Atkins Could Land With the Grizzlies

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Memphis Grizzlies, who have played without point guard Damon Stoudamire since he suffered a season-ending knee injury on Dec. 30, have expressed interest in signing former Washington Wizards guard Chucky Atkins. But Atkins has yet to decide where he wants to play.

The Wizards and Atkins agreed to a contract buyout Wednesday and Atkins cleared waivers on Friday. Several Memphis players, including guard Bobby Jackson and forward Pau Gasol, have said they would welcome the addition of Atkins, who averaged 6.7 points, 2.5 assists and 19.7 minutes for Washington.

According to a source close to Atkins, the veteran guard is closely weighing his options and could be waiting to see what moves are made by the Detroit Pistons with the idea of possibly signing there. Atkins spent four seasons with the Pistons and was popular in Detroit, as evidenced by the ovation he received when he made six three-pointers and scored 20 points in Washington's 120-114 double-overtime victory at Detroit on Nov. 25.

Bear of a Stretch

The Grizzlies (23-15) have lost a season-high four straight, including an 89-86 overtime loss at Philadelphia on Friday night. That game was particularly painful because Memphis overcame a 17-point first-half deficit to take a six-point lead with 1 minute 47 seconds remaining in regulation before allowing the lead to slip away. A jumper by Allen Iverson with 3.2 seconds left sent the game into overtime, when Memphis was outscored 10-7.

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