Allen Iverson talked about practice.
"If I can't practice, I can't practice. It is as simple as that. It ain't about that at all. It's easy to sum it up if you're just talking about practice. We're sitting here, and I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we're talking about practice. 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? Now I know that I'm supposed to lead by example and all that, but I'm not shoving that aside like it don't mean anything. I know it's important, I honestly do, but we're talking about practice. We're talking about practice, man. We're talking about practice. We're talking about practice. We're not talking about the game. We're talking about practice. When you come to the arena, and you see me play, you've seen me play right, you've seen me give everything I've got, but we're talking about practice right now... Hey, I hear you. It's funny to me, too. Hey, it's strange to me, too, but we're talking about practice, man. We're not even talking about the game, when it actually matters, we're talking about practice."
-- Allen Iverson, Sixers guard, responding to criticism from coach Larry Brown during a May 2002 news conference.
"Come after me! I'm a man! I'm 40!"
-- Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State football coach, referring to Jenni Carlson, a columnist for The Oklahoman, after she wrote an unflattering story about Cowboys quarterback Bobby Reid in September 2007. Gundy ended his 200-second tirade by saying, "That's all I've got to say. It makes me want to puke."
"The Bears are who we thought they were! And that's why we took the damn field! Now, if you want to crown them, then crown their a--! But they are who we thought they were! And we let them off the hook!"
-- Dennis Green, Cardinals coach, after his 1-4 team blew a 23-3 lead in the final 16 minutes of an October 2006 game against 5-0 Chicago and lost, 24-23.
"I'm damn sick and tired of getting outrebounded!"
-- Kevin Borseth, Michigan women's basketball coach, in a February 2008 news conference after his team gave up 25 offensive rebounds and squandered a 20-point second-half lead in a 69-67 loss to Wisconsin.
"It is more about them than it is about the team. Cannot play with them, cannot win with them, cannot coach with them. Can't do it. I want winners. I want people that want to win."
-- 49ers coach Mike Singletary, going off on tight end Vernon Davis following a 34-13 loss to the Seahawks on Oct. 26, 2008.
Mike Tyson made biting remarks.
"I'm the best ever. I'm the most brutal, vicious and most ruthless champion there's ever been. There's no one can stop me. Lennox [Lewis] is a conqueror? No. I'm Alexander. He's no Alexander. I'm the best ever. There's never been anybody as ruthless. I'm Sonny Liston. I'm Jack Dempsey. There's no one like me. I'm from their cloth. There's no one that can match me. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable. And I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah."
-- Mike Tyson, former heavyweight champion, taunting champ Lewis in a postfight interview with Showtime's Jim Gray after Tyson's June 2000 knockout of Lou Savarese in just 38 seconds. Tyson and Lewis met in June 2002 in Memphis with Lewis winning via eighth-round knockout.
"You play to win the game. Hello? You play to win the game."
-- Herman Edwards, Jets coach, in an October 2002 news conference when asked if it would be natural for a team eliminated from playoff contention to give all-out effort every Sunday.
"Playoffs? Don't talk about -- playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game."
-- Jim Mora, Colts coach, addresses the postseason chances of his 4-6 team after it committed five turnovers in a 40-21 loss to San Francisco on November 25, 2001.
"Yeah, I don't give a hell. It's about this U, man. I don't give a flyin' you know what about a Vol. I don't give a damn. He'd do the same thing to me. It's war. They don't give a freakin' you know what about you. They will kill you. They are out there to kill you. So I'm gonna kill them. You write that in the paper. You write that. You make money off of that. No, man, I'm pissed. All y'all take this down. I'm pissed, man. We don't care about nobody except this U. We don't. If I didn't hurt him, he'd hurt me. They were coming for my legs. I'm gonna come right back at them. I'm a f------ soldier!"
-- Kellen Winslow Jr., University of Miami tight end, in a 2003 tirade when asked if he knew if Tennessee's Corey Campbell was hurt from a hard block Winslow laid on him while taunting him. (Campbell was slow to get up from the hit.)
"I realized when I hired you that you were young and inexperienced and that there would be a learning process for you. Your mistakes on player personnel and coaches were overlooked based on our patience with you. But I never dreamt that you would be so untruthful in statements to the press as well as on so many other issues. Your actions are those of a coach looking to make excuses for not winning, rather than a coach focused on winning. ... I do realize that you did not want to draft JaMarcus Russell. He is a great player. Get over it and coach this team on the field, that is what you were hired to do. We can win with this team!"
-- Al Davis, Raiders owner, in a letter to his head coach, Lane Kiffin, dated Sept. 12, 2008. On Sept. 30, during a press conference announcing the coaching change, a copy of the letter was displayed on an overhead projector as Davis explained his decision.
"You'd better be f---ing right! You don't f---ing know me! I swear to God, I'm going to take this ball and shove it down your f---ing throat!"
-- Serena Williams, tennis star, to a lineswoman who had called a rare foot fault on her in the 2009 U.S. Open semifinals against Kim Clijsters. The fault gave Clijsters match point, and Williams' tirade led to a point penalty, thereby giving Clijsters the victory. Williams was fined a record $82,500 for her outburst.
Kevin Lowe and Brian Burke talked trash.
"Where do I begin? He's a moron, first of all. Secondly, he really believes that any news for the NHL is good news. Thirdly, he loves the limelight and I don't think anyone in hockey will dispute that. Lastly, he's in a pathetic hockey market where they can't get on any page of the newspaper let alone the front page of the sports, so any of this stuff carries on. He's an underachieving wannabe in terms of success in the NHL. He won a Stanley Cup? Great. I've won six Stanley Cups, you want to count rings? Who cares, it's just a little pathetic that he carries on."
-- Kevin Lowe, Oilers GM, responding in July 2008 to harsh criticism from Ducks GM Brian Burke, who said, "If I had run my team into the sewer like that, I wouldn't throw a grenade at the other 29 teams and my own indirectly" after Lowe presented a five-year, $21.2 million offer sheet to Anaheim free agent winger Dustin Penner, who hardly deserved quite that much money or term.
Raffy uttered a classic period piece.
"Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids. Period."
-- Rafael Palmeiro, finger-waving Orioles slugger, during a congressional hearing in March 2005 to discuss the use of steroids in baseball. Almost five months later, Palmeiro was suspended for violating baseball's performance-enhancing-drug policy, and he admitted to testing positive for a steroid but denied taking it knowingly.
"This record is not tainted at all. At all. Period. You guys can say whatever you want."
-- Barry Bonds, Giants slugger and newly minted home run king, on the night in August 2007 that he hit No. 756, breaking Hank Aaron's record.
"I think he misremembers the conversation that we had."
-- Roger Clemens, in a February 2008 hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about friend and former teammate Andy Pettitte's statements in a signed affidavit that Clemens told him he had taken human growth hormone.
"There exists no one who can truthfully testify that I have ever used performance-enhancing drugs simply for the reason that I never have."
-- Marion Jones, track and field star, and winner of five medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics (including three golds), at a news conference in June 2004 in response to allegations that she had taken performance-enhancers. In October 2007, Jones admitted to steroid use before the 2000 Olympics and was stripped of her medals.
"I'm not here to talk about the past."
-- Mark McGwire, former major league slugger, before a congressional hearing in March 2005 to discuss the use of steroids in baseball.
"Yeah, it would be like finding a gray area. In motorsports, we work in the gray areas a lot. You're trying to find where the holes are in the rule book."
-- Danica Patrick, IRL driver, when asked by SI's Dan Patrick whether she would take a performance-enhancing drug to win the Indianapolis 500, assuming that she would not be caught.
-- Alex Rodriguez, Yankees third baseman, to CBS' Katie Couric in a December 2007 interview when asked if he had ever used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing drugs, or if he had ever been tempted to use them. He later admitted that he had.
"At first, I felt like a cheater. But I looked around, and everybody was doing it."
-- Ken Caminiti, former major league third baseman and the 1996 NL MVP, about using steroids during his career, in a 2002 Sports Illustrated cover story by Tom Verducci. Caminiti's admission was the first by a prominent former player. In 2004, he died of a heart attack at age 41.
Mike Leach failed to make his point.
"As coaches we failed to make our coaching points and our points more compelling than their fat little girlfriends'. Now their fat little girlfriends have some obvious advantages. For one thing, their fat little girlfriends are telling them what they want to hear, which is, 'How great you are,' and, 'How easy it's gonna be.' "
-- Mike Leach, Texas Tech football coach, on the distractions before his team's 52-30 loss to 21-point underdog Texas A&M in October 2009.
"I want to kiss you. I couldn't care less about the team struggling."
-- Joe Namath, to ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber during a Patriots-Jets game in December 2003 after she asked what the Jets' struggles meant to him. Kolber responded, "Thanks, Joe. I'll take that as a huge compliment."
"When you go to a club at four in the morning, and you're just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J-Lo. ... So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me."
-- Julian Tavarez, free-agent reliever, on why he finally signed with the woebegone Nationals just three weeks remaining before the 2009 season opener.
"Phil [Jackson] took us to the Finals [four] out of the five years, and you want to fire him and bring in Mike Krzyzewski? Come on, man. That's like being married to J-Lo, then dropping J-Lo for a girl that's 5-10, 480 pounds."
-- Shaquille O'Neal, Heat center, on his former team the Lakers' pursuit of the Duke coach in 2004.
"A buzzer-beater, because it's harder. You can get sex every day."
-- Gilbert Arenas, Wizards guard, on what feels better, hitting a buzzer-beater or having sex.
"The policeman said Gerard was one of the finest, nicest persons he's ever arrested."
-- Carmen Policy, Browns president, after defensive tackle Gerard Warren was apprehended for possession of an unlicensed firearm in November 2001.
"I was thrilled to death when he told me he was, until I realized I was thinking college and he was thinking high school."
-- John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach, upon meeting teenage sensation LeBron James in 2003 and asking him whether he intended to finish school.
"I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony. I know what to do. I just don't know where to start."
-- Pat Riley, Heat coach, commenting on his team's 11-46 record in February 2008.
"Let's talk about bras."
-- Anna Kournikova, tennis vixen, brushing off questions about her love life during a June 2000 news conference to promote her new line of sports bras.
"He's like me -- except he's 7-6 and Chinese."
-- Steve Francis, Rockets point guard, on his similarities with teammate Yao Ming, in 2002.
"I was too sick to watch it on TV. My hair hurt."
-- Gene Keady, coiffure-challenged Purdue basketball coach, on what it was like to miss the first game of his coaching career, in 2005, because of the flu.
"I should have named my kid Tidewater."
-- Ron Gardenhire, Twins manager, after learning in September 2004 that Braves third baseman Chipper Jones had named his son Shea because he had hit so well in New York's Shea Stadium.
I've never been a part of a tie. I never even knew that was in the rule book."
-- Donovan McNabb, Eagles quarterback, after Philadelphia and Cincinnati tied 13-13 on Nov. 16, 2008.
"Then why are you covering the Nationals?"
-- Ralph Nader, 2008 independent presidential candidate, responding to The Washington Post editors' decision to not cover his campaign because he had no chance of winning.
|2000s: The Decade in Pop Culture/Media|