Billups, Iverson likely to debut for new teams this weekend

Updated: November 5, 2008, 6:54 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Detroit guard Allen Iverson was not available for Wednesday's game against Toronto because Chauncey Billups, one of three players traded to Denver in exchange for Iverson, has not completed his physical with the Nuggets.

Rodney Stuckey started for the Pistons, who also sent top reserve Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb to Denver in Monday's trade. McDyess and Samb were not required to report to Denver.

Billups was not expected to play for Denver in its road game against Golden State later Wednesday.

Earlier, Iverson questioned his status as an NBA superstar after being traded for the second time in his career.

"I'm starting to feel like a journeyman," Iverson said jokingly at the Pistons' shootaround before the game against the Raptors.

Some journeyman. The 33-year-old Iverson ranks 20th among all-time scorers in NBA history, earning league MVP and nine-time All-Star status.

Iverson could make his Pistons debut Friday when Detroit visits New Jersey.

"I'm just ready to go," said Iverson, who has taken a physical. "Hopefully everything gets taken care of ... and I'll be able to get on the court with my team and try to learn these plays as fast as possible."

Iverson's home debut could come Sunday night against the defending champion Boston Celtics.

Whenever Iverson plays for the Pistons, he'll be on the court with All-Stars Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Olympian Tayshaun Prince.

"I've always been a fan of the Detroit Pistons, even though we had to play against them so much, but I became a fan by knowing how tough they were," Iverson said. "These teams are all about heart, and I just think I fit right in with that."

Iverson acknowledged it will take some time to feel comfortable with his new team.

"It's definitely going to be a work in progress" he said. "I'd be lying if I said the chemistry will be there right off the top. [Coach Michael Curry] said the way they play is aggressive on offense and aggressive on defense. Obviously you know I can be aggressive on offense and just do the best I can on the other end of the court."

Curry expects Iverson to settle in quickly.

"When you're that talented, and he's going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, you can fit in with any team," Curry said.

Wallace said the Pistons are excited by the addition of Iverson to the lineup.

"We know what type of player he is, we know he's a fierce competitor and that goes perfect with this team," Wallace said. "We're all about one thing, and that's making sure we play in June, and I think he still has that hunger in him to be playing in June."

Iverson, the top pick in the 1996 draft, said Wallace doesn't have to worry.

"I have a big-time resume, but I have a big hole in that, and that's a championship, so obviously that's something I want to accomplish," Iverson said. "I have money, I have all the individual accolades, I've done all the All-Stars, the scoring championships, the MVPs, stuff like that.

"But I haven't had a chance to feel the feeling of winning a championship, and that's the most important thing for me right now."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press