In 2002, Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson sat at a press conference after his team lost in the NBA Playoffs and launched into a famous diatribe about practice. You know the one, we don’t need to explain. While coaches and old white people everywhere were horrified at the brash young man’s attitude, practice-hating kids everywhere rejoiced at someone giving voice to their concerns.
(NBA 2K10: “This time…we are talkin’ bout practice!”)
Fast forward seven years. The world is a very different place. Athletes communicate via Twitter instead of press conferences. Allen Iverson is a grizzled journeyman at the end of his career. And 2K sports just announced plans to create an entire freaking video game devoted to practice, “2K10: Draft Combine.” The world has gone completely mad.
Allen Iverson was none to pleased about having a Thanksgiving practice scheduled. But he calmly and maturely dealt with it the only way he knows how: he didn’t show.
(A rare sighting of the Practicus Aversus in its unnatural habitat.)
Yes, that’s right, we talkin’ bout practice again. It’s ironic because coach Michael Curry called the extra practice specifically because of the trade for Iverson: he’s concerned the team needs more time to gel. But while all but one of the Pistons showed up for the 9 a.m. session, Iverson was gellin’ like a felon, possibly on the couch with a Flintstone-sized drumstick in his hand, watching the Lions game. At least that’s how I like to think it went down.
Allen Iverson doesn’t know why Charles Barkley doesn’t like him, since A.I. says he likes Chuck.
USA TODAY chats with the Nuggets star about one of his biggest critics, and he ain’t talkin’ about practice. Barkley has said in the past how he “can’t stand” Iverson, yet Allen says the feeling’s not mutual:
“I honestly love Charles. He’s the only reason I watch ‘Inside the NBA’. He’s entertaining and funny. I love him to death, as far as what he does.”
After a recent 51-point game against the Lakers, Iverson was labeled by Sir Charles as “one-dimensional”. But A.I. believes that some of Barkley’s bile may be a case of sour grapes:
There’s some ominous signs coming out of Ann Arbor that maybe hiring Rich Rodriguez wasn’t such a great idea. First, three high-profile Michigan players left the team, including freshman QB Ryan Mallett. Now, the Wolverines may miss out on having a spring game this year.
(Ryan Mallett [#15] leading a group of Wolverines to freedom during an escape attempt at Michigan Stadium.)
The DETROIT NEWS reports that due to construction at Michigan Stadium, the Wolverines won’t be able to hold their intrasquad contest on campus. AD Bruce Madej says they may try to hold the game at Ford Field or some other venue - or possibly not have a game at all.
Michigan could always try the Pontiac Silverdome, but they better hurry.
QB GETS $90,000 APPEARANCE FEE FOR 3-DAY VIKES VISIT: Kevin Seifert of the MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE reminds us today why we love and cherish the NFL so much.
Seifert reports that scrap heap quarterback Koy Detmer “will receive more than $90,000 for practicing three days with the team” last week.After 72 hours of fake football, Detmer was sent away when the Vikes decided that their current QBs Tarvaris Jackson and Kelly Holcomb were healthy enough to back up starter Brooks Bollinger.
How was Detmer able to get such a large paystub for just a 3-day visit? Well, the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement requires the Vikings to pay him a game check since he was on the roster for practice.As a 10-year veteran, Detmer qualified for a minimum base salary of $720,000 over a full season. So, three days work at the full-season rate equaled $42,352.94.
The CBA also calls for termination pay based on seniority and experience level. In Detmer’s case, that meant another $48,000 in funds, bringing his total compensation above $90,000.
Not bad for a fortnight’s work.