Denver Nuggets A to Z: Allen Iverson

All-Star point guard created buzz in Denver from 2006-08
by Aaron Lopez

First came the trade winds. The blizzard soon followed.

Thanks to the 20-plus inches of snow and the memorable superstar who arrived after the storm, it will always be easy to remember one of the biggest trades in Denver Nuggets history.

As part of a month-long tribute to some of the most memorable players to wear a Nuggets uniform, we are taking a look at the Nuggets from A to Z.

Which brings us to Allen Iverson.

Denver acquired the perennial All-Star point guard from the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 19, 2006, in exchange for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two future first-round draft picks. Unhappy in Philly, Iverson had asked for a trade less than two weeks earlier.

With the Mile High City buzzing in anticipation of Iverson’s arrival, Mother Nature had other ideas.

A blizzard that would eventually produce more than 20 inches of snow in a 48-hour period shut down Denver International Airport, preventing Iverson from flying into Colorado. Denver’s game against the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 20 subsequently was postponed due to the weather.

Iverson finally arrived in Denver on Dec. 22, just hours before the Nuggets’ game against the Sacramento Kings. He received a standing ovation from the Pepsi Center crowd when he checked into the game at the 3:25 mark of the first quarter.

Iverson’s 22-point, 10 assists performance in his Nuggets debut was a preview of things to come as he displayed the scoring and playmaking ability that made him an 11-time All-Star and one of the most entertaining players of his generation.

Iverson averaged 25.6 points and 7.1 assists in 135 games and helped the Nuggets reach the playoffs in 2007 and 2008. His chapter in Denver ended when the Nuggets acquired Chauncey Billups in a trade with the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 3, 2008.

Iverson spent one season in Detroit and made a brief stop in Memphis before returning to Philadelphia in 2009-10. He later played in Turkey before officially announcing his retirement last October.

Game to remember, March 17, 2007

Iverson’s full repertoire was on display at Pepsi Center as he scored 44 points and added 15 assists in Denver’s 131-107 rout of the Phoenix Suns. Iverson hit 16-of-22 shots, including two 3-pointers, and went 10-for-12 from the free-throw line. It was one of eight games in which Iverson posted at least 30 points and 10 assists with Denver.