This happened in 2002, following the 76ers‘ first-round exit in the Garden. On his way to the locker room, Iverson stopped a Celtics ball boy and told him to buy as much Corona as he could for the team bus. Lucky for us, that ball boy was Chris Mannix, now a senior writer at Sports Illustrated. He told the story for SI’s Off the Record.
I take his money and probably pocketed some of it, and went up to the liquor store. There is no liquor store inside the Boston Garden or across the street from the Boston Garden, so I take a hand truck all the way up Causeway Street to about a quarter of a mile, and took it and bought all the Corona I could.Chris Mannix, Off the Record
As he was pushing the hand truck back to the Arena, a horde of Celtics fans started taking beer cases of the truck. By the time he got to the parking lot, Mannix still had enough Corona left. But then the Celtics players started coming out of their locker room.
They are in a great mood. They’re like, ‘Oh, we just won, we’re advancing.’ They start taking cases of Corona off the top.Chris Mannix, Off the Record
By the time he entered the Sixers bus, Mannis was left with four cases of Corona with him. “He goes, ‘how many there are?’ I go, ‘Four.’ He goes, ‘That’s what my money bought you? That’s what $2,000 bought you?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah.'” But Iverson left it at that.
I think he was just in such a foul mood that he didn’t really argue. As long as there was something on that bus for him, he took it.Chris Mannix, Off the Record
Talk about overpaying for four beer cases. But at that point, Iverson didn’t care. He took what he got and started to drown his sorrows. Is there anything else left to do following a playoff exit?
Mannix, on the other hand, got a story to remember. And lucky for us, we got to hear it. But there’s a lot more where that came from. Official reports are cool and all. But “off the record” is where the fun is.