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Iverson Opts to Sit

March 15, 2004|From Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Allen Iverson said he was ready to play in Sunday's 85-69 loss to the Detroit Pistons but changed his mind after Philadelphia 76er Coach Chris Ford told him he would come off the bench.

"I'm a starter. I've been a starter here for eight years. I'm not a sixth man," Iverson said after the game. "I'm a starter. I know in this league ... if someone comes back from an injury, if he's a starter he starts. What's the difference? If you're going to cut my time down, cut my time down."

Iverson has been hampered by a swollen right knee, which caused him to sit out three games in a row before Sunday.

"I didn't know he was going to attempt to play until how much time was left on the [pre-game] clock? Not much," Ford said. "From my understanding and what I was told yesterday after his workout, I'm going to look out for A.I. and the team. Somebody's got to make decisions around here."

Detroit extended the NBA record for holding opponents under 70 points to five consecutive games.

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