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You could say Allen Iverson was the anti-Ben Simmons. He played his heart out every single night and quickly turned into Philadelphia’s adopted son. So, it was a bit ironic to see the Sixers legend sitting courtside the night before the NBA trade deadline.
As Simmons’ trade rumors continue to run rampant, Iverson was enjoying the Sixers-Suns game in his adopted hometown. The “6-foot shooting guard from Georgetown” was all smiles in the front row, decked out in a black puffer jacket and munching on some popcorn. The team put the spotlight on Iverson in the waning minutes of the second quarter and he stood up to a raucous ovation from the Philly faithful. Some heroes never become villains.
Not surprisingly, Iverson had been a topic of conversation during pre-game media availability with Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams. He was Iverson’s teammate on the Sixers in 2002 and shared a fun story of them engaging in a throwing contest during a road trip out in Portland. Iverson played quarterback in high school; Williams played wide receiver. They took turns throwing the pigskin and Williams remembered Iverson ripping one 65 yards “on a rope.”
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Doc Rivers Talks Trade Deadline Strategy
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers has been dealing with the rumors surrounding Simmons all year. They started in July and only increased in strength after training camp. Every Instagram post was news. Every missed practice was analyzed – by the media, of course, not Rivers. His philosophy on that stuff hasn’t changed much over the past seven months.
“There’s just so many bad rumors in this league,” Rivers told reporters on Tuesday night. “And there’s so much noise and talk with every team, I guess, obviously with us because of the Ben situation. You talk to guys individually, you don’t have a team talk, I think that’s a waste, and then you just go out and play.”
Rivers and the Sixers had bigger fish to fry on Tuesday with Phoenix in town. The Suns (43-10) held the best record in the entire NBA in a game that could be (fingers crossed) an NBA Finals preview.
Twitter Takes Note of ‘Disinterested’ James Harden
The Sixers “strongly believe” James Harden doesn’t plan to sign an extension with the Nets, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick. The plugged-in reporter added that trade talks have “gone nowhere” with the deadline creeping up on February 10 at 3 p.m.
That didn’t stop a tidal wave of pictures showing Harden sitting on the Nets bench from flooding Twitter. The 2018 MVP missed his third straight game with left hamstring tightness, but this marked the first time he was on the bench. Harden’s presence had people wondering whether it was a sign of support or frustration.
Nets head coach Steven Nash reiterated that Harden wishes to remain in Brooklyn and help them win a championship. Brooklyn was riding an eight-game losing streak heading into Tuesday night.
“He’s continually reiterated that he wants to be here,” Nash said, via ESPN. “And we’ve continually said that we want him here and that that’s our best chance to win so nothing’s changed from the communication that we’ve had.”