Source: Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal


Allen Iverson is contemplating retirement if he doesn't rejoin the Grizzlies, according to a source with knowledge of the veteran guard's situation.

Iverson left the team Saturday after receiving permission from Griz owner Michael Heisley to deal with a personal matter. The stress associated with a family issue plus Iverson's frustration over playing a reserve role might spell the end of his 14-year NBA career, according to the source.

Heisley said he's not been given any indication that Iverson might be leaning towards retirement, and still is holding out hope that the 10-time All-Star will return to Memphis.

"I just think if he was going to retire, he'd tell me first," Heisley said. "I expect him to come back. If he does retire, I'll be tremendously disappointed. I feel bad because I don't think that's the way he should go out."

The idea of Iverson retiring isn't farfetched given the circumstances. From a basketball standpoint, Iverson also had difficulty accepting a reserve role with the Detroit Pistons last season.

Iverson said then he'd rather retire than come off the bench.

"I hope he doesn't retire," Heisley said. "I really hope he comes back and plays for us. He's still got a lot of game left."