Philly No Longer Has The Answer

Philly No Longer Has The Answer

Sure I had various players' jerseys as a kid, but as an adult, I've
only ever purchased one uniform of a professional athlete.  It's a
retro red, white, and blue; it reps our city with PHILA on the front, a
number 3 and Iverson on the back.  I never wear my one jersey, but it
makes me feel like I'm a better Philadelphian for having it hanging in
my closet.

I never thought trading Allen Iverson would make me feel so
emotional.  When I think about my love for Philadelphia sports, there
are two guys that immediately come to the front of my mind: Allen
Iverson and Donovan McNabb.  Sure I have memories of my dad taking me
to watch Sir Charles and The Doctor, but it was Allen Iverson whose
entire career as a Sixer I followed from start to finish.

I was 15 in 1996 as I watched Pat Croce go nuts at the NBA Draft
Lottery show when the Sixers found out they'd get the rights to draft
the scrappy guard out of Georgetown.  The Sixers drafted Allen Iverson with the first pick,
and my hope in a championship coming to Philly was fueled by the
lightning quick skills of the barely six footer.  Basketball was my
first love back then, and The Answer was wearing a Philadelphia
uniform.  A.I. gave me hope.

It doesn't matter right now what the Sixers got in return, although Bill King did alright.  Allen
Iverson no longer wears a Sixers uniform.  It's a sad day for
Philadelphia.

My last chance to see Iverson in personnwas a preseason game against the Knicks. A.I. didn't do anythingnincredibly noteworthy, but a couple youngsters a few rows in front ofnme chanted, "Allen.. Allen.. Allen" for pretty much the entire thirdnquarter hoping to get their glimpse of greatness. Everybody wanted tonwatch Allen. My real last memory of watching A.I. play in person wasnlast season. I was lucky enough to watch Bubba Chuck drop 47 in a hard fought victory over Gilbert Arenas and the Wizardsn. nA.I. did one of those sick crossovers on Antonio Daniels, and thenexcitement he brought to a half-full Wachovia Center sparked me to penna post titled Don't Trade Allen Iverson, Ever.

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My last chance to see Iverson in person
was a preseason game against the Knicks.  A.I. didn't do anything
incredibly noteworthy, but a couple youngsters a few rows in front of
me chanted, "Allen.. Allen.. Allen" for pretty much the entire third
quarter hoping to get their glimpse of greatness.  Everybody wanted to
watch Allen.  My real last memory of watching A.I. play in person was
last season.  I was lucky enough to watch Bubba Chuck drop 47 in a hard fought victory over Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards
.
A.I. did one of those sick crossovers on Antonio Daniels, and the
excitement he brought to a half-full Wachovia Center sparked me to pen
a post titled Don't Trade Allen Iverson, Ever.

nn

I'll remember the crossover on Jordan, the high arching kiss off thenglass, the step over Tyronne Lue, the cupped hand to the ear, thensleeve, the tattoos, the MVP. I'm not talkin' bout practice, I'mntalkin' bout the warrior.

nn

Allen Iverson had his flaws. Philadelphia loved him anyway. Thanks for the memories.

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I'll remember the crossover on Jordan, the high arching kiss off the
glass, the step over Tyronne Lue, the cupped hand to the ear, the
sleeve, the tattoos, the MVP.  I'm not talkin' bout practice, I'm
talkin' bout the warrior.

Allen Iverson had his flaws.  Philadelphia loved him anyway.  Thanks for the memories.

Best of NBA: Wall, Wizards top Knicks for 4th straight win

Best of NBA: Wall, Wizards top Knicks for 4th straight win

NEW YORK -- John Wall had 29 points and 13 assists, scoring Washington's final four points in the last 32 seconds as the surging Wizards beat the New York Knicks 113-110 on Thursday night.

Otto Porter Jr. made six 3-pointers for the second straight night and added 23 points, but the Wizards needed big plays from Wall down the stretch to win their fourth in a row.

He made two free throws to put Washington back on top after New York had rallied to take a 110-109 lead, then rebounded Carmelo Anthony's miss and left all the Knicks in his dust as he raced down the floor for a dunk with 13.7 seconds to play.

Anthony finished with 34 points but Wall stole the ball from Brandon Jennings to prevent the Knicks from attempting a 3-pointer that could have tied it (see full recap).

Leonard scores 34 to lead Spurs over Nuggets
SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points, rookie Dejounte Murray added a season-high 24 and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a pregame injury to Pau Gasol in beating the Denver Nuggets 118-104 on Thursday night.

Denver's three-game winning streak was snapped despite a career-high 35 points from Nikola Jokic.

Leonard had his fifth straight 30-point performance, right after learning he will start for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game for the second consecutive season.

The Spurs were unexpectedly without Gasol, Tony Parker and then coach Gregg Popovich. Gasol and Parker were both late scratches due to injury, and Popovich was ejected for the first time this season.

Gasol broke the ring finger on his left (non-shooting) hand by jamming it against Kyle Anderson's shoulder during pregame warmups while attempting a running hook. The 16-year veteran center immediately clutched his hand and left the court.

X-rays revealed the break, and the Spurs said there is no timeline for Gasol's return.

Irving, James lead Cavs over Suns
CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, All-Star teammate LeBron James had 21 points and 15 assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked more like themselves at home in a 118-103 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

The Cavs were back in Quicken Loans Arena following a six-game road trip (their longest of the season) that concluded with an embarrassing 35-point loss at Golden State. But on their home floor, they had better offensive balance and ball movement while improving to 30-11 -- the same record Cleveland had at the halfway point of its 2016 NBA championship season.

Channing Frye scored 18, Iman Shumpert 17 and James Jones 14 while filling in for star forward Kevin Love, still bothered by back spasms.

Tyson Chandler had 22 points and 16 rebounds, but the Suns lost for the fourth time in five games (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Surging Capitals rock Blues in St. Louis

Best of NHL: Surging Capitals rock Blues in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Andre Burakovsky, T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov each had a goal and an assist to lead the Washington Capitals to a 7-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Jay beagle, Brett Connolly, Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams also scored, and Alex Ovechkin and Daniel Winnik each had two assists to help Washington earn at least a point in its 12th straight game (10-0-2) for an NHL-best 66 points.

Braden Holtby bounced back from his roughest outing of the season with 22 saves. Holtby was pulled after giving up a season-high five goals on 26 shots in an 8-7 overtime loss at Pittsburgh on Monday. He improved to 22-8-4 and 5-0 lifetime against St. Louis (see full recap).

Grabner scores 2 goals, Rangers top Leafs
TORONTO -- Michael Grabner scored two goals against his former team, helping the New York Rangers snap a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei and J.T. Miller added goals for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves following a series of rough outings.

Tyler Bozak and Zach Hyman scored for Toronto, which had a three-game winning streak stopped. The Maple Leafs had earned 21 of a possible 26 points in their previous 13 games (10-2-1). Frederik Andersen gave up four goals on 40 shots (see full recap).

Tavares leads Islanders to shutout of Stars
NEW YORK -- Getting a new coach this week didn't change things much for the Islanders -- and oddly enough, that's a good thing for New York.

John Tavares narrowly missed out on his second hat trick in a week, Thomas Greiss got his second straight shutout and the Islanders beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Thursday night in their first game since firing longtime coach Jack Capuano.

New York canned Capuano in the middle of his seventh season Tuesday, replacing him on an interim basis with Doug Weight (see full recap).

Niederreiter, Wild dodge letdown, edge Coyotes
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Nino Niederreiter had two power-play goals and an assist, including the go-ahead score for the Minnesota Wild with 7:06 remaining in a 4-3 victory over Arizona on Thursday night after the Coyotes came back from a two-goal deficit.

With Shane Doan in the penalty box for hooking, Niederreiter knocked in a nifty redirect of Mikael Granlund's slap shot for the winner. Devan Dubnyk stopped 20 shots for the Wild, who are 18-2-2 in their last 22 games.

Louis Domingue made 21 saves for the Coyotes, who lost their fourth in a row and fell to 2-12-1 in their last 15 games starting with a 4-1 loss to Minnesota in Arizona on Dec. 17 (see full recap).