Sunday, December 20th, 2009 at 9:10 am  |  40 responses

Decade’s Best: Quote

You’ve got questions? We’ve got The Answer.

by Adam Sweeney

The game of basketball is shaped not only by the moves on the court but by the banter extending between the ballers. Trash talking is as much music to my ears as the sound of the net cutting after a jumper by Kobe Bryant or Ray Allen. And if you’re a journalist, or an NBA fan in general, there is nothing quite like a quote for the ages. This decade brought a few but only one that will follow a certain player like a shadow, or even a Kardashian to an athlete.

The NBA’s finest certainly have the gift for gab. Rasheed Wallace may be hated by refs but we have love for him for dropping lines like “the ball don’t lie,” and “both teams played hard,” in press conferences. He’s definitely a quote Hall of Famer.

Tracy McGrady will live in infamy for saying how great it was to “finally be in the position to advance to the second round,” in spite of the fact that his Orlando Magic had only taken a 3-1 series lead on the Detroit Pistons. Motown went on to wax that ass and T-Mac has only seen the second round of the playoffs while in a suit. The Basketball Gods don’t play.

I still get chills when I hear the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett shout “anything is possible!” to the heavens after finally grabbing the championship that eluded him for so many years, but it isn’t the greatest quote of the decade. Not quite.

If we were to give an award to the greatest individual for their lifetime achievement in sound bites, it would unquestionably be Shaquille O’Neal. The Big Aristotle, make that The Big Cactus, make that the Big Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame (because what else is there to do in Ohio?) has given us enough quotes to fill a Slam Magazine vault. He’s the interviewer’s equivalent of Fort Knox.

The quote that stands out most recently from Shaq Diesel, perhaps unfortunately, comes from his taunt of Kobe Bryant after the Boston Celtics won the 2008 NBA Title. We couldn’t give quote of the decade to Shaq for “Kobe, tell me how my ass taste,” unless we got an endorsement from Listerine, and that wasn’t coming. Not in this economy. Needless to say, it left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth after he made that rap at a nightclub. Thank God Kobe won a title before Shaq got another chance to drop a flow. Couldn’t you see him next to LeBron yelling, “I’m so glad we finally got LeBron a C-ring. That’s the Cleveland ring, son. This next song goes out to that jackass, Kobe. I call it “The Donkey Show. Bring The Shaq-anatrix his whip.”

The quote of the decade goes to a cat who will probably never be understood or appreciated for who he is as a player or a person. Quotes like this one are probably why. What are we talking about? We’re talking about practice.

A.I.\’s talking about…well you know.

Allen Iverson launched a verbal assault of redundancy for the record books in his first run as a Philadelphia 76er, in a press conference after being criticized for missing too many practices. Yep, the P word. Coaches everywhere cringed upon hearing it. How many players of lesser talent do you think took this idea to heart and dogged it for a few plays? More than a few, I can promise you. The only difference is that Iverson could get away with it at the time.

His response, whether he likes it or not, helped paint a picture of a high profile athlete that felt he was above the time and effort it took to put into the game before it started. The stigma that A.I. would only play the game by his rules still stands true, as he refused to come off the bench for both the Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies. Thank God that the Philadelphia 76ers have a soft spot for him, and for ticket sales.

When Iverson briefly retired, the discussion of his legacy on almost every radio or TV sports show I saw was interlaced with video of “the practice meltdown.” I still laugh when I see it. When Iverson is inducted to the NBA Hall of Fame, we will see this clip. In fact, I have no doubt that some analyst will try to get cute and say, “whether he needed practice or not, The Answer was without question a warrior.” Stuart Scott, I am looking in your direction. Boo ya, son.

Love him or hate him, Allen Iverson was, and maybe still is, a fearless competitor. He entered into a lane of giants with reckless abandon and helped change the way that the game was played. However, he also changed how the public viewed him in a little less than three minutes. You can say that A.I. isn’t an efficient scorer but damn if he isn’t efficient in leaving an impression. It’s only fitting that one of the greatest players and athletes of all-time would drop a quote for the ages. Best quote of the decade and perhaps the best quote ever from the NBA? There’s no doubt that the answer is Allen Iverson.


For more Decade Awards, check out the archive.

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  • http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3445/3357407353_c868c2d95c.jpg larrylegend
  • jerboy

    mad doggg

  • treetrunks

    first!!!!!!!!!!!!! biggest mistake from A.I.

  • treetrunks

    err, no, i wasn’t…f***

  • Jose

    Man we talkin bout best quote of the decade right der fa sho…

  • Ghost (Of Rumeal Robinson)

    1- We talkin bout practice
    2- Both teams played hard
    3- Ball don’t lie…
    and so on and so forth

  • Michael Scorn

    It wasn’t funny when I first heard it, and I still can’t believe people get a kick out of it still today.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Is there any marijuana in the vehicle? “Nah, we smoked it all up…”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Why do you shoot so many threes, Toine? “Because there are no fours…”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Say what, Ricky? “I thought LeBron James was just going to be another addition to help me score,”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    “Im hunting for little Mexican girls…”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    “Why would I want to help them (the T -Wolves) win a title? They’re not doing anything for me. I’m at risk. I have a lot of risk here. I got my family to feed.”

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    Easily… that press conference is priceless

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Excited to meet Bsh, Sheed? “I don’t have sh*t to say to him. I didn’t vote for him. It’s just something we have to do.”

  • treetrunks

    who said “hunting for little Mexican girls”?!? that was a good one…don’t remember who said it?…anotha one from Sheed? oh yea, best one was “we smoked it all up”…and the s*** about Bush…Sheed, u da man

  • d.j.

    who said “hunting for little Mexican girls”?!? i wna know that too any links to that anyone ? thanks

  • ab_40

    this was tooooo easy. lebron adressing the media after the orlando cleveland series was good to… oh wait

  • http://Egotastic.com Michael

    Squeaky Clean

  • Samaki Walker

    Anything said in this video deserves an honorable mention:

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    it was karl malone dummies, he said it to kobes wifey. knowing kobe is alil pus who wouldnt do anything about it. sheed is great.

  • http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3445/3357407353_c868c2d95c.jpg larrylegend

    myles wins with his first and second comments

  • ron burgundy

    bears come up to this window?

  • http://www.teflinprague.com SAB

    the spreewell one is amazing too

  • http://slamonline.com top 1216 playa

    we talkin bout practice? i’m a frachise player and were sittin here talking bout practice?

  • 6marjons

    larry bird isn’t walking through that door is the greatest quote ever
    or “i’m back” but that wasn;t said so much as written in a fax

  • 6marjons

    the best one of the decade – lebron has to have a mention for ‘sorry i didn’t go to college’

  • Dacre

    what about Brian Scalabrine comments before/during/after the finals championship.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Deuce21

    This one from Darko Milicic gets a vote from me.


    Tim Donaghy must of had something to do with it :p

  • NAS

    i think it was karl malone who was hunting for little mexican girls

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ DIMITRIS DIAMANTIDIS


  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com The Hoopistani

    it was in a different language, but i don’t think there has been a basketball ‘quote’ better than darko’s crazy rant post serbia’s loss to greece

  • Ed35

    “Look at me, Dave, look” and “Come and touch it, Dave.” Eddy Curry

  • http://futureprobe.blogspot.com Future Guy

    The most hilarious part of AI’s “practice” rant is when he says “How the hell can I make my teammates better by practicing?”

  • James

    lol myles who said the “nah we smoked it all up” quote that is funny!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nima Zarrabi

    “Because there are no fours.” –Antoine Walker

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    “I did not have sex with that white girl.”

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    wow, darko should play with that anger…

  • Drew

    We talkin about practice (the REMIX!)
    this was stuck in my head for about week after the first time I saw this. And Myles, ‘Toine’s quote about “cause there are no fours” definitely is my favorite quote of the decade.

  • albie1kenobi

    Can someone go to “the Links” archive and just post all those quotes Lang used to post everyday?

  • http://nicekicks.com MeloMan2.0

    ANTON FOR THE WIN!!!!! but anoine walkers “there are no fours” was pretty funny too