Last week I predicted Allen Iverson would be off the Grizzlies and out of the NBA by Christmas. Now it looks like I was being a little cautious with that call — the washed-up gunslinger requested and was granted a leave from the team yesterday, for what is only being reported as “personal reasons” thus far. Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley insisted his absence has nothing to do with his hurt feelings over his role on the team, though I’m guessing we won’t see the former Answer back in Memphis regardless.
Whether Iverson has a family issue to attend to or not (he’s back home in Atlanta indefinitely), I don’t see him coming back and playing for the Grizzlies. Since he just signed this summer, he’s not eligible to be dealt until Dec. 15, but why would any GM bother with the guy? He won’t accept a secondary role and will only destroy a contender, as he did in Denver (as we discovered he was doing after Chauncey Billups came in and ran that town following the trade) and Detroit last year. I’m sticking to my guns — Iverson is finished in the NBA.
Memphis, by the way, has dropped all three games A.I. has dressed for this season, with their only win coming on Oct. 30 against the Raptors with him in street clothes.