Gary Payton Says He Caused Allen Iverson’s Infamous ‘Practice’ Rant
With Allen Iverson’s announcement that he is officially retiring from the NBA, the first memory that has to pop into everyone’s mind is Iverson’s infamous “Practice” rant. At the time, it was the press conference heard ’round the world, and still to this day, sports outlets everywhere feel the need to commemorate it in some way. However, the back story behind the rant can now be known to all. According to Gary Payton,he is the man behind the rant.
The story goes a little like this: Iverson asked Payton how he always managed to remain on the court and stay in great shape. Payton responded, “I told him for real that my coach, George Karl, didn’t let me practice. That was it. I said, ‘You have to stop practicing.’” We can clearly see that Iverson took that advice to heart.
When you look back after all is said and done, there is a chance that Payton’s advice did hold some water. Payton played 80 or more games 12 times in his career while Iverson played 80 or more games only three times. Let’s give Gary Payton a whole lot of credit for this. He created one of the greatest press conference rants in the history of professional sports. And I totally counted the amount of times that Iverson said the word “practice.” In case you’re wondering, that number is 22.5 times in 2.5-minute span. If that’s not getting your point across, then I don’t know what is. I’ll even let you count for yourself:
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