15 years ago today, Allen Iverson was talking about practice
On May 7th, 2002, Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson held a post-playoffs press conference just a few days after being eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the first round. Iverson had been the MVP during the 2000-01 season, but his frustration with Sixers head coach Larry Brown came to a head after Brown called out Iverson for missing practice after the Sixers season came to a close. In a press conference that was broadcast live, Iverson (often profanely) vented on everything from his status as a franchise player to practice to the rumors his daughter has to deal with at school.
“If I can’t practice, I can’t practice. If I’m hurt, I’m hurt. Simple as that. It’s not about that at all. But it’s easy to talk about and sum it up when you just talk about practice.
We’re sitting here, and I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re in here talking about practice. I mean, listen, we’re talking about practice. Not a game! Not a game! Not a game! We’re talking about practice.
Not a game. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it’s my last, not the game, we’re talking about practice, man. I mean, how silly is that? We’re talking about practice. I know I’m supposed to be there, I know I’m supposed to lead by example, I know that. And I’m not shoving it aside like it don’t mean anything. I know it’s important. I do. I honestly do.
But we’re talking about practice, man. What are we talking about? Practice? We’re talking about practice, man! We’re talking about practice! We’re talking about practice… We ain’t talking about the game! We’re talking about practice, man! When you come to the arena, and you see me play… You see me play, don’t you?”