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Allen Iverson Press Conference quotes

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GENERAL MANAGER CHRIS WALLACE

Opening Statement:
“Coach (Gene) Bartow, it is great to have you back in town again. This
is a terrific day for the Grizzlies organization, our loyal fans and the entire
city of Memphis. We welcome one of the all-time great players to ever lace up
a pair of basketball sneakers, Mr. Allen Iverson. Pete (Pranica) read off some
of his accomplishments, which are too numerous to mention today; all of the
things he has done statistically and in terms of the awards he (Iverson) has
won. What really impressed Lionel (Hollins), Mr. Heisley and I on Monday night
in our meeting in Atlanta with Allen was that he has that eye of the tiger that
great athletes and champions have. He may be 34 years old but he’s not
ready to hang them up and go to some golf course. This guy many years of basketball
left him him. He is eager and expressed to us to get going with the task of
helping our team reach a whole new level of success.”

On what Iverson said in their meeting on Monday:
“One of the things Allen said to us in our meeting on Monday that got
me fired up was, ‘I look at things differently. Just because the (Los
Angeles) Lakers and Orlando (Magic) were in the NBA Finals last year, doesn’t
mean they’re destined to be back there again. Just because a team in preseason
predictions is supposed to go deep in the playoffs, that doesn’t mean
that has to happen. Why not us? Why can’t we (Memphis) win? Why can’t
we make a run (deep into the playoffs)?’ I’m with you Allen; why
not us? So we left Atlanta singing off the same sheet of music with Allen. We
are here to get this team to another level. It’s a fantastic day to welcome
Allen Iverson to the Grizzlies and the city of Memphis.”

ALLEN IVERSON

Opening Statement:
“(My expectations are) to win. A lot of people obviously when you talk
about the Memphis Grizzlies feel as if getting to the playoffs is enough and
is considered a successful season. I wouldn’t have signed the contract
if I felt that just making the playoffs is what I was coming to accomplish.
Like Chris (Wallace) said, I think differently than how most people think. The
only thing that matters is us, (pointing to his teammates) those guys over there,
the coaching staff and the fans that care about the Memphis Grizzlies.”

On his arrival in Memphis:
“This is the best part of coming to a new place. I always thought that
I would retire in Philadelphia. I never imagined going to another city and playing.
This is the best part of it all, when you go somewhere and you’re accepted
by the fans and the people in the community. I had chill bumps right now just
due to the fact that all of these people are here. The city is so eager to get
the season started. I’m just happy about that.”

On signing with the Grizzlies:
“I was interested in every team that wanted me. If they were committed
to winning, wanted me and were willing to embrace me like I’ve been today,
that’s what I wanted more than anything. I felt this would be the best
situation for me and my career. I look at the roster and see the young talent
that we have, and I know we can be a great team. I’m in Memphis a lot
in the summer anyways. I see how the fans treat me when I’m around here.
It was a basketball decision more than anything. I thought that it would be
a good place for me, being that I’ve been in the league 13 years and can
lead these young guys”

On finishing his career in Memphis:
“I truly hope so. That was the most frustrating part of the (moving) process;
not having my wife know where she was going to live, having my kids go from
different schools, not having a relationship with their teachers and then having
to leave. My daughter started crying the last day we left Detroit. My kids get
attached to their teachers and their friends. Having to leave is the most frustrating
part. I’m numb to it now, but the only time I go through the emotion is
when they go through it. Hopefully this is the last place. I want it to be.”

On his role with the team:
“Everybody wants to start. I’ve been starting since I was nine years
old on every team that I’ve ever been on. It’s something I’ve
grown accustomed to. Mainly, I just want to lead. I’ve been places some
of these young guys have never been. I can help them get to those places. Like
I talked to Coach Hollins about, I want to be a coach out there on the floor.
I want to give them my knowledge that I have of the game and tell them about
some of the experiences that I’ve had. It’s all about competing.
I’ll go to training camp and compete. Nobody has ever given me anything
in life. I’ve always earned it. I definitely plan on coming in here and
leading this team to greater accomplishments. This year for me is so personal.
It’s basically going to be my rookie season again. I turn the television
on, read the paper and hear the things people say about me having the season
that I had last year. People say that I’ve lost a step and are trying
to put me in a rocking chair already. It’s going to be a personal year
for me. I was in a bad situation last year. I thank the Detroit Pistons for
giving me the opportunity to play for their franchise, but I think I have a
lot to prove; not to everybody else in the world, but to myself. I want to get
back to playing at the high level I’m accustomed to playing at.”

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