May 7, 2002 is a date that media members won’t let Allen Iverson live down.
On that date, Iverson infamously announced his distaste for practice, and may have set a record for uses of the word in a twenty minute period.
The comedic value and resulting popularity of the press conference cannot be denied, (just check its YouTube views), and the clip has stuck with Iverson ever since.
While he said that he wouldn’t take back what he said given an opportunity, Iverson did use his much milder, recent retirement press conference to revisit the infamous ‘practice’ presser, and provide some context on it.
“It wasn’t just about that I didn’t like practice, or didn’t care about practice or anything like that,” Iverson stated, as if to emphasize that he understood the importance of practice.
“As far as how I expressed ‘practice, practice, practice’ over and over again, I wouldn’t take that back because obviously that sound bite is great for the media and for the fans, because they love it.”
Iverson is obviously okay with the attention the clip has garnered, and he made it clear that it wasn’t his words that he regretted so much, more so the fact that he took the podium in the first place.
“If I could go back and do it over again, I would have never done the interview,” he continued, revealing a little remorse.
Apparently A.I. had some stuff going on in his personal life that boiled over into the ‘practice’ presser.
“[People] had no idea that my best friend just got killed,” he stated before touching on the presser’s topic.
“[They] had no idea that the press conference wasn’t about practice, the press conference was about me not being traded from Philadelphia, that’s what I thought I was sitting down at the podium to talk about, Iverson stated, with a slight hint of aggravation creeping into his voice.
“You never heard anything about the reason I was upset, or what the press conference was about.”
Whether he likes it or not, the infamous ‘practice’ press conference is a lasting part of Iverson’s legacy, so it is interesting to hear some background information on the situation from the man himself. While it likely was not A.I.’s favorite pastime, it seems as though his distaste for practice as portrayed in that infamous presser, has been slightly over-stated.