Allen Iverson’s Infamous ‘Practice’ Rant? Yea, He Was Drunk For It
As memorable on the court as Allen Iverson was in his heyday, he’s often defined by one notable press conference in the spring of 2002.
That’s when he went on his infamous ‘Practice’ rant. Here, relive it if you want.
In a new book by journalist Kent Babb, ‘Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson,’ there’s a very good reason why Iverson was carrying on like that.
He was housed. Like, really really housed. Via ESPN:
[Before the conference, Iverson was at the Sixers’ facility then] left with a friend and returned later for the news conference. “I assumed he went and fooled around somewhere,” [former Sixers coach Larry] Brown said, tipping his hand up like a bottle, the author wrote in the book.
John Smallwood, a Daily News columnist who was in attendance, was also quoted as saying: “He was lit. If he had been sober, he would have been able to get himself out of that. He never would’ve gone down that path. Maybe you had to have been around him all the time to know the difference, but we all knew.”
What interests me is what the media is often willing to keep under wraps. This book discloses that Iverson was and is a serious alcoholic, often missing events to sit at a bar. All the time, a bunch of people knew, but never reported on it.
Imagine the firestorms those headlines would have started: “NBA Superstar Shows Up Drunk To Press Conference.”
Maybe it’s better they never said anything.
Well, we’ll still have the highlights. He really was amazing.