Thu, Feb 17, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Iverson happy to remain a 76er

AP , PHILADELPHIAAP, ATLANTA, GEORGIAAP, NEW YORK

Allen Iverson of the 76ers celebrates with teammates after Marc Jackson hit the game-winning basket against the Knicks in Philadelphia on Monday. Iverson had 38 points as the Sixers won 106-105.

PHOTO: AP

NBA star Allen Iverson says he wants to play the rest of his career with the Philadelphia 76ers.

"I want to be right here," Iverson said on Tuesday. "If I could have a wish, I would wish it's the last time I have to say that. I would wish people would know this is where I want to be."

Iverson was responding to a story in Tuesday's edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer that said his agent met with Sixers president Billy King last week to express the guard's unhappiness over the direction of the team, and that he wanted to be traded if there weren't roster upgrades.

King did meet with Iverson's agent, Leon Rose, but insisted on Tuesday he does not have an unhappy All-Star on his team.

"He never asked to be traded and he does not want to be traded," King said.

Iverson, a three-time scoring champion who was voted to the All-Star team for the sixth time, is enjoying perhaps the best season of his nine-year career. He scored a career-high 60 points against the Orlando Magic on Saturday, and followed that up with 38 points against the New York Knicks on Monday, boosting his league-leading scoring average to 29.9.

He's carried a young team to a 26-26 record and a share of first place with the Boston Celtics in the Atlantic Division.

"I don't want to be a distraction on this team," Iverson said. "If there are any distractions on this team, I don't want Allen Iverson's name involved in it, period."

Iverson confirmed part of the newspaper story -- that he was bothered the Sixers kept former interim coach Chris Ford as a scout. Ford and Iverson battled for most of the final 30 games of last season, including a dispute in which Iverson refused to come off the bench in Toronto after he was told he wasn't going to start.

Ford was not at practice on Tuesday, but is at most home games and is often in the locker room before games.

"I honestly have a problem with it, deep down inside," Iverson said. "Why wouldn't I? I went through a lot with that man last year and it was tough on me, it was tough on my career, it was tough on my family and friends."

Carmelo Anthony's jump shot with nine-tenths of a second to play gave the Denver Nuggets their first victory in Atlanta since 1988, 100-96 over the Hawks on Tuesday.

Anthony led the Nuggets with 22 points as Denver ended a 14-game losing streak in Atlanta.

"It's an important win," said Denver coach George Karl. "If we do have a chance to make the playoffs, we'll remember this one."

Following a miss by Denver's Andre Miller, the Hawks got the ball and Atlanta coach Mike Woodson did not call a timeout. Antoine Walker fired an air ball on a fallaway jumper, Denver rebounded and called timeout with 6.8 seconds left. Then Anthony launched the winning shot from the left wing.

"They put [Antoine] Walker on Kenyon and Kenyon made the right read," Karl said.

Walker led the Hawks with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Tony Delk followed with 19 points.

Marcus Camby had 17 for Denver, and Kenyon Martin and former Hawk DerMarr Johnson each added 16.

The Nuggets had not won in Atlanta since Dec. 10, 1988.

Rockets 123, Wizards 93

In Houston, Tracy McGrady scored 34 points and Yao Ming had 23 to lead Houston over Washington for its eighth straight win.

Houston's streak is its longest since March 1999 and the best active run in the league.

Antawn Jamison had 23 points and Jarvis Hayes 21 for the Wizards, losers of five straight road games.

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