The Nuggets are uncertain if Iverson can arrive in time for Friday’s home game against the Sacramento Kings after a blizzard shut down most of Denver.
The Nuggets (14-9) traded Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two 2007 first-round draft picks for Iverson on Tuesday and hoped he’d arrive shortly thereafter. However, the storm which dumped two feet of snow on the Denver metro area this week has closed down the airport until noon on Friday, threatening his debut with the team.
“When will he get here? We’ve got to ask the weatherman,” said Mark Warkentien, Denver’s vice president of basketball operations.
If Iverson isn’t able to play on Friday, he’ll have to wait another few days before another opportunity. Denver doesn’t take the court again until Tuesday against Boston, giving Iverson an even more extended layoff since he last played with the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 6.
Iverson said he had no ill feelings toward Philadelphia after 10-plus seasons, and denied that he ever asked for a trade despite a contentious history with team management, former 76ers coach Larry Brown and current coach Maurice Cheeks.
“I don’t have anything bad to say about Mo or the organization,” Iverson said. “They gave me the best opportunity I could hope for by sending me to Denver. They showed me a lot of loyalty in putting me in this situation, so I’m grateful to them and wish them well.”
Iverson finished his career in Philadelphia averaging 28.1 points, 6.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds.
Denver acquired Iverson to in wake of suspensions to J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony, who were suspended for 10 and 15 games, respectively, for their roles in an on-court brawl between the Nuggets and the New York Knicks last Saturday.
Denver played without its top two scorers on Monday in a 117-108 win over the Washington Wizards. In their absences, Denver found an unlikely hero in guard Earl Boykins, who scored a season-high 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds after entering the game averaging just 10.9 points.
“There’s going to be something good that comes out of this nightmare,” Denver coach George Karl said.
Nuggets was scheduled to host Phoenix on Wednesday, but that contest was postponed as the blizzard hit town.
This is the first of four meetings between these teams this season. Denver lost three of four last year to Sacramento (10-14), which has dropped its last three games.
The Kings fell on Thursday to the Washington Wizards, 126-119. Kevin Martin scored a career-high 40 points and helped cut a 17-point deficit to six with eight minutes to play, but his team couldn’t get much closer and lost for the ninth time in 11 games.
Ron Artest was sidelined with a sore back and his status for Friday is uncertain, although he said he does not expect to play. The forward was at the arena before Thursday’s game, but did not sit near the bench during the contest.
“It happens, (and) I’ve just got to be able to overcome it,” said Artest, who also missed four games earlier this season with back problems. “It’s not an all-season thing. I guess it’s just being older. I’ve got to take care of my body a little better.”
John Salmons started in Artest’s place Thursay night and matched a career high with 23 points.