Future Hall-of-Famer Allen Iverson was known for many things in his career. At 6-foot-even and 165 pounds, “The Answer” was the shortest and lightest player to ever win the NBA’s MVP when he won the prestigious award in 2001. The first overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft out of Georgetown, Iverson led the Philadelphia 76ers to the 2001 NBA Finals and won four scoring titles.
But he never lived down his now-famous “practice” rant.
“I wish I could take it back. … Man, I am a Hall of Famer and that’s all you can think about?” Iverson said of his 2002 postgame press conference when he said “practice” about 20 times in two minutes.
Iverson was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame on April 4 along with Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming, Sheryl Swoopes, Tom Izzo, and Jerry Reinsdorf.
— The Source Magazine (@TheSource) April 6, 2016
Iverson was coached by the legendary Larry Brown at the time of his “practice” rant. The two didn’t always seem to be on the same page, but the Sixers haven’t been the same since they left.
While Brown became the Sixers coach a year after Philadelphia drafted Iverson—the 1996 Rookie of the Year—and stayed through the 2003 season, Iverson was eventually dealt to Denver in December of 2006 for a package of players and draft picks. During their six years together, they made the postseason five times. In the 13 seasons since Brown left, the Sixers have won just one playoff series.
Practice or lasagna? Allen Iverson explains his legendary ‘practice’ rant:
Hall of Fame-bound Allen Iverson i… https://t.co/SIEq8yTt1m
— Silicon Angel (@SiliconAngel) April 6, 2016
Meanwhile, Iverson’s numbers stayed at an All-Star level through the 2007–08 season, before dropping off somewhat dramatically thereafter. The 11-time All-Star played was soon traded to Detroit then signed with Memphis before the Sixers signed him back for the 2009–10 season. But he was released on March 2, 2010 by Philadelphia after an unsuccessful second stint in the city of brotherly love, at age 34, and hasn’t been in the NBA since.
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) April 5, 2016
This is NOT a practice. Allen Iverson is a 2016 inductee to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.https://t.co/l1yaIMTvGP
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 4, 2016