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Friday, August 18th, 2006 at 11:29 am  |  20 responses

Old School Friday: Practice?

Allen Iverson’s classic rant reminds us why we love AI…

by Lang Whitaker

Four years and about seven coaches ago, the Sixers and Allen Iverson were at a turning point. One year prior, they’d been to the 2001 NBA Finals, where they proved a spirited opponent for Shaq and the Lakers. After months spent battling and butting heads, Iverson and coach Larry Brown appeared to have found some sort of common ground, and the Sixers and Iverson finally found a style of play that fit their personnel.

But when the 2001-02 season began, Iverson and several other Sixers came in injured, effectively keeping the Sixers from ever regaining their place atop the Atlantic Division. They started the season 0-5, came back and fought valiantly all season, but they finished fourth in the Atlantic Division and limped into the playoffs, where they were eliminated in one round by Boston.

Meanwhile, it was not the best of times for Iverson. Due to various injuries (including a broken hand), he was able to play in only 60 regular season games. And somewhere during all of that, Iverson found another tipping point between him and his coach: Practice, namely that Iverson was hurt and felt he couldn’t, while Brown didn’t care how The Answer felt, he just wanted him out there on the floor.

So, after the Sixers were elimnated by the Celtics, Brown went public, telling the media: “My problems with Allen have been the same for six years. I love him, his competitiveness. The issues are things he has control over, and he’ll have a problem with me if he doesn’t take care of it. He has to be at practice. He has to set an example. He knows that if he’s willing to do that, he’ll be a Sixer for life.”

A few days later, Iverson took to the podium at the Sixers practice facility and fired back, and that raw honesty and emotion Iverson is now famous for were never more brilliantly on display.

Click below to listen…

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  • Donn

    That soundbite is one of the funniest, illest, and greatest things ever!!!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Marcel Mutoni

    also, make sure to peep the YouTube clip

  • Nadav

    Not a GAME, not a GAME, we talkin bout praCtice an. NOT NOT NOT A GAME, but we talkin bout PARACTICE.

    Amazing.

  • Nadav

    “HOW THE HELL CAN I MAKE MY TEAMMATES BETTER BY PRACTICING?!”

    HAHAHAHA wow.

  • Kene

    …its amazing how back then, everyone assumed A.I was the drama queen in that relationship.

  • SteveSmith#8 fan

    The funniest part to me is when he says I know I am supposed to be there and set an example for my teammates then he continues the rant about practice.

  • Blinguo

    Add this to the Colts’ head coach infamous “PLAYOFFS?” line and interchangeably mix them up now and then until they’re just one mega-quote for Sportscenter to abuse!

    What would Larry Brown have known about staying with one team for life though, honestly?

    Also Iverson’s coming off the bench quotes were good too.

    Who ever heard of an All Star coming off the bench, league MVP, scoring champion, etc.

  • illydiva

    When this happened, the media & sports radio here in Philly went bananas. They just wore that press conference out! It was obvious that AI was heated over that punk biatch’s comments, but towards the end of that rant, I thought the word (not the concept) “practice” became a joke to him. Not sure what he meant by “how can I make my teammates better”, but the media blew the whole thing out of proportion. Just another shot at the thug, AI. It didn’t change our opinion of AI one bit–those of us who understand him.

  • Philly Bul

    That was leagiondary it had philly in daze the media was buggin every body was talkin about PRACTICE and the thing is he still dosen’t Practice much but it hasen’t hurt his game at all how about 33.0 ppg, 7.4 asst. in 2006 sound 10yrs and counting he still the MAN IN PHILLY.FIRE BILLY KING.com

  • Will Lee

    AI could be even better if he ever practises. He is really blessed with his attitude towards basketball, his raw talent, his athleticism. But thats also the reason he never wins a champ. A streetballer never wins a champ, by the time he dominates, he’s taking his teammates outta the game too.

  • Dutch Rich

    “He has to be at practice. He has to set an example. He knows that if he’s willing to do that, he’ll be a Sixer for life.”

    Larry Brown

    Sixer for life huh!! Now that’s funny, coming out of the serpents mouth.

    The practice rant reminded me of a Chappelle skit.
    “Alluminum tubes, Son!!! They got aluminum tubes”

    R

  • thesubwayconnection

    Dutch Rich, or how about “TURN MY HEADPHONES UP!”

  • J.D.B

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frsId3goYYE

    clip of allen iverson’s practice,hilarious trust me.

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    or even better would be “yellowcake”
    Chappelle for prez :-)

  • A.I.

    Why did everyone make such a big deal about this???? I think its hilarious!!! ” How the hell am I supposed to make my teammates better by PRACTICING?!? Wow. :)

  • Richie

    Practice Practice Practice Practice

    we talkin about Practice

  • sandy

    ppl dnt get it twisted he wasnt sayin all a dat cuz he wasnt practicing, he was sayin like, hey look at the situation thts goin on, and yall (the reporters) talkin abt practice and not the actual game or abt him being traded, cuz thts wat the whole press conference was abt!

  • aye-eye

    gotta check that undrcrwn practice tee…its bananas boy!!!! http://www.undr-crwn.com/ecommerce/proddetail.php?prod=06021PRT

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Iverson Revisits ‘We Talking ‘Bout Practice?!’

  • Ty

    its not about that
    its not about that

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