The crowd erupted when Allen Iverson got up early in the first quarter, but the fans quickly realized it was just a timeout.
When Iverson made his first appearance for the Denver Nuggets with 3:25 left in the first, the crowd roared even louder.
The public address announcer said, "For the first time at the Pepsi Center, Allen Iverson," and the crowd dialed it up even more.
Iverson, acquired from Philadelphia on Tuesday, sat next to assistant coach Mike Dunlap, waiting for Denver coach George Karl to put him in against the Sacramento Kings. The star guard had a towel on his lap and took sips from a Gatorade bottle. He got up from his seat on a Nene shot and did a little fist pump.
Iverson's first basket came on a fadeaway with 1:24 left in the first. His first awe-inspiring pass was a lob to DerMarr Johnson for a slam in the second quarter.
Iverson cleared his physical shortly after arriving at the Pepsi Center about an hour before the game with Sacramento.
"It's going to be fun," Karl said. "I don't know how he's going to fit or what it's going to mean. I know he's a great player. I know he's excited to be here. I know we're excited to have him. Right now, we've just got to let the rhythm of the game tell us where it falls into place."
Iverson's physical was all that had kept the trade between the Nuggets and 76ers from becoming official. New 76er Andre Miller passed his physical, although he didn't play on Friday night.
The Nuggets certainly needed Iverson, with Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith out after being suspended for their roles in a brawl with the New York Knicks last weekend and Marcus Camby sidelined with a fractured finger.
Anthony, who is serving a 15-game suspension, said it's hard just watching.
"That's what I told [Iverson]," Anthony said. "I said, `It's going hard for me watching you in a Denver Nuggets uniform when I ain't even out there.' He said he'd try to hold it down until me and J.R. and Camby get back."
But Iverson wasn't enough to keep the Nuggets from losing 101-96 to the Sacramento Kings.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first