Iverson guaranteed through rest of Sixers' season

It was about as unexpected as Andy Reid saying he has to do a better job after an Eagles loss.

The Sixers yesterday announced that guard Allen Iverson’s contract will be guaranteed for the remainder of the season.

"Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about it," said Iverson, laughing. He said he loves being back with the organization that he called home for the first 10-plus years of his career. "I think the only frustrating part of the whole thing was trying to get into playing shape and dealing with my knee. That’s been the only rough part of this whole thing.”

Iverson missed four straight games with an arthritic left knee, an ailment he says is getting better every day.

"As far as just the fans and the city embracing me like they did from Day 1, that’s been great,” he said. "That was something that I really wanted to happen and being that it happened it made me feel that much more comfortable. I’m happy, and I haven’t been in a long time. You go back to feeling good about playing basketball, feeling good about the people around me and the situation."

Iverson played in his 10th game last night since returning to the team on Dec. 2, when he agreed to a prorated, $1.3 million, veterans-minimum contract after parting ways with the Memphis Grizzlies. Before last night, he was averaging 15.7 points and 4.7 assists in 33.2 minutes. He has become a calming influence on a very young team and a sounding board for the young players.

"Since his arrival, Allen has done everything asked of him and has been an excellent teammate," said general manager Ed Stefanski.

Said coach Eddie Jordan: "He’s a guy that’s added a lot to us, leadership, and things on the floor he does for us. He’s a valuable part of what we’re doing since he’s signed."


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