Former 76ers GM shares awesome Allen Iverson story
Allen Iverson was one of the fiercest competitors in the NBA during his Hall of Fame career, and we were reminded of that again this week with a great story that former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Billy King told.
King was a guest on the “Audacy NBA Show” with Ryan McDonough on Friday, and he spoke about how difficult it was to keep Iverson sidelined when the former point guard was injured. King said the Sixers had to literally hide Iverson’s game jersey from him to prevent him from suiting up.
“When he was injured and we knew he couldn’t play we used to hide his jersey. Because he would come to the locker room looking for his jersey, we’d lock it somewhere so he couldn’t get it,” King said.
The former GM then recalled a specific instance where the 76ers wanted Iverson to sit out a game in New York. Iverson was able to find his jersey but not his game sneakers. He tried everything he could to find a pair of shoes he could use.
“One time, in New York, he found his jersey but didn’t have any shoes,” King said. “He was trying to send the ball boy to the Foot Locker around the corner. He said, ‘Just give me a pair of their Reeboks. I can play in those.’ Then he pointed to an attendant (and said), ‘What size are you, just give me those shoes,’ because he wanted to play so bad.”
There were many questions about Iverson’s level of commitment during his career. We’re all familiar with his famous “practice” rant, and there were certainly some troubling reports about his state of mind when that happened.
All that said, anyone who played against A.I. knows how dominant he was and the effort he gave night in and night out. Clearly, he never wanted to leave the court or be held out.