Originally posted on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 8/22/13
Reports are circulating that Allen Iverson is prepared to officially retire from the NBA on Thursday. Iverson hasn’t officially played in a game since 2010, but the 11 time all-star is reportedly going to officially walk away from the game that made him a star. Besides his gritty and spectacular play, Iverson will probably most be remembered for this epic rant about practice, a day after the 2001 season ended in a playoff loss to the Celtics. Iverson of course gained fame for being so passionate about why practice wasn’t that important in the broad scope of things, and even using the word “practice,” over 30 times. Wednesday on “FOX Sports Live” on FOX Sports 1, former Sonics’ guard and Fox Sports Live panel member Gary Payton admitted that he was the origin of that practice rant, and came after a drunken night of partying with Iverson. 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. Iverson of course simply was trying to explain that his lack of practice was not the reason the Sixers were eliminated that year.  
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