The “Iverson” documentary recently aired on Showtime where Allen himself attempted lend some additional perspective to his famous “practice” press conference from 2002. How successful he was is up to debate. But thinking back to 2002, some believe Iverson made a fool of himself, but if you’re like me, you think the man actually made a point. But perhaps there’s more to the story.
According to journalist Kent Babb, Iverson was drunk during that press conference, which caused him to go off in the manner in which he did. In his upcoming book “Not a GAme: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson,” Babb documents insight from then-Sixers coach, general manager and team president — Larry Brown, Billy King and Pat Croce respectively — to shed light on what really led Iverson to repeat “we talking about practice” 22 times.
Per ESPN on Babb’s upcoming book:
Wrote Babb: “Some were entertained, and others watched the train wreck unfold, knowing from experience that Iverson was drunk.”
King tried to think of a way to stop the press conference, the book said, while Croce, watching on television, said he suspected Iverson was drunk and asked his wife to shut off the TV.
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.”
Iverson retired over a decade later and told reporters in 2013 that he never should have done the news conference back in 2002.
“They had no idea my best friend had just got killed,” Iverson said. “The press conference wasn’t about practice, it was about me (possibly) being traded from Philadelphia. Nobody ever talked about that, never heard why I was upset or what the conference was about.”
In case you need a refresher: