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Saturday, December 9, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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NBA Notebook | Iverson's days as a Sixer numbered

PHILADELPHIA — The Allen Iverson era with the 76ers appears to be over.

About three hours after Iverson issued a statement Friday night saying "a change may be the best thing for everyone," Sixers chairman Ed Snider said that Iverson asked to be traded and that the team would try to accommodate him.

"We're going to trade him," Snider said in a corridor of the Wachovia Center at halftime of the Sixers' game against the Washington Wizards. "I think it's time for him to move on, and for us to move on and find out where everything stands."

Although he indicated that he did not want to tolerate more disruptions from Iverson, Snider said he wanted to remember Iverson's good times with the Sixers, including the trip to the 2001 NBA Finals, in the season Iverson won the NBA's most-valuable-player award.

"He's one of the greatest basketball players of all time," Snider said. "I'm not here to [disrespect] him in any way, shape or form. It's just time for him to go his way and for us to go our way."

Snider spoke after it was disclosed that coach Maurice Cheeks had told Iverson to stay home for the team's next two games, citing the fact that Iverson sat out the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's blowout loss to the Chicago Bulls and missed Thursday's practice.

In a statement released Friday night from Iverson through his agent, Leon Rose, the All-Star guard said he was ready to practice but was not allowed to participate at the team's shoot-around on Friday morning. Cheeks disagreed, saying Iverson could not participate because of his back injury.

Iverson did not flatly demand a trade, but the unhappy tone of his statement was clear.

"As hard as it is to admit, a change may be the best thing for everyone," Iverson said in the statement. "I hate admitting that, because I love the guys on the team and the city. I appreciate that in my 11 years in Philadelphia, the fans have always stood by me, supported me, and gone to bat for me."

However, one NBA source told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "He wants out. He doesn't care where he goes."

The New York Daily News reported the Knicks were expected to make a bid for Iverson, but a source close to the 76ers classified the Knicks as a longshot. Boston, Indiana and Golden State have emerged as candidates to acquire Iverson, who has three years and $60 million remaining on his contract. Denver and Minnesota are other possible suitors.

The Sixers are likely to try to include Chris Webber in a deal with Iverson as a way to reduce their payroll.

In his statement Friday, Iverson said being told that he couldn't be with the team was "disheartening."

"In my entire career, even the doctors haven't been able to tell me not to play," he said. "I've played through injury and illness. I think everyone knows how much I love being out on the court competing and winning. That's why it was so disheartening to be told that I couldn't play, knowing that I was ready. It hurt even more to be told not to come at all."

Notes

• Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu was carried off the court in the first quarter against Detroit after spraining his right ankle.

• The Memphis Grizzlies announced forward Pau Gasol has been cleared for full contact drills and on-court workouts as he recovers from a broken left foot.

Jay Williams is resuming his comeback in the NBA's Development League. The former Duke star, still trying to make it back from severe injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident three years ago, signed with the Austin Toros and will begin practicing with the team today.

Williams, waived by the New Jersey Nets in October, considered offers to play in Europe.

Brevin Knight, Charlotte Bobcats starting point guard, will be sidelined until at least the middle of next week with a strained left calf.

• New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner's much-debated Atlantic Yards development project was approved by the Empire State Development Corp., a major step forward in his bid to move the team to Brooklyn.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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