It has to be extremely embarrassing for a player of Allen Iverson’s stature to hear a sound byte from New York Knicks’ general manager,Donnie Walsh state….’he’s not in our plans for the future because we’re comfortable with where we’re at.’ That either has to be a damning indictment of the player. Or merely that things for the (2-9) Knicks just aren’t going to get much better, even with Iverson in tow.
With Iverson, having sought and finally obtaining his release from the Memphis Grizzlies. The player felt that his next step would be to ascertain the interest of the New York Knicks. One has to bear in mind that with the present form of the team. Any addition by subtraction, would probably be in their best interest. And no doubt the intuitive Donnie Walsh , while admiring the player’s gifts and qualities, knew that bringing in Iverson,would only add to the woes of an already beleaguered team.Never mind the fact that the team’s coach, Mike D’Antoni is still struggling to find his best quintet of players to place on the court,for any given period of time. And one thought that their struggles with the hapless Isiah Thomas as their previous coach, was pitiful ? Watch the Knicks now, and tell me if you actually think that they’ve improved one iota, under D’Antoni’s tutelage ?
Courtesy of New York Daily News
By Matt Gagne Daily New Sports Writer
No one in in his wildest dreams thought Allen Iverson could have transformed the Knicks into a championship-caliber team, but fans were dealt another blow Friday when the struggling franchise passed on the free agent and former MVP.
“What do the Knicks have, two wins?” said Jose Valentine, 24, of Manhattan. “Iverson can win more games than that by himself. He has the heart to play, he loves the game.”
“It’s a bad move,” added Tim Coffey, 25, of Brooklyn. “They could have at least put people in the seats.”
The Knicks take a 2-9 record into Saturday’s basement-dwelling showdown with the Nets, who are a league-worst 0-12 and the only team trailing the Knicks in the Atlantic Division.
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And for Allen Iverson, this must be something of a come down to think that a player of his stature is longer wanted by an NBA franchise. Now all he can but do, is to sit on the sidelines and wait patiently to hear the phone ring from a potential team. He joins the likes of former Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks‘ swing-man Jerry Stackhouse on the sidelines,in seeking gainful employment in the NBA.It’s not so much that the NBA is bereft of talent. But it’s essentially that players, such as Iverson and Stackhouse are no longer viewed as players, who can still play meaningful minutes and still be productive for a team. And for both of these former NBA All Stars, time is most definitely not on their side, given their respective ages and recent health issues.
The big problem now for Allen Iverson , is that given his ego and temperament- will he now, not see that it is in some ways futile and somewhat embarrassing for him, to be seen to be begging for a roster spot on an NBA team. Here we have one of the NBA’s ‘best little men’ to have ever played the game, with multiple All Star appearances and scoring titles to his name, as well as a regular season, MVP award. And now he’s seen to begging like a homeless bum on the streets merely for the chance to play the game that he no doubt still loves.The unfortunate scenario here for Iverson, is that the love is no longer being reciprocated …. as the game ‘no longer loves him’. If it did,then he’d still be playing. But essentially, Iverson’s own actions and his wish to be seen as a starter got in the way of common sense. He’s no longer the player, he once was. And he’s under the mistaken impression that he still is that same player , with a ferocious heart and an unending will to win.
Now if you thought the dilemma that Allen Iverson now finds himself in,
is somewhat complex. Then consider the situation that the Houston Rockets find themselves in, concerning their guard, Tracy McGrady ? Here’s a player who’s essentially been missing in action for the better part of a season, and who chided and berated the team’s executives as well as management,while was injured. Never mind the fact that, having made the postseason without him, he still continued his tirade against the organization. He pointed to the fact that they couldn’t win without him, nor would they stand a chance of winning the NBA title. Way to go, McGrady, there’s nothing like showing not support for your teammates, when you’re taking pot-shots at the management and ownership.
McGrady, may well have felt aggrieved that this team was able to make the playoffs without. And the fact that they’d been able to do so, while also sustaining the loss of their All Star center, Yao Ming, shows you how successful this team actually were , in garnering a berth in the postseason without their two super-stars. Furthermore , it couldn’t have escaped McGrady, the fact that the Rockets’ fans had found a new fan favorite in Ron Artest, as well as rising star, Aaron Brooks.And not only that the Rockets were actually playing as a cohesive unit. Something of which wasn’t always the case when McGrady was on the court without the help of Yao Ming. To an extent, he’d matured as a player but there was still that selfish streak about him.Stats seem to matter more,than being a teammate.
Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports
By Paul Newberry, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP)—Tracy McGrady(notes) is eager to play. The Houston Rockets say he’ll have to wait.
The seven-time All-Star had microfracture surgery on his left knee in February, but insisted that he’s fully recovered before Friday night’s game against the streaking Atlanta Hawks.
“Right now, I could play,” he said.
Not so fast. The Rockets believe McGrady needs more time and would risk hurting his knee again if he comes back too soon. The next step is an MRI on Monday.
“We have a difference of opinion,” coach Rick Adelman said. “He wants to play. He’s not ready to play. It’s as simple as that.”
Both sides denied a Yahoo! Sports report that the situation degenerated into a heated argument before the Rockets’ previous game at Minnesota. The report quoted a person close to McGrady who was not identified.
Yahoo! Sports stands by the story.
“I don’t know where that came from,” McGrady said. “We talked but it was nothing that was reported like that. I mean, screaming and all.”
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Over the course of his career there’s no denying that McGrady has been a gifted player. But what he lacked was really playing as part of a team, and the fact that he always felt it best that others deferred to him. He may well have been the best player , while was on the rosters of both the Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic.Though it’d be debatable in that regard, considering the Raptors’ roster at the time. But what Tracy McGrady seems to have forgotten is that….one man doesn’t make a team. That’s unless your name happens to be Michael ‘Jeffrey’ Jordan? And last I looked, Tracy McGrady is no Michael Jordan,not by the longest stretch of the imagination. In fact he’s not even good enough to sniff Jordan’s jockstrap ! Less we forget also, that while McGrady was on that Raptors’ roster,he was also playing alongside his cousin and teammate,Vince Carter.Now if memory serves me correctly, I seem to remember ‘Vince Sanity’ being the star on that team ? Do you remember that as well ?
Rockets coach, Rick Adelman, having met with McGrady and the teams’ general manager,Daryl Morey, over the last couple of days. He could not provide the player with any of the assurances that he sought, as to whether or not he was still a member of the organization. And it would be prudent to acknowledge the fact that McGrady is the highest paid player on the Rockets’ roster. He’s due in excess of $23 million for the 2009-10 NBA season. And on the face of it , it would be the financially prudent thing to do concerning the player, in letting him go, once the season is over.He’s become a mild but ever increasing irritant over the last couple of season, while at the same time he’s become susceptible to repeated and prolonged bouts of injuries, which’ve made him less and less a productive factor in the Rockets’ striving to be counted amongst the elite teams in the Western Conference and the rest of the NBA.
It’s counter-productive to keep a player on a roster when you’re not getting anything tangible from them in return. And this has been clearly the case with Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets. He may well feel that he has something to contribute to a team,any team. But at this stage of the game, unless he’s prepared to defer to others and also act like a teammate. Then, there won’t be any room for him at all, there in Houston !
Whether or not he’s prepared to accept something of a lesser role, remains to be seen. But clearly it appears that the player and the organization are at an impasse.
I’d certainly like to think that both Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady still have something left in the tank. And also that they can still play the game at an optimum level. But given both of these players’ demeanor and their predilection to self destruct and blame others for their malaise or mea-culpas. It may well now be time for them both to call it quits and step away from the game that they once graced, somewhat effortlessly. No one wants to remember a super-star behaving like a spoiled brat. But that’s essentially what we’re now seeing from Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady. Merely, because they can’t get their way and play the game of basketball. They seem to forget that there’s no I, in the word ‘team’ team and also that there’s no I, in the word ‘we’.
To my mind as they say ‘ all good things must come to an end’. It’s always best to walk away,quit while you’re ahead,with your head held high and your self esteem intact. Rather than being thrown out like an old unwanted pair of worn out shoes. Is that how they both want to be remembered at this juncture ? What do you think ?