Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 at 10:40 am  |  27 responses

Gary Payton Inspired Allen Iverson to Stop Practicing (VIDEO)

GP tells an AI story.

NBA great Gary Payton has touched on this a bit in the past, but GP told the full story on Wednesday of how he advised the retiring Allen Iverson about practicing lightly (which A.I. took to the extreme, culminating in a legendary anti-practice rant).

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  • Jay Cutler

    Anyone notice GP has a pot belly?

  • Steven

    A small sample of what the 2013-14 nba could be like if the nba stops
    blackballing Allen Iverson http://youtu.be/HJyFGjsHfYs

  • LLC#12

    Do you really think AI can contribute much? Even Iverson himself has accepted he’s done, why can’t you? Who really wants to see him tarnish his legacy by making a failed comeback? Who wants to remember Iverson for anything other than his 76er days? Nobody. I’m happier remembering him as being one of the greatest scorers ever, than remembering him for making a comeback and maybe getting 10 points a game.

  • JibbsIsBallin

    I had no idea it was originally GP that said something to AI about the practice thing. But I think AI was just an original guy that always stuck to his gut feeling. He knew he was in the top 1% players in the league and the media was making a big deal of him missing practice. Til this day, that’s the most notorious thing he’s known for. This was the smallest NBA player to change the entire game and dominate it while he did it. Remember him for that. Quit hating on AI for dumb S*^T.

  • Trout

    I know that he continued playing but the day he left Philly he was done. He never quite seemed the same.

  • shockexchange

    Cool back story. A.I. learned what Steve Carlton, Eddie Murray, Barry Bonds, etc. learned – if you don’t placate the media they will bury you.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Co-sign. Iverson’s entire game was predicated on pocessing ELITE speed. It’s why defenders had to pick their poison between being blown by or getting killed with his mid-range game. It’s what allowed him to play the passing lanes so aggressively on the defensive end.

    What happens when a 5’11 shooting guard losses his speed and hops? AI doesn’t have the size to excel in the post like an old Mark Jackson, nor does he pocess the ability to become an elite spot up shooter like the old Derek Fisher on the Lakers. Him returning to the L would be a bad look.

  • spit hot fiyah

    did you notice that he retired about 7 years ago?

  • LakeShow

    These NBA greats should all get good and fat post retirement.

    First half of their life dedicating everything to the sport.

    Give em some ice cream!

  • Evan Boland

    GP needs to shut up.

  • Sharada

    That makes a lot of sense.


  • Jay Cutler

    Not sure how that implies that he should have a pot belly.

    Point is, he had and still has a skinny frame but you can clearly see that his stomach is like a sack attached to his abdomen.

  • ChosenOne

    Damn, I just realized that is Andy Roddick sat with them.

  • spit hot fiyah

    great observation man

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Glad GP revealed this. I never heard that story before. These NBA legends have some of the best stories you’d ever want to hear.

    The Sixers had gotten eliminated in the 1st round by the Celtics and Iverson had just had a meeting with Coach Brown and Sixers management about them not trading him. The press conference was supposed to be for him to tell everyone that he wasn’t going anywhere. Instead, people just wanted to ask him about practice. He lost it.

  • Steven310

    This is up there as one of the dumbest comments I have ever come across EVER.

    Do you really think AI can contribute much? Iverson left the league averaging double figures when he was less than 100% healthy and physically and emotionally fit. It`s only logical to think that he can return and still average double figures since he hasn`t done much to produce any additional wear and tear.

    Who really wants to see him tarnish his legacy by making a failed comeback? Like Jordan or Magic or Shaq or Farve or countless of other great athletes who came out retirement less than what they were when they hung it up.

    Who wants to remember Iverson for anything other than his 76er days? Plenty of people remember Iverson for his Denver days, you know when he averaged 24.8, 7.2, 3.0, and 1.8 on abt 45% in 2006-07. Or how abt in 2007-08 when Iverson averaged 26.4, 7.1, 3.0, and 2.0 on abt 46% also with Denver. Not too shabby.

    Even Iverson himself has accepted he’s done, why can’t you? No he`s accepted the fact that no nba team has shown any interest this off season thus far so retiring won`t hurt his chances of returning. Retirement does not mean that an athlete doesn`t believe he can produce, i.e. Brian Urlacher. It means that they`re not drawing any interest. Coming out of retirement is quite common. Many retired athletes who are not ready because they know they can still contribute are waiting for a reason to come out of retirement. Iverson is a confident guy and the fact that he waited almost the entire 2013 off season to announce his retirement even though he has yet to confirm it means that he still believes he can play basketball at the nba level.

  • Steven310

    You lost all credibility when you placed “elite”, “spot”, “up”, “shooter”, “Derek”, and “Fisher” in that order in the same sentence.

    Fisher “The Elite Spot up Shooter” shot 33% from 2-point range and 35% from the arc last season with Okc. And I guarantee you that most of his looks were WIDE OPEN.

    Fisher has shot 39.9% from 2s and 37.3% from 3s for his entire career. Spot up shooting is supposed to be his only strength at this point in his career. And most of the shots he`s taken during career have been uncontested.

    What the hell are you talking about? How the hell is Fisher an elite spot up shooter?

    Btw, Iverson`s entire career was predicated on driving to the rack and hitting the mid range jump shot as he was coming off a screen, following a cross over dribble, or stopping and popping in transition.

    So, again. What the hell are you talking about?

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Say what you want about Derek Fisher on OKC, but my comment specifically stated the “old Derek Fisher on the Lakers” as in the spot up shooter who hit clutch shot after clutch shot. He played solid defense against elite pgs and was effective at spreading the floor.

    An in-prime AI was a top 3 player in the league. No one’s questioning that. The fact of the matter is that AI is 38 now. He no longer has the speed he once did. He no longer has the explosiveness he once did. He doesn’t have a size advantage nor does he have the shooting touch to compensate for his lack of size.

    AI is one of my favorite players of all time. But even AI stans who understand the game have to acknowledge that any GM views a 38 year old AI as extremely high risk with low reward.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    You keep posting clips and bringing up stats from 4-5 years ago. They don’t hold half as much weight as you think.

    The problem is, AI is a high maintenance player to manage. When he is putting up beastly numbers and leading his teams deep into the playoffs, teams are willing to overlook things. He’s not that guy anymore.

    Can he be that 12ppg guy off of the bench at 38? Possibly.

    Has he displayed the willingness to be that role player/locker room leader with limited minutes? THAT’S THE QUESTION MARK THAT HAS KEPT HIM OUT OF THE LEAGUE.

  • Steven310

    Are you trying to be funny? You think ” the old Fisher with the lakers” was an elite spot up shooter because he hit some wide open shots in the postseason? That doesn`t mean he`s an elite shooter, it only means he`s capable of hitting a wide open shot – something that every guard can do. Even Jason Kidd who wasn`t known for his shooting could hit some wide open shots in the postseason. Does that make “the old Jason Kidd from Dallas” an elite shooter too? What about Rajon Rondo? He hit some wide open shots in the postseason? Do you also consider him an elite shooter right now?

    “He no longer has the speed he once did. He no longer has the
    explosiveness he once did. He doesn’t have a size advantage nor does he
    have the shooting touch to compensate for his lack of size.” Why are you stating the obvious? Of course, Iverson isn`t as fast as he used to be. Of course, he doesn`t have the same explosiveness he used to have. No athlete does after 10+ years but athletes learn how to compensate. They used their experience and their instincts to make up for what they`ve lost. What we need to know is, does he have enough quickness/speed to be effective? Are his ball handling skills still good enough to create space? Does he have enough explosiveness to gain that all important first step advantage pass the defender? In my opinion he has enough speed, quickness, explosiveness, creativeness, ball handling skills, experience, and basketball instincts to still be effective in the nba.

    “nor does he have the shooting touch to compensate for his lack of size.” Stop it with these myths. Despite what many people believe Iverson is not a bad shooter. Early in his career he had bad shot selection which is common. And he had too much offensive weight on his shoulders which led to sub 40% shooting for 2 seasons. But when he`s had offensively capable players around he`s shot in between 44 and 46%.

    I`m not responding to your comment critiquing his small stature/size because he`s accomplished enough during his career at that same size to where it shouldn`t be used as an excuse to keep him out of the nba. Nor will I respond to your critique about his age because there are players who are just as old, older, and/or have played just as many or more seasons than Iverson. It`s not all about age. It`s also about the wear and tear off playing games which he hasn`t done in 3 years.

    “AI as extremely high risk with low reward.” What are you talking about? How is Iverson extremely high risk and low reward? He wouldn`t be a financial burden. nba teams could get him at the vet min. He would definitely bring in additional ticket sales for fans who have been waiting for his return since 2010. Fans like myself. Fans in China and other countries around the world including the U.S. As far as production, he`s still capable of putting up double figure points, 13 ppg at the very least. And the baggage he`ll bring is the same baggage active nba players have. Personal issues are universal. Iverson`s attitude is the same attitude that active nba players have. Iverson`s confidence is the same confidence that active players have. Iverson`s pride is the same pride that active players have. The amount excuses that people concoct to try to justify Iverson`s absence from the nba is outrageous and baseless. He`s low risk financially and high reward. There`s no reason not to sign him unless the team has a surplus of players (full roster) or guards.

  • Steven310

    I posted highlights/games of Iverson from 2008 Detroit up until now because I wanted include his last 2 seasons in the nba. During his last 2 seasons with (det, mem, and phi) his numbers were at their lowest and I wanted to compare that Iverson (which could be 2013 Iverson) to active guards and reserves. I think the videos are self-explanatory. I simply combined his numbers from det, mem, and phi from 2008-10 and compared them to active nba guards and reserves who averaged at least 12 minutes and played in a minimum of 15 games during 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13 nba seasons.

    Would you rather I make up some recent clips of Iverson? because the most recent one that I have is from Dec 2012 and it`s one of the videos posted. In fact, I provided viewers with dates for every clip/game in the videos.

    “The problem is, AI is a high maintenance player to manage.” I have to give you some credit because I have never heard this excuse before. What the hell do you mean by ‘high maintenance’? Please elaborate. Is Iverson not supposed to use the training room or get treatment for various ailments? I mean you can`t possibly be talking about that ridiculous myth about Iverson not practicing based on a 10-yr old press conference. So please let me know how Iverson is high maintenance.

    “Can he be that 12ppg guy off of the bench at 38? Possibly.” I`m viewing this as sarcasm because I know you`re not questioning whether or not Iverson can average 12 ppg. That can`t be true.

    Allen Iverson Willing to Play Any Role
    on an NBA Team -


  • Da-Meat-Hook

    WOWWWW. If you can’t even acknowledge that AI is and was a high risk/high maintenance player, you are clearly not worth responding to.

    Like I said, baggage, personal issues, and spotty attendance can be overlooked when you’re an all-star piggybacking bad teams into the playoffs. When you’re a 38 year old 6’0 (at most) shooting guard who’s lost a step (or 2) and is still haunted by questionable decisions and a questionable attitude…not so much.

    For someone who has yet to offer anything of substance, you’re awfully feisty. Use your head… not your keyboard.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    I get it. You’re an Allen Iverson Stan. As am I. The difference is that I am a realist who celebrates AI’s accomplishments while also acknowledging his limitations and flaws. You, on the other hand, are quick to mention that he is still capable of scoring 12ppg while ignoring anything and everything else.

    Delonte West is still capable of scoring 12ppg while playing superior defense than AI can offer. Why isn’t he in the L?
    Sh*t, given the minutes, Gilbert Arenas could still average double figures? Why isn’t he in the L?

    The fact of the matter is, there are plenty of former players who could still put up scoring numbers, but a vet signing for the league minimum is more than that. It’s about being coachable. It’s about being a leader in the locker room. it’s about being willing to catch 5 DNPs in a row and keeping your mouth shut. Now i am not saying AI isn’t capable of being that guy, but given his history, I can see why a GM may be apprehensive.

  • Steven310

    The fact that you just referenced Gilbert Arenas on the topic of possible nba returns let`s me know that you`re definitely NOT an Iverson fan and you don`t have a clue what you`re talking about. Arenas`s knee injury severely limited his game. He hasn`t been the same ever since. Arenas is clearly not capable of playing ball at a high level in his current physical state. But then again it`s not like having poor, little or no basketball skills has ever stopped the nba/nba teams from signing players just to fill up a roster.

    In response to the 3rd paragraph: Your first problem is that you really believe that you`re an Iverson fan and that you`re knowledgeable about the game when you`re clearly neither. An Iverson and knowledgeable fan wouldn`t question whether or not he could put up double figures. An Iverson fan wouldn`t continue to use media-created myths like he`s uncoachable or he`s not a leader in the locker room to justify your reasoning. All you`re doing is following the footsteps of other irrational thinkers who have bought into the media`s perception of Allen Iverson. Something that often happens to susceptible or gullible people who wait for others to fill in the blanks rather than find answers for themselves.

    Your second problem is that your idea of the average nba player is someone who may or may not play in a game. Someone who may or may not dress for the game. And someone who shouldn`t and doesn`t care about playing in or dressing for games because they`ll get paid regardless of whether the money is earned or stolen (unearned).

    While my idea of the average nba player is someone who wants to play every game. Someone who wants to play all 48 minutes. Someone who wants to contribute/produce during the game in order to help the team. Not someone who goes to the game and never takes off his warmups. Not someone who goes to the game in a suit and tie and plays the role of the team`s mascot. My idea of the average nba player is Iverson. Someone who loves playing the game and earning his money.

    Your values are in conflict with Iverson`s values. Our values also vary by a wide margin. You`re definitely not going to alter mine and I don`t care to change yours so this conversation has reached its final stage. We`re done talking.

  • LLC#12

    There’s 30 GM’s in the NBA who know much more about basketball than me or you. If a single one of them thought AI could contribute enough to be worth it, he’d be in the league. Yes I’m aware he had good numbers in Denver, but my point was that isn’t how he will be remembered, he carved his legend for the Sixers.

    His game was built on his speed and athleticism. The guy is 38. He would be a complete liability on defense, who could he possibly defend?

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Ah I see. I’m not a “real Iverson fan” because I think his NBA days are done. I guess that means that I’m not an MJ, Shaq, or CWebb fan either.

    Your problem is that you’re a grade A slurper. There’s no other way to put it.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Exactly. The reasons why AI can’t find a contract in the NBA are well documented. It’s not rocket science.

    J Howard, M Canby, and D Fish are all 38+ years old yet have found their respective niches on teams despite being inferior scorers compared to AI.

    Being a guy who’s calable of scoring double digits in the NBA doesn’t guarantee you a roster spot.