Allen Iverson Explains 'Practice' Rant: Media Had No Clue Best Friend Got Killed
Philadelphia 76ers great Allen Iverson explained what was going on in his mind on the day of the infamous and legendary "practice" rant in 2002 that has gone down in history as one of the most memorable press conferences in sports.
"The media — they had no idea that my best friend had just gotten killed," he said on Wednesday after he officially retired from the NBA.
Few players in the NBA played with as much heart, grit and desire every night on the court as Iverson, who spent 14 years in the league as an undersized, six-foot shooting guard from Virginia after he had thrilled the college basketball world at Georgetown. That cannot be questioned. Neither can his status as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Though Iverson had many incidents off the court and, if not for a trusted friend, may be completely insolvent right now, he dazzled the league on the court with his crossover and brought swagger--and corn rows--into the game. He said he would die on a basketball court and has always said he gave everything he had to the game. Iverson also said he thought the 76ers deceived him on the day of his infamous press conference because they had reportedly "indicated the purpose of the press conference was to discuss why he had not been traded."
As Fox Sports noted, Iverson's epic rant "about the media's focus on practice over performance encapsulated everything that was thrilling, frustrating and complicated about one of the most courageous players of all time." Iverson "kept the news to himself" that day, "but the emotion spilled out in another direction."