PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Allen Iverson took a different route to the Wachovia Center than he did in his years with the 76ers, dressed in an unfamiliar locker room and sat on the visitor's bench.
Wearing his Denver uniform instead of the familiar No. 3 Sixers jersey, an open and honest Iverson accepted some of the responsibility for why he's no longer in Philadelphia.
``I had a big hand in me getting traded,'' Iverson said Wednesday before the Nuggets faced the 76ers. ``I always wanted to finish my career here in Philadelphia. The opportunity was there for me to do it. In a lot of ways, I made sure that didn't happen.''
Iverson returned to Philadelphia for the first time since he was traded to the Nuggets in December 2006. Iverson was a dynamic MVP for the Sixers, led them to the NBA Finals, and always professed his desire to finish his career in Philadelphia. Instead, a bitter falling out with coach Maurice Cheeks and disagreements with management eventually led to the blockbuster deal.
In a wide-ranging press conference, Iverson touched on fatherhood, his maturation in Denver, his mistakes, and how he also ``did a lot of things right'' being a Sixer.
``I don't make mistakes and do of the things I was accustomed to doing anymore,'' he said. ``I don't want to be the person that I used to be. I don't regret any of it because I felt going through went I went through here, my ups and downs, helped be the man I am today.''
Iverson had ``THXPHILA'' on one of his sneakers and hoped the fans would give him a standing ovation. The Sixers have said this week they had no pregame tribute planned for him.
Iverson entered the Wachovia Center for the first time as a visitor with a crush of media worthy of a playoff game waiting his arrival. There was a similar horde in the press room where Iverson, with a Denver yellow headband wrapped around the cornrows, spoke for nearly 20 minutes.
Iverson hugged security guards and stopped to joke with Sixers center Samuel Dalembert, but did not cross paths with Cheeks. Iverson and Cheeks had a bitter falling out - it was Cheeks who banished A.I from the team - that was one of the catalysts for the former MVP getting traded.
Iverson joked with his Denver teammates in the locker room before the game, then had to take care of some business.
``Where the bathrooms at?'' he said, laughing. ``I ain't too familiar with this area.''
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