Boston had just eliminated Philadelphia from the playoffs and then Sixers coach Larry Brown expressed frustration that Iverson had not practiced hard all year and helped improve his teammates. When Iverson was pressed by reporters about his practice habits… well, the rest is history. And one side of Iverson’s complex legacy was cemented.
“If I can’t practice, I can’t practice. It is as simple as that. It ain’t about that at all. It’s easy to sum it up if you’re just talking about practice. We’re sitting here, and I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re talking about practice. I mean listen, we’re sitting here talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, but we’re talking about practice. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game last it’s my last but we’re talking about practice man.
“How silly is that? Now I know that I’m supposed to lead by example and all that but I’m not shoving that aside like it don’t mean anything. I know it’s important, I honestly do but we’re talking about practice. We’re talking about practice man. We’re talking about practice. We’re talking about practice. We’re not talking about the game. We’re talking about practice. When you come to the arena, and you see me play, you’ve seen me play right, you’ve seen me give everything I’ve got, but we’re talking about practice right now.”
Kevin Durant shoots extra while echoing his critics: ‘They called me a coward!’ (video)
When asked after his session about shouting criticisms, Durant explained, “That’s what I say to myself when I’m working. I hear it all the time. You hear the noise. You hear what they say about you. Everybody hears it. So it’s a little extra motivation when you hear it.”
Of the scene, Durant said, “Nobody in this arena right now, and that’s when you get better. Nobody sees you when you’re doing this stuff right here, but luckily y’all was in here watching.”
Depending on your perspective, Durant is:
Maniacally driven to succeed
Feeling the pressure in Golden State
Showboating in front of a camera
I’ll take a little of all three.
Not one 2016 top-10 draft pick started his team’s first game. How does that compare historically?
The top 10 of 2016 NBA draft class isn’t off to a fast start.
In fact, no top-10 pick started his team’s first game after being drafted for just the second time on record. The only other time it happened since 1983, as far back as Basketball-Reference.com records go, was 2013.
No. 11 pick Michael Carter-Williams was the only 2013 draft pick to start his team’s first game in 2013. So, at least the class of 2016 has a leg up on that class, which was led by No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett.
Here’s each first-round pick since 1983 to start his team’s first game since being drafted. Top-10 picks are in blue, and all other first-rounders are in orange.
To some degree, this year’s state of affairs is understandable. Simmons was a lock to start before he got injured. Two playoffs teams – Celtics (who took Jaylen Brown No. 3) and Raptors (who took Jacob Poeltl No. 9) – drafted in the top 10 due to trades.
But the effect is clear. This draft class seems underwhelming.