Videos from today: Iverson on tonight, Iverson and Iguodala.
Just finished 76ers shootaround here at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Allen Iverson just said that he will start tonight, so we can put that speculation to rest. A few minutes later, Sixers coach Eddie Jordan confirmed he would start a backcourt of Iverson and Andre Iguodala. Iguodala's ankle looks fine, he just did some spot shooting with Iverson. Rookie Jrue Holiday is out again with that right rotator cuff strain.
Here's what Iverson said about tonight ... and about the ovation he received when he returned with the Nuggets, as a Nugget, after being traded in 2006:
"I dreamed about it," Iverson said of tonight. "And, you know, in your dreams you always hope for the best. That’s what I’m doing. I love these people here, they know that, and they love me back. So, hopefully, it’ll just be a great experience. Hopefully I don’t get emotional because it will take away from my game. I hope it doesn’t last as long as it did last time because this time I have to play for us."
"I don't know," Iverson said when asked how many minutes he could play tonight. "Being that I haven't played it's going to be tough on me but you never know, the way my adrenaline is going to be pumping. I guess it's how I feel when I get out there and have my first break, I hope I can catch my second wind and have some stamina."
Jordan said he would let Iverson dictate when he needs to be taken out. He said that in his first time coaching Iverson, he wasn't going to take the guy out unless he called for a sub.
When asked about helping a team that's struggled to sell tickets, and sparking a sell out for tonight's game, Iverson laughed and said, "glad I could help. It's a beautiful thing."
Iverson said he had to take his time tonight and not try to do too much.
"I haven’t really played in 6 months … it’s going to be tough on my legs and it’s going to be mentally tough as well being back home and playing in front of my fans. It’s going to be rough and I think I need to take my time and not do too much, not be superman out there."
Jordan said he's been impressed with Iverson's on-court talking, the way he runs cuts, how enthusiastic he is. Jordan said he "envisions" starting Iverson for the rest of the season, but that will depend about how guys return from injuries. Jordan said he envisions a backcourt of AI and Lou Williams, when Williams returns from his broken jaw.
At 3 p.m., we'll be holding a Live Chat about Allen Iverson's return as well as all things Sixers. If you have time, click here: Sixers Chat. Also, most info gets Tweeted as it goes down, so if you want it sooner, click here: Deep Sixer. Also posted, in the Deep Sixer play below on the right, there are two videos from this morning's shoot around: one of AI shooting with AI2 and another with Iverson talking about tonight.
Tonight, the Sixers (5-15, losers of 9 straight) play the Denver Nuggets (15-5), the team to which the Sixers traded Iverson back in December of 2006.
Nuggets coach George Karl had some interesting things to say about Iverson. Marc Narducci rounded up his comments here.