EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 9, 2006

A.I. bound for Boston?

On Pro Basketball

Alan Siegel

BOSTON - Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson reportedly asked to be traded this week. But will he end up in Boston, the city he was rumored to be headed to over the summer?

Celtics coach Doc Rivers should've been tipped off by the waves of phone calls he received yesterday.

"I heard about it when I showed up here today," he said before the Suns defeated the Celtics, 116-111, last night in front of an announced crowd of 18,624 at TD Banknorth Garden. "I can't say much anyway."

General manager Danny Ainge also remained mum on the subject.

"I can't comment," he said after the game.

Iverson, an 11-year veteran, is second in the NBA in scoring at 31.2 points per game.

The 76ers sent Iverson home before last night's game against the Wizards.

"As hard as it is to admit, a change may be the best thing for everyone," Iverson said in an ESPN report. "I hate admitting that because I love the guys on the team and the city of Philadelphia. I truly wanted to retire a 76er."

The Celtics brass didn't comment, but team captain Paul Pierce expressed his support for the possible acquisition.

"When (the rumors) were going on in the summer, I told you how I felt. It'd be great to get him," he said before scoring a game-high 36 points in the loss. "I've got a lot of respect for his game, and we've had a lot of respect over the years going against each other."

Cousy: Point position 'going by the boards'

Phoenix Suns guard Raja Bell sat at his locker drinking a pregame cup of coffee.

The seventh-year player out of Florida International took a long sip when asked on Thursday's 161-157 double-overtime win over the Nets.

Looking back on it, Bell said he didn't mind fouling out in the fourth quarter. It gave him a chance to watch Steve Nash pour in 42 points and 13 assists. The back-to-back MVP could be on the way to the best statistical season - 21.0 points and 11.7 assists per game - of his career.

"It's pretty amazing to watch," said Bell, who played two years at Boston University before transferring to FIU. "He's always under control. He isn't the fastest guy in the world, he doesn't jump the highest, but he's always able to put the defense in a position he wants it to be in, as opposed to the defense dictating what it wants to do."

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