Updated: Dec. 20, 2006, 5:01 PM ET

Wherever he goes, look out

Where would the most entertaining place be for Allen Iverson to land?

I'd like to see him go to Minnesota. He's never had the superstar player to play with nor has Kevin Garnett. Two marquee names in search of a title. Allen's only 31, and I would think Minny could mortgage everything they've got to get him -- problem is they don't have many draft picks to deal.

No superstars? You're forgetting his time with T-Mac -- Todd MacCulloch. Fair enough. But didn't Iverson show he could play nice with other superstars in the 2004 Olympics?

Absolutely. He was a facilitator in those games. An awesome performer.

How many years does he have left?

No matter what, he'll last longer if he goes to a team with the kind of talent that wouldn't compel him to play as recklessly as he does. He's shown no signs of slowing down and he's still all over the floor, playing hard for 40-plus minutes. Maybe he's best as a team's 1-A option to another No. 1.

Will he be happy in his new digs?

All depends where he goes. I believe he wants to win -- I've heard his comment about those awards that he won not meaning anything compared to what winning a championship would mean. Some say he's a ballhog, but I'll come to his defense: his team had no chance to win unless he did what he had to do -- shoot.

How did you defend him on the court?

Played as far off as I could. "Please Allen, take a jump shot, and don't break my ankles."

If nothing else, the crossover move will be his legacy.

When he came on the scene with that, you could hear the oohs and ahhs from the crowd when they even anticipated him doing it again.

Bet you'd like to see the rich get richer and have him land in the Western Conference.

Yes, I want him in the West. Imagine him running up and down with all those teams. That would be great to watch.

Hear Jon Barry with ESPN Radio's Eric Kuselias Insider

ESPN analyst Jon Barry played 14 NBA seasons for eight different teams before retiring this season.

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Uncovered Story
bucks
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images
Maurice Williams and Ruben Patterson of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrate the win against the Sonics, 94-93. Note how Rashard Lewis has his face covered -- he looked wide open on the last play.


Thorpe Speed: Sleeper Hold

Coming off a long and tough road trip out West where they played some decent ball, and playing a home game for the first time since Dec. 1, the Hawks would have really appreciated a loud, passionate crowd as they faced Carmelo Anthony, the league's second-leading scorer. 

Instead they got a whole lot of nothing. I've heard more noise at a sleep clinic. I can't help but think that Atlanta would welcome a player like Allen Iverson more than any other fan base, and no city needs him more. When you consider that Joe Johnson is one perimeter star that could easily play with the likes of AI, you have to wonder if they are making a play for him. And if not, why?

OOPS, DID IT AGAIN: The key to throwing a good lob to a great athlete is get get it above the rim, taking the defender out of the play and making the receiver work for his bucket. Last year, Denver's Andre Miller led the league in "oops," as in alleyoops. And while 'Melo was the recipient of many of them, often finishing with powerful dunks, none took more talent than his finish in the first quarter off a Miller pass. Ninety percent of the league could not have pulled it off -- that's the kind of zone Anthony's in right now.

FOULED PLAY: No play in basketball bothers me more, and is more easily remedied, than the blatant offensive charge inside the paint -- you know, when the offensive player catches the ball 12 feet from the basket, takes one dribble towards the rim, then flattens the defensive player who has been standing there since they cleaned the court that afternoon. If players would spend more time practicing their 5-10 foot shot instead of their inside-out crossover dribble into a full spin and step back J, they could avoid these silly, awful fouls.

-- David Thorpe



Welcome To The Machine

Early Monday afternoon, we posted the Trade Machine to allow fans (and front-office execs) to make their own deals involving Allen Iverson (or anyone else).

By early Tuesday afternoon, more than 400,000 trades had been attempted, including more than 300,000 Allen Iverson trades.

And just whom did fans swap most often for Iverson?

Minnesota's Ricky Davis (44,173 trades), that's who, as fans tried to make the dream pairing of Iverson and Kevin Garnett come true.

Next in line was Garnett himself (41,954) -- perhaps stoked by frustrated Philly fans who would love to see The Big Ticket in Sixer colors.

Third on the list was Theo Ratliff (40,258), with Celtics fans attempting to unload a big contract and fulfill their hopes that The Answer is the answer to Boston's woes.

Next were two more Wolves -- Randy Foye (36,887) and Troy Hudson (31,488) -- and another highly-paid Celtic, former Wolf Wally Szczerbiak (27,380).

With the seventh-most popular trade, Knicks fans fantastized about a swap of Steve Francis (26,573) for Iverson, imagining a deal involving two dynamic, shot-happy guards often compared to one another, at least before Francis' steep decline in recent years.

In eighth position was another Allen-alike, Boston point guard Sebastian Telfair (25,596).

Rounding out the top 10 were two Browns representing the two most celebrated franchises of the past two decades -- two teams trying to get back to the top.

Chicago's P.J. Brown (24,187), whose expiring contract would actually be quite appealing to the Sixers, was ninth.

And in the 10 spot was Kwame Brown (22,921) of the Lakers, whose fans would willingly give up 2001's No. 1 overall pick for 1996's No. 1 to pair Iverson with former Philly schoolboy Kobe Bryant.

We'll keep monitoring the trends as the hours and days click by in the Iverson saga.

Meanwhile, try the Trade Machine yourself.

-- Royce Webb




Odom Hurt, But Lakers Hold On

Phil Jackson recalls an icing Kobe



Sixers Sliding Lower

The Sixers are aiming to avoid their ninth straight loss when the Celtics come to town Wednesday. In another game Monday without Allen Iverson, the 76ers dropped their eighth straight to fall to 5-15. It's only the fourth time in franchise history, including their days as the Syracuse Nationals, that the team won no more than five of its first 20 games of a season. They started 1-19 in 1972-73, 3-17 in 1995-96 and 5-15 in 1992-93.

Elias Says Insider




Extreme Behavior
Josh Smith

Tuesday's Best
Hawks forward Josh Smith: Even though his team lost by 13 to the Nuggets, Smith had 21 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocks and 4 steals. According to Michael Jackson of ESPN Research, he becomes the first player since Hakeem Olajuwon in '93 to have a stat line of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocks, and 4 steals in a single game.

Rafer Alston

Tuesday's Worst
Rockets guard Rafer Alston: If you hoist a half-dozen 3-pointers, hitting one would be good. Alston was not good, and the Rockets lost to the Lakers, 102-94.

Quotes of the Day
"That's the first time I've put the ice on and had to come back out and play. It's almost like Red Auerbach smoking the cigar."

-- Kobe Bryant, whose Lakers led the Rockets by 27 points -- 93-66 -- with 9:45 left. Coach Phil Jackson pulled Bryant 3 minutes later and Bryant figured his night was over, icing the knees after icing two 3s. But it wasn't.

See how all 79 who played stacked up

-- Andrew Ayres



Observation Deck: Camby's Boo-Boos
marcus camby

SWAT THOUGHT: Marcus Camby looked strangely lethargic tonight. In addition to the first-quarter posterization by Marvin Williams that likely will be leading SportsCenter, he had several head-scratching plays. The lowlight came on in the third quarter when he made what may be the "I Don't Think That Was the Play They Drew Up" moment of the season.

Camby caught at the top of the key and attempted the rarely seen 5-1 screen-and-roll -- i.e., one with Camby handling the ball and Andre Miller as the screener. Speedy Claxton switched and easily stole the ball, and Camby quickly whacked him for a two-shot breakaway foul. On the night Camby had five turnovers.

BENCH RESCUE: The Nuggets can thank their bench for this win. Earl Boykins, Nene, Reggie Evans and Yakhouba Diawara gave the team a huge spark in the second and fourth quarters to prevent what would have been an embarrassing loss to a Joe Johnson-less Hawks team.

FRONT STREET: I'd think twice about fronting 'Melo in the post. He's become great at spinning out of the post for an alleyoop -- double trouble because Miller is so great at throwing them -- and gets one or two easy buckets a game this way.

MILLER'S SIDES: I can't understand how Miller can be so accurate when he passes and so inaccurate when he shoots. Tonight he threw two absolutely incredible, looping length-of-the-court passes that dropped in right over the defender's hands for a lay-up.

BRAZILIAN TIME: Nene is still real fast and quick, even after knee surgery. He beat Lorenzen Wright -- and every other Hawk -- down the court after a made basket even though he started from under the rim. Speaking of Nene, George Karl says he's keeping his minutes in the 15-18 range on back-to-backs for now until he gets more confidence in the knee. True to his word, he played 15 tonight in the first of a back-to-back.

-- John Hollinger in Atlanta



What About The Jazz?

Andrew L John (Fairfax, Va): Hey Marc, last week I asked you why nobody is giving the Jazz a chance to win the West, and you answered "Three reasons: Dallas, San Antonio, and Phoenix". Now that they've beaten each of those three teams and Phoenix twice, does that change your opinion?

Marc Stein: No. Not yet. Utah was 3-4 in its last seven games before beating Dallas Monday night. I was even getting regular correspondence from Jazz fans worried about their recent form. Those wins you mention were all undeniably impressive, but three of them were at home . . . and two were against a Suns team that isn't the same Suns team we see now. I've been near the front of the Utah bandwagon for weeks now, but beating any of those teams you mention four times in a playoff series is something else.

The Marc Stein chat Insider



Bonzi Sighting In Houston

Bonzi Wells, who hadn't played since the third game, started the second half for Houston and pulled down a rebound 13 seconds out of halftime. Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy acknowledged this week that the two had "struggled to find common ground" since Wells arrived at training camp.

• Warriors C Andris Biedrins, a notoriously poor free-throw shooter, went 6-for-6 in the win over the Kings.

-- The Associated Press

 

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