Clippers' Marcus Camby anticipating Allen Iverson's return to 76ers tonight
Whenever former Denver Nuggets teammates are in town, Clippers forward Marcus Camby usually makes it a habit to catch up with them.
He hadn't anticipated hearing the news, however, from Allen Iverson on Nov. 7 that Iverson had abruptly left the team -- one of three he played for after leaving Philadelphia in 2006 -- after only three games because of his frustration with playing a bench role.
"I wasn’t able to get in contact with him ever since," Camby said after Clippers practice on Monday.
Iverson makes his return tonight to the NBA -- with the 76ers, who play his former team, the Nuggets. Even if he hasn't talked to Iverson since his departure from Memphis, Camby knows Iverson's recently emotional news conference truly signified his desire to be back in Philadelphia.
"That was his team, the city and organization that drafted him," Camby said of Iverson. "I know he felt real loyal to them. Philly fans are always loyal to their sports teams. I know he was definitely beloved out there from the fans and definitely his teammates with how he played."
Iverson won four scoring titles, was a two-time All-Star MVP, was a Finals MVP and led the 76ers to the 2001 Finals. Though he has been lauded for his tireless work ethic and emotions, his one-on-one play, his frustration with playing limited minutes with Detroit and Memphis and his locker room presence are heavily debated. Lately, those qualities were deemed to be negative variables by several league executives.
"I just think he was just happy to be back in the league and also happy to see his whole career come full circle like that," said Camby, who thinks Iverson will be in the Basketball Hall of Fame. "He’s finally coming back there toward the tail end of his career, and I know he’s looking forward to having a good night tonight, especially against one of his former teams."
-- Mark Medina