NBA News and Rumors – September 8, 2009

Ben Gordon: “I don’t have any bad feelings towards Chicago”

Grizzlies, Iverson meet, but make no deal yet

Looking for a mercenary? Here’s oneBen Gordon: “I don’t have any bad feelings towards Chicago”

How’s been this summer compared to last year’s when you had to deal with all the uncertainty about your future?

Ben Gordon: It’s obviously been a lot more calm and a lot less stressful – just by having clarity with my situation, having signed early in the summer with the Detroit Pistons. Everything in this summer has been about moving forward, making the transition from the city of Chicago to the city of Detroit. That as opposed to last summer, when it was more stressful. There was a whole lot of uncertainty all the way through training camp. This summer has been less stressful.

Did that stress of the summer carry to the regular season?

BG: When the season started, everything was clear. Clarity was brought into the situation: I knew I was going to play on a one-year deal and that was it. The stress I had is the same every basketball player has: To perform well. It was a little bit more hard because it was a one-year deal and I had to worry about being healthy, performing well and trying to get my team to win as many games as possible. There was a little bit more pressure in that aspect, but other than that… The whole thing about the contract… I mean, clarity was there. I knew exactly what I had to do, so it was a little easier because I had the situation cleared up.

Going into free agency, were you expecting to change teams?

BG: After I signed my one-year deal with the Bulls, that same day I knew that could very well be my last year with the team. Or it could be the the start of something new. Going in, I had an attitude that I was going to expect any and everything – whether it be re-signing or moving to a new team and playing with new teammates. I really didn’t believe one thing was going to happen more than the other.

Grizzlies, Iverson meet, but make no deal yet

Ronald Tillery Memphis Commercial Appeal

Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley met with Allen Iverson Monday night in Atlanta where the sides came away with a better understanding of what the other expects yet no deal was finalized.

But the frank, comfortable and friendly meeting went so well that Iverson could agree to a deal as soon as Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

Heisley, general manager Chris Wallace and head coach Lionel Hollins spent more than two hours with Iverson. Most of their conversations were about the Grizzlies’ philosophy and how they intend to use Iverson.

There were no specific contract talks although Memphis wants Iverson on a one-year deal that pays $3.5 million.

Iverson’s starting salary could increase to roughly $4.4 million should the Griz renounce their rights to Spanish guard Juan Carlos Navarro.

Iverson, a 13-year veteran, is a free agent for the first time in his career. Memphis is the only NBA team in public pursuit of the 34-year-old scoring machine.

The Griz initially were prepared to pay Iverson $5 million when the expressed strong interest in July. Iverson, though, held out hope all summer for offers from Charlotte, Miami, New York and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Looking for a mercenary? Here’s one

Alan Hahn

With at least one roster spot still open, the Knicks have spent the past month going through the one-year wonders. They had a week of exclusivity with Jason Williams and passed. Williams eventually signed with the Orlando Magic. They had Allen Iverson desperately trying to include them in his very short list of potential destinations until it was made Cristal clear the Knicks weren’t interested. AI is reportedly on the verge of taking a one-year, $3.5M deal to help the Memphis Grizzlies sell tickets this year (quick, someone shrink-wrap OJ Mayo).

Jamaal Tinsley appeared to be on the Miami Heat radar, but it sounds as if Pat Riley would prefer to find backcourt support in a trade. Tinsley talked to the Knicks, but there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of interest at the moment. Jerry Stackhouse had a well-publicized workout in August, but little came from that, as well.

If there’s an unsigned veteran free agent that may fit exactly what the Knicks could use — a pro’s pro, a terrific shooter and a competitor — it’s Wally Szczerbiak. A few weeks ago he seemed on the verge of being locked up by the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets are still interested, but Szczerbiak is still available.

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