Allen Iverson was a true phenom in the NBA. While AI never won an NBA title during his career, he is still remembered as one of the most explosive players in the league's history. Iverson could do things very few people could on the court. And off the court, he was one of the flashiest personalities in the league. During his career, Iverson made many great players look foolish with his moves, including the legendary Michael Jordan.
He had an ability to take over the game that very few before or since have had. But what makes his incredible play even more impressive was the fact that Iverson lived a very high octane lifestyle off the court. Trying to take advantage of this, then-Toronto Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell tried to mess with Iverson.
The night before a Philadelphia 76ers - Toronto Raptors game, Sam Mitchell was dining at a restaurant when he saw Allen Iverson walk in. In an effort to throw him off his game for the next night, Mitchell kept sending alcoholic drinks and food to Iverson's table throughout the night. But at the end of the night, Iverson came up to Mitchell and said "Coach, it's not going to work, I love Toronto". Mitchell would regret provoking AI, as he went on to drop 51 points against his Toronto Raptors.
For clarification, Allen Iverson scored 51 points against the Raptors, but Sam Mitchell wasn't the coach of Toronto, it was Lenny Wilkens. He was there from 2004 to 2008, so it is unclear who told this story. Maybe Sam Mitchell heard from someone else when he arrived in Toronto about Allen Iverson's 51 point game.
Iverson was one of the most dangerous players in the NBA. And when motivated, it seemed as though there was little any player, coach, or team could do to stop him. Upsetting him or sabotaging him is never a wise move, especially the night before a game. Iverson could flick a switch with his performances at any given moment. And Mitchell learned that lesson the hard way - with an unreal performance by one of the greatest guards to ever play the game.