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Billy King says he tried to resign after Iverson’s practice rant

Aug 15, 2012, 10:44 AM EDT

Allen Iverson Sixers Getty Images

“Practice. We’re talkin’ bout practice.”

Allen Iverson’s rant about skipping practice when he was with the Philadelphia 76ers is a pop culture touchstone, something people not even familiar with the basketball setting and the conflict between old-school Larry Brown and new-school Allen Iverson will talk about it.

But Billy King was there. He was the Sixers GM at the time. The current Nets president did a Q&A with the New York Times and that included discussion of the most famous press conference in NBA history (hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie).

You were president of the Philadelphia 76ers when Allen Iverson went on his famous rant at a news conference, responding to criticism that he was skipping practice. What was the back story?

Larry Brown had said he couldn’t coach Allen anymore. Allen said he couldn’t play for Larry, so they had a meeting to clear the air. After the meeting, I thought, Let’s do a press conference so that everybody knows they’re on one page. We did the press conference, and it becomes legendary. You can go online. Everybody imitates it.

It went on for half an hour on live TV. How did you feel?

I called Ed Snider and resigned because I said, This is a disaster. Later, Ed said you’re not resigning. I went to the Palm, had some Scotch, and I’m thinking, both of these guys are making a lot more money than I am, they’re in a good situation and this is what I’m dealing with.

Note to other GMs: Don’t do a “we smoked the peace pipe” press conference.  Those can backfire.

You should log on to the Times and read the whole thing, King talks about how Jay-Z helps as an owner and Kris Humphries marriage to Kim Kardashian.

But really, none of that is more fun than talking Iverson rant.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    I was watching the press conference live that day…it was truly unbelievable. I always thought the core point Iverson was trying to get at, but never did say was that him showing up to practice doesn’t make Eric Snow a better shooter and doesn’t make Mutumbo understand how to actually play the game of basketball on the offensive end. Also, people forget they were just coming off a beating in the decisive Game 5 against the Celtics. Iverson was the only one who showed up to play that day. The Celtics spread the floor and Sam Perkins drained shot after shot….Larry Brown failed to adjust.

    • GT - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      Since when was Sam Perkins on the Celtics????

  2. fanz928 - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Ai is legend and hof he should get another chance I’m sure the league need a damn pg

    • spideysdog - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      ROFLMAO…. AI HOF? only if they make a HOF for morons….. He is simply another idiot (TO, OchoCinco, Chris Johnson,) the list goes on and on, of guys who started believing their own press and doing self promotion to the point of forgetting what made them who they are….

      Sad really.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM

        Allen Iverson is a surefire Hall of Famer. Anyone who doesn’t think so forgets how great this guy truly was. He averaged 27 points, 6 assists and 2.2 steals a game at 6 foot tall.

        He had probably the greatest year anyone could possibly have in 2004-2005…

        30.7 points and 7.9 assists a game.

        Sure, those numbers don’t look that spectacular until you look at the Sixers roster for that year…

        Kyle Korver and Andre Iguodola played 82 games for that team. Marc Jackson played 81 games. Sammy Dalembert played 72 games. Mckee, Salmons, Green, Williamson, Thomas, JOSH DAVIS(WHO???)

        8 assists a game playing with that garbage? Greatest. Year. Ever.

  3. glink123 - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Iverson is *not* HoF material. Get real.

    • heyblueyoustink - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      You’re a dope.

  4. 700levelvet - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Billy King was Larry Brown’s sock puppet when he was GM of that team, Hell Brown got him the job……..He Will go down as the most overated, overpaid GM in NBA history, it amazes me he still has a job……….

  5. heyblueyoustink - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    The real shame is that he didn’t quit.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      LOL…truer words have never been written. Billy King was one of the worst GMs during his time with the Sixers. He was horrible. Just read Simmons columns on the bad-gm conferences and Billy always had a very prominent role in them. King sucked.

  6. cheers4ablumpkin - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    A.l likes to smoke dope

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      So what.

      • ewyorksockexchange - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        Do people realize the founding fathers were blazed all of the time? Jefferson grew and smoked forests of the stuff, and Washington used it to treat headaches, insomnia, anxiety, and lack of appetite. Whether or not you like it, or think it’s right, a lot of successful and unsuccessful people have all smoked marijuana.

  7. fanz928 - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    He got MVP, multiple scoring champ, Roy, more than a dozen times a all star, led his team to finals how is he not a hof material?

  8. rajbais - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    You should have stayed resigned!!!

    King: Completely ruinous GM of the Nets!!! Ass clown!!!

  9. fanz928 - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Being a hof doesn’t mean he has to win a championship it’s called a personal achievement.. If ai is not a hof then people like Barkley, miller shouldn’t be hof either and I’m sure he is a hof. Get real

  10. isujames - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    @stink123 AI Not hall of fame material who and wtf are you???You can’t be a fan or a basketball analyst seriously, you must want some replys because you sound very stupid sayung that.Go post on golf or hockey!!!!!

  11. money2long - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    everyone that hates on AI knows damn well as soon as he gets signed they be checking his first game back, and following him. AI has a lot of secret fans, and some are the haters who get brainwashed by hearing all the hate iverson gets, so they don’t want to be outcasts and hate on him too. most times, haters don’t even know why they hate, and even when they have reasons to, they just go overboard cuz it is the “norm”. but guarantee as soon as iverson puts on an nba jersey, those same haters that wanted him to stay oyut the nba will be checking his box scores, looking at his highlights, watching his games , i can go on.

  12. isujames - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    A.I. was the most talented and best scoring pg everrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

    • spideysdog - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      Magic Johnson
      Isaiah Thomas
      John Stockton
      Walt Frazier
      Derrick Rose
      Derron Williams
      Gary Payton
      Jason Kidd

      Shall I continue with better PG’s? The list continues….. Allen Iverson was a shoot first, dump it off second PG who needed 30-35 shots a night to be effective and never, let me repeat, NEVER was known to create cohesion or provide leadership…..

      Yep, if I was starting a team, that’s what I would want at the point…..


      • money2long - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        im with u spidey, as i think most of us should. however, i wish isujames elaborated more on his comment. he may not have meant it this way, and could just be a crazed 7 yr old idolizing AI, but if he is sane, logical thinker, maaaybe he meant best point guard with the COMBINATION of being supremely talented at the game (MVP level…AI..check) along with being able to put up buckets (avg 30+ points..check and check). AI possessed both titles, high caliber player as well as talented scorer. YES, magic, in my mind was the best point guard ever, but is he on Allen Iverson’s level at scoring? I wouldn’t say yes to that.

        with that said, looking at your list, there are only a handful of guys in that criteria with allen iverson.

        1. derrick rose
        2. deron williams
        3. chris paul
        4. isaish thomas

        now, looking at those 5 players (the 4 listed + AI) , is it then an argument that allen iverson has had a better career within this group? i wouldn’t rush to say no.

      • scalfor3 - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:38 PM

        oscar robertson anybody? sheesh

  13. b7p19 - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Well that could have saved the city of Philadelphia an awful lot of pain…

  14. ebrownwareagle - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM


    Loved AI. But that title belongs to Zeke. Isaiah Thomas.

  15. xxakshunxx - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Every one of those PG’s above had better talent surrounding them then what AI was stuck with

  16. raider2124 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Look at the moves king made when he was with the sixers. All disasters, trading first round picks for worthless pieces. If deron Williams didn’t resign with the nets he would have went down as the worst gm of all time. Now he’s only better the isiah.

  17. raider2124 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Anyone who uses the word hater is a mental midget.

  18. lakerluver - Aug 15, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    The rant by A.I.’s mom was even better than his “practice” rant! “Did Tawanna tell you that?”!!! Freakin priceless

  19. mungman69 - Aug 15, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Everybody smokes pot?

  20. lakerluver - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    A.I. wasn’t a point guard. On that Philly team that he took to the Finals Eric Snow was the starting point guard. A.I. played mostly shooting guard once he got to the NBA.

  21. somekat - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    how does one attempt to resign? you either do or you don’t

  22. timb12 - Aug 16, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    1. The basketball hall of fame is a joke. Everyone gets in. I think Todd McCullough is getting in this year.
    2. What kind of vice are you in when your boss won’t even let you quit? “I resign” “no you don’t” “you’re right, I don’t really. Sorry sir”

  23. youngyankee - Aug 16, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    There are a lot of athletes in their respective HOFs that had character issues.

    To not say Allen Iverson is AT LEAST in a HOF conversation is just plain hateful.

    ROY (a press conference that wasn’t spread publicly because AI wore a durag)
    scoring titles, 6th ALL TIME in PPG, 2nd ALL TIME in playoff ppg (2nd only to MJ)
    like 12 all-stars

    people think AI was 1 dimensional, selfish, not a team player or a leader but let’s be real here, he wasn’t blessed with the greatest of talent around him like some others. He led Philly deep into playoffs, beating Shaq/Kobe in game 1 of the finals (you say it’s 1 game, but Lebron in Cleveland couldnt win 1 vs the Spurs)

    You can hate him as a person all you want, or not like how he influenced the NBA culture but to downplay his accomplishments as a basketball player, doing what he did at barely 6ft and 165lbs, is just plain wrong.

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