Friday, December 22, 2006

Iverson lands in Denver, and might have his debut on Friday

It's incredible how many things happened with AI in the last weeks, but it was real. Now, the talented Iverson, wearing his usual No. 3, hopes to make his debut with the Denver Nuggets on Friday, weather permitting, when his new team hosts the Sacramento Kings. A blizzard forced the postponement of Wednesday's match against the Phoenix Suns, just adding to the anticipation of "the Answer" playing in a Nuggets uniform.

Howevr, we must remember that the trade isn't official until all parties involved have passed their physicals, which they are expected to do without any problems.

I't nice to know that Iverson's new teammate, DerMarr Johnson, gave up his No. 3 so Iverson could keep his old number. The Iverson No. 3 Nuggets jersey also went on sale at the NBA Store in New York and online Thursday.

Almost as soon as the trade was announced, supporters began clamoring for Iverson jerseys, and the team sold 340 season-ticket packages and about 4,000 single-match tickets within 30 minutes. In fact, the Denver Nuggets are 25th in attendance, averaging only 15,807, a dropoff of 1,331 a game from last season.

What's more, Denver coach George Karl is eager to get Iverson and Anthony on the floor together, which won't happen until Anthony's 15-game suspension ends for his part in last Saturday's brawl.

Miami coach Pat Riley, whose squad also made an offer for Iverson, said he doesn't forsee problems arising from Anthony and the controversial Iverson, the two leading scorers in the NBA, playing together. "I think Allen wants to win now, so I think he'll be more accommodating," Riley admitted. "I do believe their system is appropriate for both of them. They really get out and run, they open the court up and Allen is amazing in the open court."

We must consider that Iverson moving to the Western Conference also makes the All-Star balloting interesting. He gets credit for all of the votes cast for him when he was a Sixer as well as votes cast for him up to the Jan. 22 deadline.

In fact, at the last reporting of results, Iverson led all East guards with 638,999 votes, 159,225 more than Miami's Dwyane Wade. Since he is in the West now, he was only 25,745 behind Lakers' Kobe Bryant of the Lakers and 76,153 ahead of Steve Nash of Phoenix for the two starting guard spots. That is a good mark.