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 Tuesday, August 8
76ers may not trade Iverson
 Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Allen Iverson is still a member of the Philadelphia 76ers and suddenly the team says that isn't a bad thing.

After unsuccessfully trying to trade Iverson all summer, the 76ers are hoping this marriage can be saved.

Allen Iverson

"It seems everything that goes wrong with the organization is Allen's fault. It's not," general manager Billy King said Monday during an informal luncheon with reporters. "He has his faults, but everything that's gone wrong in the organization is not his fault. The kid has helped us win a lot of games. We can't say he's destroyed everything around him."

Iverson, who has battled with coach Larry Brown for years, has been mentioned in trade rumors since the season ended. King conceded he nearly dealt the mercurial star, and still could.

"There's only one deal we came close to doing," King said. "If I wanted to trade Allen today, I could. Would I get value? Probably not."

King wouldn't mention the players involved in the deal that almost happened. But, it reportedly involved four teams; the 76ers, Detroit, Charlotte and the Los Angeles Lakers.

"If you are trading a player of Allen Iverson's caliber, you have to get value back," King said. "If there is a perception that a player is available, teams are not going to offer anything."

Iverson, who helped the 76ers win 49 games and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals, found himself on the trading block after a season in which he continually violated team rules.

He was fined more than 50 times for being late to practice, was suspended for one game after missing a shootaround and repeatedly ignored the team's dress code.

"This is a new season," King said. "We're going to start the season and expect every player to adhere to the rules. I don't want to look back at the past. We've admitted we didn't (enforce the rules with every player). We haven't even come up with our team rules. We'll do that in September."

Iverson, who immediately left Philadelphia after the season ended, promised he'll return with a new, business-like attitude.

"I can play under Coach Brown. I don't have a problem with Coach," Iverson said last month during a charity event in his hometown of Virginia.

Brown made his position clear before the team held its rookie camp last month.

"If he wants to be on time to practice, and practice on a daily basis, and follow the rules all the other players follow, then he's not going to have a problem with me," Brown said. "But if it continues to be a situation where he's late, doesn't practice, doesn't do the things other players do, then it's going to be a problem."

King is encouraged that Iverson recently had a long talk with team president Pat Croce, and he believes the situation could be resolved.

"It's worked out in mid-season when there's been a blow up," King said. "Pat had a good conversation with Allen for an hour-and-a-half. Is it going to be Sesame Street? Probably not. Things have a way of working out for the best."