Allen Iverson’s Short Stint With the Grizzlies Gives Him a Unique Distinction in HOF
Be honest. Who remembers Allen Iverson playing for the Memphis Grizzlies? The 11-time NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer certainly made his money while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. He was the No. 1 pick in the 1996 NBA draft after an impressive two-year college career at Georgetown. The Sixers dealt Iverson to the Denver Nuggets in a high-profile trade and he eventually wound up with the Memphis Grizzlies. It’s true.
Allen Iverson’s trade to the Denver Nuggets
After Allen Iverson spent the first 10-plus seasons making a name for himself in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, he was traded to the Denver Nuggets early into the 2006-07 season. The Sixers slumped early that season and it was reported that a frustrated Iverson demanded a trade, although he claimed that wasn’t the case.
“I went into a meeting with Billy (King, the Sixers GM) and I had expressed my frustrations,” Iverson said in December of 2006. “We had lost 12 of 14 games and something wasn’t right. I told Billy King we couldn’t win with this style. I didn’t directly say, ‘Trade me — I’m ready to go.'”
Iverson did say the Sixers had to know that, “If they didn’t change what was going on so that we had a chance to win, I thought they should get rid of me.” So they did. Iverson was traded along with Ivan McFarlin for Andre Miller, Joe Smith, and two 2007 first-round draft picks.
Life after Philadelphia
Allen Iverson’s trade to the Denver Nuggets gave his new team the top two scorers in the league at that time. Iverson was second in the league and he was teaming up with Carmelo Anthony, who was leading the league. Iverson said he was very excited about joining the Nuggets and teaming up with Anthony.
“I’m very happy about the trade,” Iverson said in a statement in 2006. “Denver’s style of play fits my strengths. I’m looking forward to playing with Carmelo, the rest of the Denver Nuggets, and for George Karl, who is a proven winner.”
Iverson made his debut with Denver on Dec. 23, 2006, with a 22-point, 10-assist effort in a loss to the Sacramento Kings. He played just two seasons with the Nuggets, who traded him to the Detroit Pistons in a deal that included Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess. The deal was confusing to Pistons fans as they traded two core players for a veteran, but the deal appeared to be more about cap space than talent on the court.
Iverson played out the season with the Pistons and then signed a one-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies prior to the 2009-10 season
Iverson’s few days with Memphis
It reads like a bad trivia question. Or maybe it’s a good trivia question. Who is the only member of the Memphis/Vancouver Grizzlies franchise to be in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame? The answer is The Answer. Allen Iverson, the man nicknamed The Answer and the man who spent the majority of his 14-year, Hall-of-Fame NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers, is the only player in the franchise history of the Grizzlies to be inducted. And he spent just a week with the team.
When Iverson signed with the Grizzlies, he tweeted it was because God wanted him to continue his career there. When he arrived in Memphis, the relationship between Iverson got off to a rocky start as Iverson’s playing time was minimal. On Nov. 7, he left the team for ‘personal reasons.’ A week later, the team issued a statement saying Iverson and the Grizzlies agreed to part ways.
Iverson played a total of three games, none as a starter, for the Grizzlies and is the lone member of that franchise in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.