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Ten years ago today, Allen Iverson ranted about practice

May 7, 2012, 12:56 PM EST

“We’re talking ‘bout practice.”

Few phrases have ever become as iconic in the sports world — and bled over into popular culture — like what Allen Iverson said at a podium in Philadelphia a decade ago today.

Today is the 10-year anniversary of the “practice” rant, NBCPhiladelphia.com reminds us.

Boston had just eliminated Philadelphia from the playoffs and then Sixers coach Larry Brown expressed frustration that Iverson had not practiced hard all year and helped improve his teammates. When Iverson was pressed by reporters about his practice habits… well, the rest is history. And one side of Iverson’s complex legacy was cemented.

NBCPhiladelphia.com has the transcript if you want to read it all.

“If I can’t practice, I can’t practice. It is as simple as that. It ain’t about that at all. It’s easy to sum it up if you’re just talking about practice. We’re sitting here, and I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re talking about practice. I mean listen, we’re sitting here talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, but we’re talking about practice. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game last it’s my last but we’re talking about practice man.

“How silly is that? Now I know that I’m supposed to lead by example and all that but I’m not shoving that aside like it don’t mean anything. I know it’s important, I honestly do but we’re talking about practice. We’re talking about practice man. We’re talking about practice. We’re talking about practice. We’re not talking about the game. We’re talking about practice. When you come to the arena, and you see me play, you’ve seen me play right, you’ve seen me give everything I’ve got, but we’re talking about practice right now.”

  1. Chris Fiorentino - May 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Greatest. Press Conference. Ever.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 7, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      fiorentino, I thought you were dead or something!

  2. trueballs - May 7, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    This is a little off topic…but since this rant my respect for Larry Brown has decreased. He’s a quitter and blames others far too often. Maybe that rubbed off on Iverson

  3. kacapaco - May 7, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    poverty of content on speech is sign of Schizophrenia. Please don’t tell me the doctors @ 76ers didn’t put him on some medications ;)

  4. reddolfan66 - May 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    I wonder why he never one a championship…

    • mytthor - May 7, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      Yeah, gotta be this press conference, can’t be because the best player he played with was an aging Dikembe Mutumbo and Tyrone Hill. George Lynch? Eric Snow? He dragged that team to the finals and handed the only loss to an absolutely dominant Lakers team.

    • dysraw1 - May 7, 2012 at 7:54 PM

      because Kobe & Shack bust that ass

  5. professoressadiesel - May 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Greatest quote was at the end of the rant “How the hell am I supposed to make my teammates better by practicing?!?”

    Consummate teammate!

  6. phinfan527 - May 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    I don’t get it. Was he talking about practice?

  7. mungman69 - May 7, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    How much better could Iverson have been if he had practiced.

  8. nokoolaidcowboy - May 7, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Practice in basketball isn’t just an individual exercise. It is also about letting your teammates work on how to help you by recognizing your strengths. You can also work on effectively communicating.

    Allen couldn’t see the big picture. Iverson was great, and greater players than him practiced. By doing so, those great players became great leaders and helped their teammates elevate their game. Yeah, he didn’t have the luxury of having a lot of good players around him. But if you’re going to be on the team anyway, practice.

  9. rschutz22 - May 7, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    i’ve always seen where ai was coming from on this..larry brown calling him out publicly for not practicing hard enough is a joke..the sixers didnt lose to my celtics because allen could have given more in practice..like mytthor said, he always had terrible supporting casts and lifted them up plenty, always giving 110% when it actually mattered

  10. dysraw1 - May 7, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    he blew it out proportion , because they blew it out of proportion

  11. diamondmo33 - May 7, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Dude just didn’t get it

  12. ningenito78 - May 7, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    What are we talking about?

  13. dirtybird2020 - May 7, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Kurt couldn’t think of a real story to write!

  14. lakerade - May 8, 2012 at 5:04 AM

    This is a media holiday. AI was great, but got baited into sounding like a punk who didnt care about team chemistry and getting better, when he put on a better show than most on the court. But hey, everyday a new flashback or poll or something, right? Churn, machine, churn.

  15. philtration - May 8, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Maybe he should have “practiced” budgeting his money.
    He was a great player but in the end he is just a loser.

  16. latchbeam - May 8, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    CLASSIC!!

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