Gary Payton says he was the inspiration behind Allen iverson’s “practice” rant [video]


With Allen Iverson expected to announce his official retirement from the NBA this week – even though the NBA retired him in 2010- newly launched FoxSports 1 network asked analyst and former NBA All-Star Gary Payton to share any fond memories he had of “The Answer” on “FoxSports Live.” GP shared that he was the inspiration behind AI’s famous “practice” rant.

GP said he and AI were hanging out one offseason chillin’ and enjoying libations, when AI asked how Gary maintained his health. GP explained that his Sonics head coach at the time, George Karl, held him out of practice.

Payton says he and Iverson were out one summer, having a good time and drinking, and Iverson asked Payton for his secret to keeping his body in good shape. Payton told Iverson that his coach with the Seattle SuperSonics, George Karl, kept him out of practice to preserve his body. “That was it. I [told Iverson] ‘you have to stop practicing!’” Payton recalled. Payton says that conversation inspired Iverson’s rant, though the former MVP guard got the intonations all wrong when he said the word “practice.” “I was like ‘don’t do it like that!’” Payton said with a laugh. Payton says word of his advice got back to former Sixers coach Larry Brown, who later confronted Payton after a game between the teams for “creating” the situation.


you can check the clip below. The GP story starts around 2:30.

The irony in all of this. George Karl was AI’s head coach in Denver while he was with the Nuggets. I was told that those Nuggets teams with AI, Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and others, rarely practiced and AI sort of ran them anyway… makes sense after hearing GP’s story.