It is one of the truly most memorable moments in basketball culture's recent history. After the 76ers 2002 playoff exit, Allen Iverson went off to the media after his coach Larry Brown blamed AI's practice habits. It's a legendary speech, the equivalent of the movie Anchorman in terms of being quoted.
Gary Payton is a new host of Fox Sports 1's Fox Sports Live and revealed Wednesday night that he was actually the cause of the rant.
So Payton and Iverson got drunk one night and Payton told Iverson to stop practicing because his coach had held him back. That happens all the time in the NBA. Mike D'Antoni in particular is a big proponent of holding guys back and basically didn't practice Pau Gasol or Steve Nash much last season according to reports. But the guys were there and ready if called upon.
That's the delicate line you have to walk. Saving players from the wear and tear of practice is good. Asking for that help is good. Bristling if your coach wants more from you? That's not a good look. Going off in a press conference about it? That's never going to go over well It's all about how you handle it, like most things in sports.
Reports Wednesday indicated Iverson is set to announce his retirement soon.