Just when it seemed like Allen Iverson’s NBA career was over, it appears he might get a reprieve from … the New York Knicks?
Frank Isola from the New York Daily News is reporting that the Knicks will considering signing Iverson for the rest of the season.
[Donnie] Walsh, the Knicks’ president, confirmed Monday night that the club will explore the possibility of signing Iverson, the former league MVP who was placed on waivers yesterday by the Memphis Grizzlies.
“We’ll look into it,” Walsh told the Daily News. “Right now, I’d say probably not but we’ll see.”
Isola reports that the Knicks’ 1-9 start has accelerated the need for a guy like Iverson to provide buzz and sell tickets while the Knicks wait around for the 2010 offseason. The Knicks’ concern, of course, is that Iverson’s presence will stunt the development of youngsters such as Danilo Gallinari and Toney Douglas. Sounds pretty similar to Memphis’ concern, doesn’t it?
But you know what? This might actually work. The Knicks may be one of the few teams in the league that can give Iverson the starting job he so desperately craves. Right now, the Knicks start Chris Duhon, a backup on any decent team, and Larry Hughes, whose shot-happy ways convinced one fan to create a site called “Hey Larry Hughes, Please Stop Taking So Many Bad Shots.” Everyone around the Knicks knows this season doesn’t really matter anyway, so why not try to generate a little buzz? Plus, let’s be honest, watching Allen Iverson play in Mike D’Antoni’s Seven Seconds Or Less offense is going to be interesting, to say the least.
However, Posting and Toasting, SB Nation’s Knicks blog, disagrees.
I don’t see the point. The idea that we need some sideshow to keep us occupied until July seems childish. Similarly, the notion of signing Iverson to win some games is shaky because 1. Iverson at this point in his career isn’t enough to make these Knicks competitive, so why bother? and 2. Paying for wins just to spite Utah (the owners of New York’s draft pick) is unnecessary. It’s Utah. The big thing, though, is that Iverson would steal minutes from Toney Douglas, which seems backwards, given that Toney’s a long-term investment and AI would be a rental.
Long story short, the interest is to be expected, but I don’t see it amounting to anything for the reasons mentioned above.