Allen Iverson on resting: “Would have been a dog fight if a coach tried to keep me out”

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Philadelphia 76ers great Allen Iverson said he didn’t lift weights during his career because “That s— was too heavy”. But that doesn’t mean Iverson was going to take any rest when it came time to hit the hardwood.

On Friday night during a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers, Iverson spoke to ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy on air about the new wave of rest, regeneration, and players sitting out games without being injured.

“This is a new era, a new generation. I never thought anything like that would happen in our sports. The coaches know their players, the players know their bodies, they know when they can’t give it their all, I guess. It’s the same thing with [Gregg Popovich] it works his way, he knows his players. But it would have been a dog fight if a coach tried to keep me out of a game and I wasn’t hurt. I can get my rest after the game.”

Iverson appears to at least understand the decision-making process behind it, even if it personally wasn’t his style.

The 2000-01 NBA MVP in 914 career games over 14 years in the NBA, starting in an impressive 901 of them.

Still, with the wear and tear on NBA athletes as they’ve gotten bigger, had more demanded of them, and had access to better science around their bodies, nutrition, sleep, and rest, it sort of makes sense there would be more rest for star players. That’s compounded by the fact that rest often comes for teams playing against non-conference or lesser opponents.

LeBron James sat out this week against the Memphis Grizzlies, a team the Cleveland Cavaliers knew would not affect their Eastern Conference record.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich famously rests his players, sometimes in “big” regular season games, with surprising results.

Great to hear from Iverson, and that he’s at least amenable to changes in the league since he last played in 2010.