Tuesday , Dec , 19 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Sixers ship Iverson to Denver

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – The Philadelphia 76ers traded star guard
Allen Iverson to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.

The Sixers received guard Andre Miller, forward Joe Smith and a pair
of first-round draft picks in return for the enigmatic superstar as well as
seldom-used forward Ivan McFarlin.

The deal comes just one day after Denver’s Carmelo Anthony, the NBA’s leading
scorer, was suspended for 15 games. Iverson is currently second in the league
in scoring.

“I’m very happy about the trade,” said Iverson. “Denver’s style of play fits
my strengths. I’m looking forward to playing with Carmelo, the rest of the
Denver Nuggets, and for George Karl, who is a proven winner.”

It also ends an often turbulent 10-plus seasons with a franchise that made
Iverson the No. 1 overall pick in 1996.

A seven-time All Star and four-time scoring champion, Iverson turned the
Sixers from lottery regulars to a championship contender. The Sixers came
close in 2001 when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, but
since then the team has fallen off, missing the playoffs twice in the last
three seasons.

The team then hit rock bottom this season. Only Memphis (5-19) has a worse
record than the 5-18 Sixers, who are winless since November 24.

Iverson’s relationship with the Sixers’ braintrust was irrevocably breached
when he asked for a trade during the dry spell. Iverson’s request came after
being fined for missing a team bowling function after he argued with his head
coach, Maurice Cheeks, at a shootaround earlier that same day.

The Sixers sent Iverson home for good and removed his nameplate, cleaned out
his locker and removed his highlights out of the team’s pregame video package.

“I’d like to thank my fans in Philadelphia,” said Iverson. “They’ve been with
me every step of the way, through all the ups and downs. I will always be
grateful to the 76ers organization, and I wish them the very best.”

Iverson was leading the league in scoring at 31.2 points when he was exiled
from the team and he’s averaged a gaudy 28.1 points, 6.1 assists and 2.3
steals in 697 career games.

The key to the deal on the Sixers end is the two first round picks in the 2007
draft as well as the expiring contract of Smith. Philadelphia will receive
Denver’s own draft choice and a pick the Nuggets acquired from Dallas.

Miller is averaging 13 points per game and 9.1 assists in 23 games for Denver
this season and will take over as Philadelphia’s point guard. In 594 career
games, Miller has scored 14.1 points per contest and 7.6 assists per game.