Billy King tried to quit mid Iverson practice rant

Andrew Porter
May 07, 2020 - 10:59 am

May 7th, 2002. 18 years ago today, Allen Iverson went on his famous "practice" rant. 

Today, on the 94WIP Morning Show, Billy King -- who was president of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2002 -- told the story of how he tried to quit during and because of that AI press conference. 

Before Iverson's practice rant, King, Iverson, and Sixers head coach Larry Brown had a "clear-the-air" meeting.

"It was heated at the beginning," King remembered. "Allen was worried about being traded, Larry was talking about you gotta practice. There were a lot of words, a lot of raising of voices, but at the end there was a huge. 'Ok, we're gonna do this together, we're gonna play.'

"So in my mind, marketing wise," King continued, "I think let's have a press conference.

"I meet with (Iverson) before (the press conference), me him, (agent) Leon Rose. So we're gonna have the press conference."

Related: Coach K on NCAA resuming: 'We'll watch what NBA does'

King then gets a call from Comcast Spectator chairman at the time, the late Ed Snider, while Iverson's practice rant is going on! 

"I'm thinking, I made a big mistake," King said, who was in the room where Iverson's press conference was happening. "And Ed Snider calls me and says what's going on? I said, 'Ed, I'm sorry, I quit. It's my fault and I quit.'"

King literally resigned during the press conference.

"I just let him go," King said of Iverson after it was over. "At that point, I had quit. But then Ed called me after and said, 'You're not quitting. We'll figure this out. This will pass.'

"I guess I was a marketing genius, right?"