of veteran and vocal leadership. Much of that now falls to the Grizzlies’ coach, Lionel Hollins to coach and teach this team in all of the intricacies needed to be a success in the NBA– not just as a team but also as players. If he’s able to do that , then there might just be some semblance of success on the court. If not then there’s liable to be a great deal of angst and resentment among these players.
With the thought being that Iverson will be allowed to leave the team. I can’t help but wonder what the hierarchy of the Grizzlies’ organization were thinking to begin with. Much of what we now see unfolding , in large part started to foment with the way Iverson left the Detroit Pisitons. His relationship with then coach , Michael Curry, ended up being an icy one at best. And Iverson was even critical of the coach as well as the organization. And his criticism was also pointed at Pistons’ GM Joe Dumars. And in doing so, Iverson placed an irretrievable wedge between he and the organization. The fact that he wasn’t invited back by the team should give you an indication as to how icy the relationship had become between the two parties .
In essence it shouldn’t at all come as a surprise that Iverson has acted the way that he has. He probably still has a great deal of resentment as to the way he was treated by Michael Curry and the Pistons’ organization.And that seething resentment has now been built up and aimed at the Memphis Grizzlies. If as he says, Iverson wanted to be a teammate and contribute to the building of success within the Grizzlies’ organization. Then he certainly has a funny way of showing it. He has turned his back on his teammates as well as the entire Memphis Grizzlies’ fanbase as a whole. And these were the very same fans that welcomed him with open arms when the formal announcement had been made that he had signed with the team.
Michael Heisley ,Grizzlies’ team owner smiles at a comment made by the NBA basketball team’s new coach, Lionel Hollis, center, during a news conference in Memphis, Tenn., Sunday 25th January 2009. At right is Chris Wallace , the team’s general manager. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo Greg Campbell ………
Memphis Grizzlies’ owner Michael Heisley appears to have left the door open for a return by the wayward star. Whether or not they need Iverson, more than he needs them. As it now appears to open to be open to a great deal of speculation, conjecture and debate. And since his departure from the team’s headquarters, Iverson hasn’t communicated with them direct . Nor has he formally given a statement to the media for that matter. Much like a poker player hoping to call someone’s bluff. Allen Iverson is closely keeping his cards close to his chest, before making a decision as to whether or not he’ll retire or make a return back to the fold within the Memphis Grizzlies’ organization.
There’ll be some among us who see nothing wrong in the actions of Allen Iverson. While there’ll be other who view his actions of a self absorbed athlete who cares about none but himself. That may be or not be entirely true but one thing is certain , his most recent actions say a lot about the player and his emotional state of mind. He’s long been a conflicted soul , who in his early days within the NBA flouted and scoffed at its rules. His most memorable tirade was against his then, coach, Larry Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers, who’d asked him to participate alongside his teammates in some extra set of team drills practice. Iverson’s response ….””If I can’t practice, I can’t practice. It is as simple as that. It ain’t about that at all. It’s easy to sum it up if you’re just talking about practice. We’re sitting here, and I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re talking about practice. I mean listen, we’re sitting here talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, but we’re talking about practice. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game last it’s my last but we’re talking about practice man. How silly is that? ” He would then go on to reiterate that very same comment to the awaiting media who somehow got word of the volatile flare up between Brown and Iverson at the time. And it has now become folklore in the annals of NBA history and in some ways it’s the noose that still hovers around Iverson’s neck to this very day.And that’s despite the outward signs of maturity on his part.However,
his latest action is just a simple reminder that despite his growth as a player.There’s still some growing up to be done for Iverson to be seen as a mature individual.
I’m of the belief that Iverson has acted improperly and not in the best interests of either himself or the Grizzlies ! He’s placed himself above the organization and that of their ambitions for the season. For someone who was looking to ingratiate himself with the fans and community of Memphis. Iverson has now eschewed all of that and essentially outlived his welcome within the community, brief as it now appears to be. And one seriously doubts that should he return to the Grizzlies , that he’ll offer up a profound apology to the organization, his teammates and the fans at large.
If Allen Iverson wants to prove himself a mature individual , then he ought to ………Man up and act like he’s got a pair. Instead of walking out and away from his responsibilities as a player and to the Memphis Grizzlies organization His act is condescending and smacks of infantile behavior. Either he makes a formal announcement that he’s retiring or he returns to the team and live up to the obligations of his contract with them. After all he’s an employee of theirs and not vice versa.
Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports
By Teresa M Walker , AP Sports Writer
Memphis owner Michael Heisley says he is not sure of what Allen Iverson’s future plans are, though he hopes Iverson returns to the Grizzlies soon.
Heisley granted the 10-time all-star permission Saturday for an indefinite leave to deal with a personal matter. The Commercial Appeal newspaper reported Monday that Iverson is contemplating retirement.
“I’m not in Allen’s head. I don’t know what he’s thinking,” Heisley told The Associated Press on Monday.
“I know he went back to take care of a personal problem. Whether he does something else, I don’t know. I’m hoping he comes back. I think he could still play for us, somebody else, what have you. In my opinion, there’s two, three years of outstanding play that could come out of Allen Iverson.”
Leon Rose, Iverson’s agent, did not immediately return a message left at his office Monday.
However, Heisley said the 34-year-old Iverson is struggling playing at what the guard feels is less than his previous best.
Iverson, who signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal in September, missed the preseason with a partially-torn left hamstring. He made his Grizzlies’ debut on the road a week ago in California, playing in three games at Sacramento, Golden State and in Los Angeles with the Lakers.
Iverson averaged 22.3 minutes coming off the bench, and he hit 57.3 percent of his shots. He averaged 12.3 points per game for the Grizzlies (1-6).
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NUM PLAYER POS HT WT DOB FROM YRS
00 Darrell Arthur F 6-9 235 03/25/1988 Kansas 1
1 DeMarre Carroll F 6-8 212 07/27/1986 Missouri R
11 Mike Conley G 6-1 185 10/11/1987 Ohio State 2
33 Marc Gasol C 7-1 265 01/29/1985 Barcelona, Spain 1
22 Rudy Gay F 6-8 230 08/17/1986 Connecticut 3
15 Hamed Haddadi C 7-2 265 05/19/1985 Ahvaz, Iran 1
45 Steven Hunter C 7-0 240 10/31/1981 DePaul 7
3 Allen Iverson G 6-0 165 06/07/1975 Georgetown 13
55 Marko Jaric G 6-7 224 10/12/1978 Belgrade, Serbia 7
32 O.J. Mayo G 6-4 210 11/05/1987 USC 1
50 Zach Randolph F 6-9 260 07/16/1981 Michigan State 8
34 Hasheem Thabeet C 7-3 267 02/16/1987 Connecticut R
5 Marcus Williams G 6-3 205 12/03/1985 Connecticut 3
4 Sam Young F-G 6-6 220 06/01/1985 Pittsburgh R
Lionel Hollins Arizona State