Future Hall of Famer Allen Iverson is still looking for another chance to get back into the NBA and although it may be tempting, Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald would be wise to pass on any temptation he may have to bring Iverson to the Big Apple.
While it’s very true the Knicks need guards and Iverson needs a job, signing Iverson is simply too big of a gamble for the Knicks at this time.
Even if New York is able to re-sign point guard Jeremy Lin and shooting guard Landry Fields, which Grunwald says is the plan, the Knicks need backcourt depth badly, especially given the fact that combo guard Iman Shumpert may miss the season’s first two months and Baron Davis is out for next season. Currently, Toney Douglas is the only guard under contract.
J.R. Smith also remains an option, depending whether or not he exercises his player option and wants to return to the team, but other than that, Grunwald has to get creative to bring in some quality backcourt players.
Grunwald told Berman:
“We have two guards who are restricted free agents, so we’ll be able to retain them,’’ Grunwald said of Lin and Fields. “The question is then how we fill out the rest because Baron suffered a pretty bad injury and he’s not going to be able to play next year. And Shump is going to be out a bit recovering from his injuries. We’re going to have to see if we can upgrade the rest of the roster while Shump is out.’’
That brings me back to Iverson and why it shouldn’t be considered.
Iverson last played professionally in 2010/2011 when he signed a two-year, $4MM contract to play for Turkish club Besiktas Cola Turka. He managed to average 14.3 PPG and 4.7 APG in seven league games before returning to the United States in January 2011 after a calcium deposit in his calf required treatment.
His NBA career was filled with controversy and didn’t end very well.
He wasn’t happy coming off the bench in Memphis in 2010 and basically quit on that Grizzlies team after three games before eventually winding back in Philadelphia that season.
He’s a guy that needs the ball in his hands and the Knicks already have enough of those guys. There’s practically no way that Iverson and Carmelo Anthony could co-exist on the floor at the same time.
We’ve seen this story so many times before with Iverson. When he becomes unhappy, Iverson become a distraction and a locker room cancer.
The Knicks need a dysfunctional locker room right now about as much as I need a hole in my head and I don’t really need one of those.
Iverson returning to the NBA could be a good story, but let it happen someplace other than New York.
If the Knicks are serious about winning a championship, rolling the dice on an Iverson comeback makes very little sense, especially given the limited money that the franchise will have to spend this offseason.
Grunwald needs to find more of a sure thing. A guard or two that will accept their roles on this team would be more ideal than a ticking time bomb ready to explode.
There’s a reason that Iverson hasn’t received an offer from an NBA team the past two season’s. When you burn as many bridges and act in the fashion that AI has his entire career, it becomes a big turn-off for NBA general managers.
The Knicks shouldn’t be the team that gives him his next shot.