Should Have Been A Happier Ending

Allen Iverson announced his retirement from the NBA on Wednesday afternoon. (Lance Murphey/AP file photo)

If this is really the end of Allen Iverson's NBA career, it's not the way it should have ended.

There should have been a press conference.

There should have been a celebration of a career that will almost certainly land the guy in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame.

Instead, it ended earlier today with a statement from Iverson, thanking various people, insisting he still has a lot left to offer.

But . . .

He basically walked away from the Memphis Grizzlies, reaching a contract settlement after appearing in just three games, never on the Grizzlies' home floor. Among other things, he had no interest in coming off the bench.

So Iverson and Memphis never got to know each other.

Whether you loved Iverson or thought he was a selfish one-on-one player, he was a magnet for crowds. The people came to see the show, and more often than not he provided it. The 76ers' largest crowd of the season came when the Grizzlies wewre in town, because people had bought tickets in the hopes of getting one more look at the star guard they watched for 10 seasons-plus.

I know Memphis waived him shortly after they reached their settlement agreement, but it's still disappointing that Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace would finally speak with Gary Moore, Iverson's personal manager, many hours after the news was all over the internet.

(Let the record show that Moore did not respond to messages left by the Daily News.)

To his credit, Wallace walked the straight and narrow. He had not spoken with Iverson in several weeks, but he wasn't about to say anything remotely negative.

''All I'll say is, it didn't happen here, and both parties have moved on,'' Wallace said. ''We only got to see him play three games and in two practices in a month because of his hamstring injury. But in those three games, it was clear he still had something left, particularly on the offensive end. He can still put points up on the board.''

And now Iverson is retired.

Unless, of course, some team calls.