It looks like A.I. may have played his final game wearing a Sixers uniform. Iverson was told he did not need to come to the Wachovia Center tonight for their game against the Wizards. Iverson released the following statement through his agent.
his morning, I went to
the practice facility and was ready to participate in shootaround. I
had back spasms in the Chicago game, but felt fine today, and told our
trainer that I could play. When I got onto the court, I was told that I
did not need to participate, so I stood on the sideline until practice
was over. When shootaround ended, I went into the team huddle.
Afterwards, the head coach told me that I did not need to come to the
arena tonight, or travel to Orlando.
In my entire career, even
the doctors haven’t been able to tell me not to play. I’ve played
through injury and illness. I think everyone knows how much I love
being out on the court, competing and winning. That’s why it was so
disheartening to be told that I couldn’t play, knowing that I was
ready. It hurt even more to be told not to come at all.
This season has been very
frustrating for everyone. We’ve lost 12 of 14 games and nothing seems
to be working. I have expressed my frustration to my teammates,
however, I have continued to give 100 percent night in and night out.
Apparently, it hasn’t been enough to help our team win. As hard as it
is to admit, a change may be the best thing for everyone. I hate
admitting that because I love the guys on the team and the city of
Philadelphia. I truly wanted to retire a 76er.
I appreciate that in my 11 years in Philadelphia, the fans have always stood by me, supported me, and gone to bat for me.
Sixers owner Ed Snider had this to say about Iverson's wish to be traded:
I think it's time to move on. We'll try to accommodate him.
Iverson won't travel with the team to Orlando tomorrow.