Cover Image for “Allen Iverson left Ritz Carlton at 2 am and returned to our hotel around 6:30”: Former Nuggets coach George Karl reveals AI’s antics before dropping a 30-point piece against Clippers

“Allen Iverson left Ritz Carlton at 2 am and returned to our hotel around 6:30”: Former Nuggets coach George Karl reveals AI’s antics before dropping a 30-point piece against Clippers

Arjun Julka
|Thu Apr 28 2022

Former Nuggets coach George Karl recalls Allen Iverson putting on a show against the LA Clippers despite partying till 6 am.

NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson’s outgoing nature is no secret. The Sixers MVP led life on his own terms and never played by the book. Iverson would often land himself in trouble for his anti-authority nature but never altered his extravagant lifestyle.

Iverson’s hatred toward practice is a public fact, courtesy of his famous ‘practice rant’ during a Sixers press conference. A cultural icon, AI relied merely on his talent to succeed in the NBA, shortening his longevity as a player.

In what many believe, The Answer’s prime would have sustained much longer had he worked on his body and discipline. Despite attaining stupendous success, Iverson was capable of a lot more. Though many remember him for his offense, Iverson had the potential to be DPOY.

Also read: “Can the story of basketball be told without Allen Iverson? NO!”: How ‘The Answer’ changed the NBA as we see it today

Former Nuggets coach George Karl shares Iverson’s ways of leading a nocturnal life, narrating an instance of him dropping 30-points against the Clippers, having partied till 6 am the previous night.

George Karl gives an insight into Allen Iverson’s partying habits.

At the time, Iverson had just arrived in Denver, having spent 10-years with the Sixers. Nonetheless, AI continued living his nightlife, something Nuggets head coach George Karl had expected.

“None of us were surprised that our new guard didn’t like to practice—that was common knowledge—and that he liked to drink expensive champagne. But we didn’t know what a nocturnal being Allen was. Sometimes he started a night out at 2 am.”

Surprisingly, Iverson’s unhealthy habits came to haunt him sooner than expected. The four-time scoring champion’s game involved him taking a lot of hits in the paint due to his style of play, with his small size being a deterrent. Coach Karl added to this by saying the following.

“The practice thing didn’t bother me that much; a lot of players hate to practice. But I didn’t think we got all of Allen, his true personality. He’d been Defensive Player of the Year at Georgetown, but with us, he didn’t commit to D. I think he’d aged more than we thought. Ten years of driving to the rim and taking hits on his little body—Allen weighed just 165 pounds—took a toll. The hits and his habits aged him. By “habits” I mean his night owl thing.”

Despite all the noise around him, Iverson would have a couple of impressive outings, one such performance being against the Clippers. With the Nuggets arriving in the Hollywood City for the game, it wasn’t hard to imagine AI’s plans.

“We were in L.A. that April to play the Clippers, a game we needed to win to improve our playoff position. In the morning our spy—the brother of our scout, Mark Warkentien—reported that our new, high-priced guard had left the Ritz Carlton at 2 am and returned to our hotel at about six-thirty. He and his friends couldn’t find anyone to pour any more Cristal. Our shootaround—NBA-ese for the light practice the day of a game—began at their arena, the Staples Center, at ten thirty, so Allen didn’t have much time to sleep. Maybe he got a nap that afternoon. We won the game.”

Via: Basketball Network

The Answer dropped a game-high 34-points in that game. One can only imagine how far the Sixers legend would have gone had he inculcated a similar mentality his 1996 draft classmate Kobe Bryant had.

Also read: “One of the reasons I wear no.3 is Allen Iverson”: Dwyane Wade recounts the story of his first encounter with the Answer






About the author
Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka

A 26-year-old from Mumbai. A huge Basketball fan who regularly consumes hours of basketball content, be it matches, debates, or analysis. Some of my other interests include CrossFit, watching documentaries, collecting sneakers, and trying out different types of cuisines.

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