AI Or OJ: Let The Debate Begin

Charles KirkContributor INovember 8, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 06:  Allen Iverson #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies staands on the court in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on November 6, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 114-98.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

At 1-6 coming off of a loss to the Clippers the Grizzlies are now at a crossroads. Now the most celebrated player in the history of the Memphis Grizzlies is now leaving to attend to a "personal" matter in Atlanta. It doesn't seem that he is in a rush to come back anytime soon either.

There has also been a big and heated debate on whether or not he should've even come off of the bench for a team like the Grizz anyway. AI believed that with more playing time or a starting role would guarantee the Grizz a much better shot at winning. I don't disagree with Allen Iverson at all on the matter. There is one huge problem. Who is he going to start over OJ Mayo or Mike Conley.

Mike Conley in my opinion is a bench point guard. He is in no way shape or form better than A.I. even in A.I.'s twilight years. He cannot lead an offense, he isn't aggressive with his teammates and he doesn't set them up on plays. He cannot score at all even though he is very fast but doesn't use his speed to go to the basket. He cannot score coming off of the bench.

OJ Mayo on the other hand is one of the brightest young stars in the league at the age of 21. He is coming off of a terrific rookie year. He has shown the leadership, playmaking, and great scoring ability that Mike Conley lacks. He is also the future franchise cornerstone for the Grizzlies. He would without a doubt be great off of the bench for the Grizz.

That is where the problem comes in. Do you bench Allen Iverson in order to let OJ Mayo develop into a great player. Or, do you bench the future of your franchise for Allen Iverson.

What do you think???