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Friday, Nov. 27, 2009

Report says Iverson will retire from NBA

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Allen Iverson is set to retire from the NBA, according to an online report.

Commentator Stephen A. Smith published a statement on his Web site on Wednesday attributed to Iverson. It said Iverson plans to retire but also that "I feel strongly that I can still compete at the highest level."

The statement also said Iverson has tremendous love for the game and the desire to play.

The 10-time All-Star played three games this season with the Memphis Grizzlies before taking a leave of absence to attend to personal matters. He was waived after the two sides agreed to part ways.

It was the second straight ugly ending for Iverson, who was unhappy last season playing for the Detroit Pistons. He was upset that Detroit coach Michael Curry and Memphis' Lionel Hollins used the former league MVP as a reserve.

The New York Knicks considered signing Iverson last week after he cleared waivers, before deciding he would take too much playing time away from younger players they are trying to develop.

The Knicks seemed to be the only team who would consider bringing in Iverson, so there was no guarantee he would play in the NBA this season, anyway. Still, the announcement on Wednesday came as a surprise to George Karl, who coached Iverson in Denver.

"I think he still has something left to give some team out there. If that's his decision, he'll go down in history, I think, as the greatest little guard ever to play the game of basketball," Karl said.

"I was happy to have him for a couple of years and hopefully our paths will cross. But I have a sneaky feeling that somewhere along the way an injury or a circumstance with a team will open that window back up."

One of the NBA's great scorers, Iverson entered this season with a career average of 27.1 points that ranked fifth all time. Yet there was almost no interest in him this summer before he went to the Grizzlies on a one-year deal.



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