Working above Allen Iverson cannot be easy. In fact, it was probably one of the worst jobs in sports at times during A.I.’s NBA career. Either he’s lighting up the arena and leading your team to victory or he’s talkin’ bout practice. According to former Sixers GM Billy King, the latter nearly resulted in his resignation.
During an interview with Andrew Goldman of the New York Times, King spoke about the infamous “practice” rant and the highly-publicized spat that took place between Iverson and Philadelphia head coach Larry Brown back in 2002.
“Larry Brown had said he couldn’t coach Allen anymore,” King explained. “Allen said he couldn’t play for Larry, so they had a meeting to clear the air. After the meeting, I thought, Let’s do a press conference so that everybody knows they’re on one page. We did the press conference, and it becomes legendary. You can go online. Everybody imitates it.
“I called Ed Snider and resigned because I said, ‘This is a disaster.’ Later Ed said, ‘You’re not resigning.’ I went to the Palm, had some Scotch, and I’m thinking, both of these guys are making a lot more money than I am, they’re in a good situation and this is what I’m dealing with.”
Dealing with a difficult personality like Iverson’s can’t be easy, and King’s recollection of the days surrounding the infamous incident is a reminder of that. When celebrities like Charlie Sheen are poking fun at something 10 years after it happens, you know it must have been pretty big news. During the Brown-Iverson feud, King had quite possibly the most difficult job in sports. The “practice” rant certainly did nothing to help anyone involved, but it has provided us with a decade worth of solid entertainment.
H/T Ball Don’t Lie
Photo credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE