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NBA Quotes * Oct. 12, 2005
Columbia, SC
Philadelphia 76ers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers

On ovation to begin the game:
“It was great. It was first time being here and people embracing me like they did. It’s priceless. It will be something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. (all the people wearing Iverson jersey’s): It made me even more nervous. They had great energy and I am definitely looking forward to coming back here.

On his play:
“I am a little rusty because I didn’t play at all this summer, maybe once or twice, because of the inflammation of my elbow. I am just trying to get my wind back. I am trying to get my legs up under me. I played fairly well. Some of the little shots that I missed I think I could make and I threw the ball away a couple of times and with timing and playing a little more I won’t make those turnovers.

On playing against Tim Duncan:
“I didn’t really think about it. You try to keep it consistent. You always approach every game the same way because if you start looking at the other team and feeling like I have to play well against that team then the next night you might not play so well.”

“We wanted to win the game tonight. It sends a bad message when you lose a preseason game. We played well, but we have a long way to go.”

Maurice Cheeks, Head Coach, Philadelphia 76ers

On the difference in tonight’s win:
“Just our energy and I think our defense was a lot better. Enough to be able to create some turnovers and that was really the key, pushing our defense up the floor. When we try to do that–the first game we weren’t that good. Tonight we were much better.”

On who had an impressive performance:
“I thought James Thomas was good tonight. Our overall balance of play was good When we inserted Kyle (Korver) back into the game late into the game it really gave us a chance to win the game. Although, a lot of times you try to get combinations out here, try to get guys to figure out certain things. But, sometimes you need to win a game to keep the confidence with your players. I think tonight was big for us. Even though they didn’t play their main guys and we didn’t play our main guys down he stretch, but still it was good to get a win.”

Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

On getting to spend time with USC Head Coach Dave Odom (College Coach at Wake Forest):
“It was great to spend some time with him. I haven’t seen him in so long. It was great to have some time with him. We talked about old times.”

On the reception from the crowd during starting lineups:
“It was great. The crowd was great all night and I hope they enjoyed the game. I thought the guys played hard and it was a good show.”

On the Spurs coming together in the early going:
“It’s early for that, but we are showing progress.”

On the atmosphere in the Colonial Center and how it compares to other NBA venues:
“It was great. This is a great facility. I practiced here this morning and played here tonight and the crowd was into it. This facility ranks up there with the top of the NBA.”

Gregg Popovich, Head Coach, San Antonio Spurs
The new guys played very well. They’re figuring out the language of the system, figuring out the plays. They fitting in very nicely.

On Columbia:
“There’s not too many times when people won’t come to see players like Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan. That’s why the people are here, to see them play. They got to see them. They (fans) were great. Beginning to end. They were enjoying themselves. A win win for everybody.”

On Nesterovic:
“He was very good tonight. He positioned himself well defensively. Offensively, we still would like him to be more aggressive. He’s still giving away some shots. But at least he looked for some shots. When he’s aggressive offensively, he’s a much better player.”

On Ford:
“He’s a little bit worried about making mistakes right now. He’s not playing confidently and easily. He’s got to learn the system. He’s trying to make the team. He wants to look good. His effort has been great. He’s been learning steadily. I think so far at game time, he’s a little too worried about making mistakes instead of just playing. So we’ve got to get him to that point so we can show what he can really do.”

On Duncan:
“He has great respect and warm feelings for coach Odom and his whole staff that he had for four years. They taught him well. When he came to us he was a pretty darn complete player. He was already Mr. Fundamental when we got him. So we got the benefit of what coach Odom did with his staff in Timmy. He got to spend time with the coach, he had dinner at his house, he and his wife. It’s been really neat for Timmy.”