Eighteen years ago today Allen Iverson delivered one of the most famous press conferences in sports history. Iverson's 'We talkin' about practice?!?' rant has taken on a life of its own in the nearly two decades since that spring day in 2002 when the Sixers superstar took exception to being chastised about his practice habits.
Iverson is one of countless Philadelphia sports figures who had no trouble filling up reporters' notebooks. Many of this city's greatest athletes and coaches were also the most quotable. Here are 10 that come to mind.
Barkley's supersized personality sometimes overshadows the fact that he is one of the greatest players in NBA history.
There are so many great Barkley quotes to choose from. When he was playing for the Sixers, Michael Barkann asked him to respond to what people on sports talk radio were saying about him. Barkley's response: "You really think I give a flying (expletive) what the people on radio calls say?"
Sir Charles proceeded to drop six more f-bombs in the next 60 seconds of the interview. Barkann ended the conversation by saying, "I got all the bleeps I need."
Later in Barkley's playing career, he was arrested for throwing a fan who was allegedly harassing him through a first-floor bar window. At his hearing, the judge asked Barkley if he had any regrets. His answer: "Yeah, I regret we weren't on a higher floor."
Barkley is a star in his second act as a TV analyst, providing plenty of memorable quotes along the way. Some are more appropriate than others.
One example comes from a discussion about players who are praised for working hard.
"If you go out with someone and they say they have a great personality, they're ugly," Barkley said. "If they tell you a guy works hard, he can't play a lick. Same thing."
Chaney is one of Philadelphia's most beloved and legendary sports figures. Although he is best remembered by a lot of people for barging into John Calipari's postgame press conference following a 1994 Temple-UMass game and shouting, "I'll kill you!" as he was being restrained by his players.
In another one of his darker moments, Chaney said he "sent in a goon" in the form of Nehemiah Ingram to take hard fouls against St. Joe's. One of those fouls left the Hawks' John Bryant with a broken arm.
But there was plenty of good to emerge from the Hall of Famer's coaching career, including life lessons and some excellent quotes.
"As long as I'm in this city, I'm a lightning rod," Chaney once said. "People don't like me for a number of reasons and I create all of them. I love it when they hate me. All of my closest friends hate me."
Chaney was often asked why he only played five or six guys and didn't use his bench more often. His response: "There's a reason those guys are on your bench. They can't play."
Embiid is one of the most outspoken superstars in the NBA. He is most commonly associated with "Trust the Process" and went as far as to give himself the nickname "The Process." While Embiid wasn't the originator of "Trust the Process," he's certainly taken it to new heights.
He's been the source of plenty of other terrific quotes. Embiid was once asked how he perfected his shooting form.
"You know how I learned to shoot? I watched white people," said Embiid. "Just regular white people. They really put their elbow in and finish up top. You can find videos of them online."
Earlier this season Embiid was asked about an on-court brawl with the Timberwolves' Karl Anthony-Towns.
"First of all, I ain't no (expletive)," Embiid said, borrowing a quote from teammate Mike Scott. "I was built for this city and they were built for me... you got to be a Broad Street Bully."
Throw in his Twitter antics and all-world basketball abilities and it's easy to see why Embiid is a fan favorite.
The 2002 "practice" press conference was Iverson's masterpiece.
Here's the full quote that best illustrated Iverson's frustration that day.
"We're sitting here, and I'm the franchise player, and we're talking about practice," Iverson said. "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 like it's my last, but we're talking about practice man. How silly is that?"
That press conference is the perfect example of how Iverson always spoke from the heart. There was never any guessing as to how he felt about a subject.
And there was seemingly always a controversy waiting to be discussed. For instance, the NBA implementing a dress code because of how some players, most notably Iverson, dressed before and after games.
"They're targeting guys who dress like me, guys who dress hip-hop," Iverson said. "Just because you put a guy in a tuxedo doesn't mean he's a good guy. You can put a murderer in a suit, but he's still a murderer."
There will never be another Allen Iverson, on or off the basketball court.
Kapler didn't enjoy the same success as others on this list, but he never left you wanting for a good quote. From his spring training slogans — 'Be Bold' and 'Shoulder to Shoulder' — to his eagerness to see his players perform with "chest out bravado," Kapler always kept things interesting.
His constant positivity, even after an ugly loss, rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Watching Phillies analyst Ricky Bottalico react to Kapler's postgame press conferences made for some terrific entertainment.
Last August after the Phillies lost two of three at home to a lowly Padres team, Kapler mentioned that he was "really proud of the grind" his players showed and noted the number of pitches thrown by the opposing starter. It was vintage Kapler. I thought Ricky Bo's head was going to explode.
As the Phillies Pre- and Postgame Live producer, I'm going to miss Gabe Kapler.
Kelce will always be remembered for his epic "underdogs" speech at the Eagles Super Bowl parade. Some of the highlights - "Hungry dogs run faster!... Jason Kelce is too small... Lane Johnson can't lay off the juice... Nick Foles don't got it.... (banging on the podium) It's the whole team!"
"Everybody wonders why we're so mean. Everybody wonders why the Philadelphia Eagles' aren't the nicest fans," Kelce continued. "If I don't eat breakfast, I'm (expletive) pissed off!"
Then he capped his speech by serenading fans with the "no one likes us, we don't care" song. A legendary performance from start to finish.
Kelce's parade speech aside, he's always willing to stand in front of his locker and answer questions, win or lose. And you can always count on his answers being thoughtful.
Kelly took Philadelphia by storm in 2013 with his innovative offense and dazzling array of quotes. At his introductory press conference, Kelly said he "burned the boats" after arriving in Philadelphia, his way of saying that going back to coaching college football wasn't an option.
His first season as Eagles head coach resulted in an NFC East title and provided plenty of great material. Gems like "big people beat up little people," "culture beats scheme," and "we're from Philadelphia and we fight" all helped Kelly win over the fan base.
But one of his final quotes as Eagles coach led to his abrupt exit in 2015. After winning a power struggle with Howie Roseman the previous offseason then failing to make the playoffs for a second straight year, Kelly told reporters, "I'm not the general manager," when discussing the team's shortcomings. That came as news to Jeffrey Lurie, who dismissed Kelly later that week.
Roenick is the Charles Barkley of hockey. He spent three of his 20 NHL seasons with the Flyers and quickly endeared himself to the media and the fans.
His most memorable quote as a Flyer came in response to Islanders goalie Garth Snow saying Roenick complains to the referees too much, comments that included a remark about Roenick not being that bright since he never went to college.
"It's not my fault (Snow) didn't have any other options coming out of high school," Roenick said. "If going to college gets you a career backup goaltender job and my route gets you a thousand points and a thousand games, and compare the two contracts, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out whose decision was better."
In addition to being one of the greatest Phillies of all time, Rollins delivered one of the most memorable quotes in franchise history before the 2007 season. After three straight second place finishes, Rollins famously declared that the Phillies were "the team to beat in the NL East - finally."
Rollins backed up his comments by winning NL MVP honors and leading the Phillies to their first division title in 14 years.
But Phillies fans didn't always like what Rollins had to say. In 2008, he questioned some fans' loyalty.
"They're frontrunners," Rollins said. "When you're doing good, they're on your side. When you're doing bad, they're completely against you."
But more often than not, Rollins and the fans saw eye-to-eye. It helps being the catalyst for a team that won five straight NL East titles.
Ryan's confidence and bluster were always front and center during his five seasons as Eagles head coach. Despite the fact he never won a playoff game, Ryan remains a fan favorite because he wasn't afraid to speak his mind.
He famously feuded with owner Norman Braman, referring to Braman as "the guy in France" because Braman spent a lot of time at one of his homes there. He had little patience for kickers saying, "football kickers are like taxi cabs, you can always go out and hire another one."
But what really endeared Ryan to Eagles fans was his hatred of the Cowboys. Ryan's teams had an 8-2 record against Dallas. After the Eagles beat the Cowboys in the final minute of a game in 1990, Ryan said "the Cowboys know we're going to beat them, they just don't know how."
With a list like this, it's impossible to include every worthy candidate. So honorable mention goes to the greatest Phillie of all-time, Mike Schmidt, for saying that, "Philadelphia is the only city where you can experience the thrill of victory and the agony of reading about it the next day." Another all-time great Phillie Chase Utley deserves recognition for his "World (Bleeping) Champions" speech at the Phillies World Series parade.
And who better to end with than legendary Flyers coach Fred Shero, who famously scribbled, "Win together today and we walk together forever," on a blackboard in the locker room before the Flyers beat the Bruins in Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Final to win the first of their two straight Stanley Cups.
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