The following statement was released by Allen Iverson on his absence at the 76ers-Wizards game on Friday:

“This morning, I went to the practice facility and was ready to participate in shootaround. I had back spasms in the Chicago game, but felt fine today, and told our trainer that I could play. When I got onto the court, I was told that I did not need to participate, so I stood on the sideline until practice was over. When shootaround ended, I went into the team huddle. Afterwards, the head coach told me that I did not need to come to the arena tonight, or travel to Orlando.

“In my entire career, even the doctors haven’t been able to tell me not to play. 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.

“This season has been very frustrating for everyone. We’ve lost 12 of 14 games and nothing seems to be working. I have expressed my frustration to my teammates, however, I have continued to give 100 percent night in and night out. Apparently, it hasn’t been enough to help our team win. As hard as it is to admit, a change may be the best thing for everyone. I hate admitting that because I love the guys on the team and the city of Philadelphia. I truly wanted to retire a 76er.

“I appreciate that in my 11 years in Philadelphia, the fans have always stood by me, supported me, and gone to bat for me.”


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