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Garnett was hoping to get Iverson

December 24, 2006|From the Associated Press

Kevin Garnett did not hide his disappointment when the Minnesota Timberwolves lost out to Denver in the bidding for Allen Iverson.

Garnett lobbied hard for the Timberwolves to acquire Iverson, one of his favorite players. But in the end, they didn't have enough to offer Philadelphia, which sent the Answer to the Nuggets for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two first-round picks.

Getting Iverson would have made been a "very, very nice Christmas present," Garnett said.

Now he's eager to see how Iverson, the league's second-leading scorer, blends with Carmelo Anthony, who leads the league, in Denver.

"It's just going to be real interesting to see the two top scorers on one team with one ball," Garnett said. "I'm looking forward to watching them play. Denver has a fun style to play against.

"I know Andre Miller made a lot of things easier for those guys," he said. "I know [Iverson's] going to make it a lot easier on 'Melo knowing that you have to tend to another scorer on the floor. So things should open up, and as a fan I'm looking forward to watching them play. As a competitor, I'm looking forward to playing against them."

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The Denver Nuggets got a superstar, the Philadelphia 76ers got a couple of first-round picks and a lower payroll.

The Allen Iverson trade generated interest in many other ways.

Just in time for the last rush of the holiday shopping season, the NBA Store in New York started selling Iverson's "No. 3" Denver jersey on Thursday -- even before Iverson had worn it in a game.

At $170 apiece, the jerseys figured to make plenty of money for the store. Last season, Iverson had the NBA's fourth-highest-selling jersey, behind Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

The store also began selling leftover Iverson merchandise at a discounted price on Friday.

Even if the Nuggets end up losers on the court, the Iverson trade made them winners at the ticket office. Denver sold 340 season tickets within 30 minutes of announcing the deal with the 76ers.

But plenty of people will be expecting Denver to improve. Following the trade, the online betting site pinnaclesports.com lowered the odds of the Nuggets' winning the NBA title from 50 to 1 down to 18 to 1.

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