We’re talking about practice! Not a game…not a game! We’re talking about practice!
That’s an iconic Allen Iverson rant!
Make no mistake though: Allen Iverson was more than just an iconic figure in basketball.
The Answer was the most revolutionary style icon in the world of sports. Everyone grew up wanting headbands and shooting sleeves to mimic their favorite player in the game.
It was easy to fall in love with Iverson, as he seemed to exceed his small frame on a nightly basis while his swag was on 1000%.
Million Dollar Question: What was AI like in practice?
“He was just like he was when he played,” Iverson’s former 76ers teammate, Kenny Thomas shared with me while on a recent episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“When he stepped on the court, he was competitive regardless. Put it like this, even before I was a Sixer, my agent had me go up to Philly; you remember John Arnett? I used to go up there when he was running the gym when I was a rookie. I used to go up there to Philly and for the first half of my career, I was up in Philly. And then the other half I was in San Antonio with the Spurs right before the season started; they gave their facility, everything like I moved down there for three months, just like I did with Philly, but that was two months. Right before the season I left my family and everything and moved away for like a couple of months to have that discipline. But, I was already in Philly before I got traded there and I think the buzz and all that was already there with Larry wanting me to come to Philly. I thought it was a great move for me going to Philly, because in Houston they weren’t going to be able to pay me anyway, because they just paid Kelvin Cato $40M and then they gave Maurice Taylor $48M, and they did me a favor by trading me so, I’ll never forget that as far as the ownership side.”
While on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Thomas also discussed how tough Iverson was in college. “I played against Allen in the NCAA Tournament in the Second Round,” he said.
“So I got a taste of that already. So in the first half, he had like about 12 or 13 points. But then he came back in the second half he had like 30 something. But that was my first experience being around AI; but then being able to come to Philly and have THAT guy on your team? I mean, talk about somebody that will go to war with you every single night! And the passion and emotion come out, and sometimes it can get misconstrued like he’s telling at you, I’m not even gonna lie; I’m a prime example of that from a standpoint because I think that I’m doing everything right, but whatever moment I was doing what I was doing. But he’s just very passionate and somebody that is THAT passionate has a different kind of desire. And I think that’s why he is in that elite category that he was in – which was the Michael Jordans, the Magic Johnsons, and just being to play like Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon and learning from those guys; I had Dream a whole year, my rookie year and that was an honor as well. What happened was Pippen got traded. When I came in, like seven guys came over like, Carlos Rodgers, and Stacey Augmon…Four guys came over after Pippen left.”