Who knew that the marriage between Allen Iverson and Memphis Grizzlies wouldn't work out? Oh, yeah -- everyone. Hard to believe that little song and dance that the two sides did when he signed during the offseason would end badly.
Iverson has played a total of three games ... all off the bench ... before taking a leave of absence from the team. Now the word is that he's contemplating retirement. The Answer is correct. Quit.
Iverson should hang them up. It's obvious that (a) the only role for him in today's NBA is as a bench contributor and (b) he doesn't want to do that. It's obvious that winning isn't the most important thing to him or else he wouldn't have signed with the lowly Grizzlies in the first place (would taking a lot less money and a bench gig with the Cavaliers or Heat be a bad thing?). Before Iverson decides to leave the NBA for whatever else he may want to do, he should consider one thing:
Did the NBA kick him out first and make the decision for him?
Despite how you may feel about Iverson, he is a Hall of Fame player. No one with his smallish build has ever done the things he did. And though he never won a championship, he almost single handily took the Sixers to the 2001 NBA Finals. He was a great player and hopefully will be remembered as such.
The key word is "was". He still is a good player who still can score in bunches. The problem is that teams don't need a guy with his skills of today starting and disrupting the team's flow. Look what happened in Denver once he left. He could cut a nice extended career out of being an offensive spark-plug coming off the bench but that's not his style. Again, the NBA has made the decision for you.
It's a shame that it had to end like this. Iverson in a Memphis uniform will be a sad chapter to a great career ... one that could have been better. To most fans, his "practice" rant will be the thing most people remember him for. That, and for being a gunner. And for unofficially ushering in the hip hop culture into the NBA. He also was a great scorer or something.
So say good-bye to the "bad guy". We probably won't see Iverson's mug much longer since he really doesn't seem like the guy to stick around the league in any other capacity. As you know, he's either the star or nothing at all.