So, it’s official now: the New York Knicks will not be pursuing Allen Iverson. Why? Knicks GM and President Donnie Walsh speaks, and Howard Beck reports:
“We’re not going to be making additions at this time to our team. So I guess that ends the speculation about Allen Iverson. It really has nothing to do with Allen Iverson. It’s just a stage that our team is in right now …what we’ve been trying to do since we got here in building a team for the future. It did get interesting for awhile, because Allen’s a great player, has always been a great player.”
It’s a diplomatic way to play it for sure, saying this decision wasn’t an indication of Iverson, the player, but of the direction of the current roster. To which one can only respond… “Um, what direction?”
3/4 of the Knicks roster is a free agent this season—if that’s the foundation for the future, it’s built on qualifying-offer quicksand. Which is fine. That’s been the Knicks plan all along. But with respect to AI, the Knicks’ reluctance to sign him has nothing to do with longterm plans, and everything to do with immediate concerns about Allen Iverson. Just a theory, I guess.
But one which a source close to The Knicks corroborates, telling Newsday’s Alan Hahn:
According to source, biggest concern about Iverson was potential for more unwanted controversy: “If it didn’t work it could really blow up.”
Indeed. Had things gone bad, they would have done so in spectacular fashion. Instead, the Knicks can enjoy the relative anonymity of losing with a roster full of expiring contracts. SB Nation’s Knicks blog, Posting and Toasting, puts it best:
It was cute while it lasted. Now let’s put that all behind us and get back to losing some games!