76ers trade Allen Iverson to Nuggets - East Valley Tribune: Sports

76ers trade Allen Iverson to Nuggets

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Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 1:49 pm | Updated: 4:10 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

PHILADELPHIA - Allen Iverson was traded by the 76ers to the Denver Nuggets, a person in the NBA with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal was not announced, did not know the terms of the deal.

ESPN.com said the trade would send Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two 2007 first-round picks to the 76ers for Iverson and perhaps another minimum-salaried player or two.

The trade brings an end to 10 turbulent seasons with the franchise that made him the No. 1 overall pick in 1996.

Iverson, a seven-time All-Star and four-time scoring champion, transformed the Sixers from lottery losers to contenders, though he couldn't bring home an NBA title to this championship-starved city. He came close in 2001, when the 76ers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA finals, but since then the team has fallen from the elite, missing the playoffs twice in the last three seasons.

Now the 31-year-old Iverson's chase for a coveted championship will continue in Denver.

Iverson's relationship with the only team he's ever played for was irreversibly broken once he asked for a trade last week. Iverson had just been fined for missing a team function and his relationship with coach Maurice Cheeks had deteriorated to where the cornrowed point guard didn't want to play for him anymore.

The Sixers sent Iverson home for good nearly two weeks ago after holding him out of a morning shootaround. Chairman Ed Snider said then the All-Star guard had "probably" played his last game in Philly. His nameplate was removed, his locker was cleaned out, and his dazzling highlights were edited out of a pregame video package.

Only Memphis (5-19) has a worse record than the 76ers (5-18), who are winless since Nov. 24.

No matter the drama in Iverson's personal life, it rarely affected his performance on the court. Even this season, with Iverson unhappy and the Sixers stuck in last place, he still leads the league in scoring with 31.2 points, averaged 42.7 minutes and 2.2 steals.

He's averaging 28.1 points, 6.1 assists and 2.3 steals in 697 career games. Iverson scored a career-high 60 points against Orlando on Feb. 12, 2005.

But as dynamic Iverson was, and as thrilling as it could be to watch the 6-foot tattooed bundle of energy play, only twice did he lead the Sixers out of the second round of the playoffs. And Philadelphia was only a modest 355-342 (.509 winning percentage) with Iverson in the lineup for regular-season games.

At his best, he has been the ultimate gamer; a hustling, hard-charging MVP who became one of the most popular players in the league and his No. 3 jersey was always one of the top sellers.

Only Minnesota's Kevin Garnett has been with one team longer than Iverson among active players.

For as much as he thrilled the Sixers on the court, he gave them nearly as many headaches off it.

With his rants about practice, his run-ins with former coach Larry Brown, his arrests and failed rap career, Iverson was often a magnet for trouble away from the court.

Iverson and Brown were a volcanic combination during the six seasons they spent together in Philly. Brown criticized Iverson for taking too many shots and accused him of being selfish at times.

Iverson often arrived late for practice or missed practices for various reasons. In one infamous blowup at the end of the 2002 season he repeated "talking about practice" nearly 20 times during a rambling monologue. He now pokes fun at the memorable meltdown.

Brown and Iverson eventually reconciled and Brown named his former guard co-captain of the 2004 United States Olympic men's basketball team.

He often was labeled as being too selfish, that the Sixers played team ball without him, and that his all-out style means he's going to wear out sooner than later. Now the Sixers will see if they can win with an offense primarily built around veteran Chris Webber and his achy knees.

Iverson has shown few signs of slowing down, always ricocheting around the court like a pinball and slamming to the court after every basket. He had 15 40-plus point games in 2005-06, including his 10th-career 50-point game.

Iverson's name was always in trade rumors, but the guard out of Georgetown nicknamed "The Answer," has always publicly stated he wanted to end his career in Philadelphia. He's due the rest of his $18 million this season, and a combined $40 million through the 2008-09 season.

I truly wanted to retire a 76er," Iverson said Friday. "I appreciate that in my 11 years in Philadelphia, the fans have always stood by me, supported me, and gone to bat for me."

Iverson's years in Philadelphia were marred by arrests in 1997 for carrying a concealed weapon and for possession of marijuana and in 2002 over a domestic dispute with his wife. He was sentenced to community service in 1997 and all charges dropped against him five years later.

Iverson also never released his rap album, which drew criticism from civil rights groups and earned him a reprimand from NBA commissioner David Stern because of its offensive lyrics.

While Iverson's maybe a half-step slower than he was 10 years ago, that's still a step quicker than most players in the league. He still was too quick to guard 1-on-1 and beat teams with the same killer crossover he once used in his rookie season that dusted Michael Jordan.

Perhaps in Denver, he won't have to shoulder the scoring load like he always did in Philadelphia. He had little success playing with a legitimate No. 2 scorer, with Glen Robinson, Jerry Stackhouse, and Tim Thomas among a slew of players brought in that underachieved or never fit in while trying to find consistent shots with Iverson still running the show.

The Sixers can only hope trading this superstar doesn't end up as lopsided as their last two franchise-shifting deals. No one in Philly can forget the Sixers only getting Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang and Tim Perry for Charles Barkley in 1992. And the Sixers traded Wilt Chamberlain to the Lakers in 1968 for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark and Darrall Imhoff.

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