Of all the days in NBA history, perhaps the most memorable is May 7th.
On this day in 1989, Michael Jordan hit “The Shot” over Craig Ehlo to push the Bulls past the Cavs into the next round of the playoffs. On this day in 1994, the eighth-seeded Denver Nuggets finished off the No. 1 seed Seattle Supersonics in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. On this day in 1995, Reggie Miller scored eight points in nine seconds to shock the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. And of course, on this day in 2002, Allen Iverson used a post-season press conference to go on in his infamous “Practice” rant.
So which of those moments is the most iconic? Paul Pierce said it’s the one that happened off the court, because perhaps it paved the way for a new era of how basketball teams are run.
“I gotta go with Iverson. That was a classic interview that’s going to be remembered all-time. An iconic moment. Those shots were great. Don’t get it twisted. Jordan and Reggie did some incredible things,” Paul Pierce said. ” But we’re talking about something that happened off the court and we’re talking about a guy who laid it on the line every single night and he complained about practice. Now we’re in a day and age where teams don’t even practice…I had to deal with that in the early 2000s [too], until coaches got up on load management. This interview is an all-time great interview and an iconic moment.”
Rachel Nichols went as far as to say that, yes, in that moment, Allen Iverson created the idea of load management. Zach Lowe had a different take.
Watch below as Paul, Rachel and Zach debate it and check out The Jump weekdays at 3 pm ET on ESPN.