Grizzlies GM: Gilbert Arenas Signing Unlike Allen Iverson Signing

by March 21, 2012

When the Memphis Grizzlies signed Gilbert Arenas, many Allen Iverson-related jokes were cracked. But GM Chris Wallace refuses to compare this situation to the 2009 Iverson disaster in Memphis. From the Commercial Appeal: “Gilbert was never the rock star that Allen was. Gilbert is in better physical condition than Allen was. Allen hadn’t done anything all summer,’ Wallace said, adding that: ‘Gilbert desperately wants to get back in the NBA. He’s a legit card-caring basketball junkie. He’s only 30 years old. He feels he’s got some years left in him. He doesn’t have an issue coming off the bench. I don’t think they’re comparable situations.’ Read: Gilbert is ‘desperate.’ I can tell you that Iverson was delusional. He lied to the Griz about being OK with coming off the bench. Then Iverson was a flat-out cancer after he arrived. He totally disrespected his teammates and then quit. Arenas has never been painted as a bad guy before the gun incident with the Washington Wizards. That was Arenas being stupid. He’s generally viewed as a bit goofy and eccentric but not a thug. Plus, Iverson was team owner Michael Heisley’s idea and his alone. None of the Grizzlies’ basketball people wanted Iverson. That was also the case with Jason Williams last year, and he quit. This Arenas deal is all on Wallace, and it’s a relatively risk-free proposition.”