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Answer Still "No" to A.I.

Iverson2 The Heat had luke-warm interest in guard Allen Iverson before he signed a free-agent 
deal with Memphis entering the start of training camp.

 

Now that Iverson is set to be available again after the Grizzlies released him this week, don’t expect the Heat to be among his suitors.

 

Contrary to a published report out of New York, the Heat is not in “hot” pursuit of Iverson and is not competing with the Knicks for the services of the former league MVP.

 

A report in Thursday’s editions of the New York Daily News cited a person close to Iverson saying the Heat is making a strong run at Iverson. But the Heat dismissed the report as simply a rumor, and a team spokesman said Thursday that there was nothing to the speculation.

 

Iverson is expected to clear waivers at 6 p.m. Thursday and would be an unrestricted free agent. The Knicks appear poised to bring in Iverson as much for his box-office appeal as for anything he can do on the court to turn around the 2-9 team. Iverson’s inner circle appears to be using past interest from the Heat as leverage to land a more lucrative deal than the $1.4 million minimum contract. 

 

Iverson played only three games with the Grizzlies before he left the team to deal with a personal matter. But Iverson also complained vehemently about his reserve role.

 

The Grizzlies and Iverson mutually agreed to terminate the one-year, $3 million contract he signed after very few other teams showed interest in the 34-year-old perennial All Star.

The Heat had shown modest interest in Iverson over the summer, but was unwilling to meet his salary demands or his insistence upon earning a starting role.

 

Miami instead signed Carlos Arroyo during training camp to bolster its depth at point guard behind starter Mario Chalmers.

 

But Chalmers has been inconsistent at best in his second season in the league and as the starter. The Heat (7-4) also has struggled offensively while losing three of four games entering Friday’s contest at Toronto.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/wallacesports. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

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