Gary Payton Is Taking Credit for Allen Iverson’s Practice Rant (With a Guest Appearance from Donovan McNabb!)
Aug 22, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
There are three things I know by heart and will be able to recite for the rest of my life: A Hail Mary, Al Pacino’s speech from Any Given Sunday, and Allen Iverson’s “We Talkin’ ‘Bout Practice” tirade.
That quote and video clip has been used and re-used for so long that soon enough there’s going to be an entire generation of kids going “We talkin’ ’bout practice,” only they’ll have no idea who said it or where it came from. It’s part of the lexicon.
I’m not going to name names, but there were guys in the Eagles’ locker room on Tuesday, joking with each other and yelling, “We not talkin’ ’bout the game, the actual game, we talkin’ ’bout practice.” It translates to, you know, actual athletes.
In a situation like this, it’s pretty rare to find out any new information about how or why something happened a good 11 years later. But today is that day.
The Glove, Gary Payton, is now claiming he’s the one actually responsible for Iverson’s outburst.
Payton, appearing on the newly-launched Fox Sports 1, praised Iverson at length upon hearing news of the Answer’s impending retirement. He said the biggest concern when guarding Iverson was simply to avoid having his ankles broken.
But then he said something I had never before. Transcribed by ProBasketballTalk:
“We were out somewhere during a summer, and we were all out having a good time, and we had a little bit too many… and he asked me, he said ‘how do you keep your body is so good of a shape, and don’t get hurt, and stay always on the court?’ And I just told him for real, my coach George Karl didn’t let me practice. So that was it. I said ‘You have to stop practicing.’”
Then after the legendary Iverson practice rant press conference?
“Oh no not this, don’t say it like that! Don’t say it like that Allen!”
This apparently led to a later interaction between Payton and Larry Brown when Brown approached Payton, telling him to “Look at what [he] created.”
As promised in the headline, Donovan McNabb is also on the panel and speaks well of his interactions with Iverson when the two of them were atop the Philadelphia sports world.
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