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“That s**t was too heavy” — Allen Iverson on refusal to lift weights and how he remained in shape

Kobe Bryant once said that the league was fortunate Allen Iverson wasn't 6'5''. He should've added that they were extremely lucky that The Answer didn't lift weights.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson

Philadelphia 76ers icon Allen Iverson is easily one of the most potent scorers in basketball history. Like any generational talent who has set foot in the league, one would assume that Iverson spent countless hours in the gym. But the reality is, Iverson shunned lifting weights. And so, he used other methods to prepare his body for battle.

Too heavy

In his illustrious career, Iverson admitted that he never liked lifting weights — and so he stayed away from them. This is pretty radical behavior in a league where building one’s strength is tagged as one of the keys to success.

We’ve heard commentators praise the superhuman-like strength of someone like LeBron James. Even Jordan analysts have commended the GOAT for his ability to carve his way straight to the rim.

“I would never lift weights, and train and stuff like that because s*** was too heavy,” Iverson explained, per Philly Mag via Sports Illustrated. “I would get treatment, though. I would try to heal. I would try to get my body ready in order to play. I see now these guys are sitting out and stuff like that, I never thought that could ever happen.

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It would be interesting to know how a typical Allen Iverson treatment is. Those who saw The Answer play know that he bounced off his defenders like a crash test dummy and ended on the floor more often than not. The basketball court is not exactly made out of rubber or feathers. It is made of hardwood that could cause gashes, bruises, or worse.

Iverson’s trainer was probably paid the good bucks as the Answer was not an injury-prone player. Yes, he played the full 82 games of a season just twice, but he led the league in minutes per game eight times.

We’re talking about practice?

Perhaps it’s the perfect time to remind ourselves of that epic practice rant back in 2002. Some say it’s one of history’s most critical sports press conferences. Some were amazed at Iverson for spilling his heart out in public. There’s also a good amount of fans who think it’s the most hilarious press conference they have witnessed.

Somebody'll come up to me and be like, 'Practice' and I'd look at him like, 'Is that all you can come up with? You can't be a little bit more original than that?'” AI explained on All The Smoke

The main reason Iverson lost it was the fact he was dealing with a lot of personal stuff, and the reporter kept pestering him about practice. Given the fact lifting and doing drills was never a priority for The Answer in the first place, no wonder it seemed completely insignificant during such a difficult time in his life. 

As Kobe said, the NBA was fortunate Allen Iverson wasn't 6'5''. He should've added that they were extremely lucky that The Answer didn't lift weights.


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