If you've been following Allen Iverson on Twitter this summer, you may be a bit confused. For one, there have been instances where he's talked in the third person ("Allen is having his celebrity classic in Virginia this year..."), lots of exclamation points, and tweets like this one, which disgrace the rebellious ethos that he's crafted so masterfully over his 15-year NBA career:
All of which is to say I have a deep suspicion that his Twitter profile is at least partially ghostwritten by one of his agents.
I refuse to believe that Allen Iverson talks with exclamation points. He's an icon of the hip-hop generation; emoting anything other than anger, laughter, or indifference is considered poor form. Clearly, someone else is pulling the strings. And perhaps that explains some of the false optimism that we've seen on his account this summer. Such as this post from August 19th:
My people just informed me that we are getting close to a deal. I asked them to call me the when its done. I am so ready to know!
That was more than two weeks ago, so when "Iverson" broke the news last night that he'd be meeting with Memphis owner Michael Heisley, I was understandably skeptical. But alas, it seems there might actually be some fire to go along with this smoke. ESPN's Mark Stein confirmed with Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley that he will be meeting Iverson later today in Hotlanta.
Yet Heisley cautioned that an agreement in principle with Iverson has not yet been reached, saying: "[The meeting] does not mean it's a done deal. He wants to meet and have some questions answered and we want to meet."
Monday's scheduled sitdown would be the first face-to-face contact between Iverson and Grizzlies officials since the process began, with Memphis negotiating to this point primarily with Leon Rose, Iverson's agent.
That Iverson's remained on the market this long certainly speaks to the growing cynicism around the league regarding his ability. Even when he was at his best, the logic goes, he still excelled at the expense of his teammates. Now that he's declining, what's the point of adding someone that'll detract from the development of teammates, especially after he proved in Detroit he won't accept a reduced role?
Well, if you're Memphis: tickets. Interest in the Grizzlies has been waning over the past two years, and in addition to forming a fearsome nightlife duo with recent Grizzlies addition Zach Randolph, Iverson would also be surefire way to pique interest among the local fanbase. If today's meeting goes well, even if Memphis represents the ultimate relegation for a once-proud superstar, expect to see some enthusiastic tweets in the future:
"Memphis here I come! Can't wait to play with OJ, and Rudy, and Marc Gasol! Michael Heisley is a Great owner and Memphis is a Great city!