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Iverson says he wants to stay with 76ers
Updated: 2005-02-16 09:17

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

Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson (3) celebrates with teammates after Marc Jackson hit the game-winning basket against the New York Knicks Monday, Feb. 14, 2005, in Philadelphia. Iverson had 38 points as the Sixers won, 106-105. [AP]
"I want to be right here," Iverson said after Tuesday's practice. "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 star 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 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 Orlando on Saturday and followed that up with 38 points against New York 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 Boston 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 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."

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