Sunday, October 01, 2006

"I am a Sixer at heart"

Allen Iverson has repeated one phrase a lot in order to make clear that he will stay in Philadelphia. "I'm a Sixer at heart" he said yesterday at the Wachovia Center.

In fact, Iverson said it one more time as he participated in his 11th Media Day with the Sixers.

So, we understand that he wants to spend his entire career in Philadelphia. "I'd have to be sent out of here," Iverson said. "I don't think there would ever be a day that I'd ask to leave."

In ten years with the Sixers, Iverson has been an NBA MVP once and an NBA All-Star seven times, won four scoring titles, and represented the United States in the Olympics in 2004.

We must remember that the only thing Iverson doesn't have is an NBA championship, and at this stage of his career, with the Sixers coming off a 38-44 season, it doesn't look as if he will win one here.

The trip to the 2001 NBA Finals looks more and more as if it will be the high moment of the Iverson era.

"I want to add that championship to my resume," said Iverson, who is only 30 but has a decade of NBA wear on his body. "But when you know that you've been someplace for so long and you've been trying to accomplish the same goal for years and years, you just want to keep going until the wheels fall off.

"I'm a Sixer at heart. That's just the way it is."

The Answer calls himself an "original Sixer," like Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain and all the others whose legacy is forever linked to this city and franchise.

"I guess it's just the because of the experience," Iverson said of wanting to stay in Philadelphia, "everything I've learned here, developing into a man, all the ups and downs and having to overcome different obstacles I've had in my career.

"You hear about all the negative things that are going in the city, and I just want to be a part of something positive, something that will make people happy and they will cherish for all time.

"I want to win a championship more than anyone in this league, but I want to win it in Philadelphia. If they told me I had to go somewhere else, I'd give my all to that place as far as my basketball abilities just like I have to Philadelphia.

"However, until that day comes, I'm a Sixer, and I'll fight to try and get a title here every season" he concluded.