May 7, 2002, is not a happy day in the history of the Philadelphia 76ers or 2001 NBA MVP Allen Iverson.
Four days earlier, the 76ers were eliminated on the road in Game 5 against the Boston Celtics 120-87, allowing the Celtics to win the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series 3-2. Iverson’s season was over, just one year removed from a run to the 2001 NBA Finals.
Frustrated by a year full of criticism from coach Larry Brown surrounding Iverson’s work habits, Iverson let loose on how he felt about it:
I’m supposed to be the franchise player and we’re in here talking about practice. Not a game — we’re talking about practice. How silly is that? I know I’m supposed to be there, I know I’m supposed to lead by example, I know that. I’m not shoving it aside. I know it’s important, but we’re talking about practice.
A memorable rant, if not a particularly fond memory itself.
But no matter! In this time of staying safer at home, frequent hand washing, and staying at least 6 feet away from others due to the coronavirus pandemic, Iverson used the latest anniversary of the “practice” rant as a message that would benefit everyone:
We talkin about practicing social distancing!!! #StayHome #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/wJZjQU5I7V
— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) May 8, 2020
Iverson, 44, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. This tweet will definitely be in the quarantine time capsule of 2020.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Iverson has mocked his midcareer practice rant. But it’s always refreshing to know that The Answer can own it … and, one hopes, help encourage others to be safe in the process.