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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings


Slightly over two decades ago, after a defeat to the Boston Celtics, 76ers player Allen Iverson referenced “practice” multiple times during an interview, stating in part:

If I can’t practice, I can’t practice. If I’m hurt, I’m hurt. Simple as that. It’s not about that at all. But it’s easy to talk about and sum it up when you just talk about practice; we’re sitting here, and I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re in here talking about practice. I mean, listen, we’re talking about practice. Not a game! Not a game! Not a game! We’re talking about practice. Not a game; not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it’s my last, not the game, we’re talking about practice, man. I mean, how silly is that? We’re talking about practice. I know I’m supposed to be there, I know I’m supposed to lead by example, I know that. And I’m not shoving it aside like it don’t mean anything. I know it’s important. I do. I honestly do. But we’re talking about practice, man. What are we talking about? Practice? We’re talking about practice, man!

Various excerpts from Iverson’s interview have been used by a number of hip hop artists. Even though I don’t watch basketball, I’m familiar with the speech associated with numerous rap samples.

One such soundbite is featured as the chorus on DJ Jazzy Jeff’s collaboration with J-Live for the song “Practice.” On the track, J-Live states:

But at this point in time, I got two options:

Get it done right myself or get relegated

Back to a spot, where I do it for fun

In my spare time—on but wait, I won’t have none

So don’t come at me ‘bout that, “Get a real jobby job”

We gonna’ have a problem, see, this ain’t a hobby

This is practice

In his interview, Iverson laments focus on practice—repeated performance of a skill in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency—when perhaps he believed the focus of discussion should, must, or ought to have been devoted to gameplay itself.

Contrarily, J-Live emphasized the importance of practice in order for the artist to effectively participate in contest with none other than himself. The idea here is that the more one practices, the better one becomes at skillful execution when facing a challenge.

This is precisely my approach to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). As a psychotherapeutic technique, REBT is fairly straightforward. Use of the ABC Model and unconditional acceptance isn’t particularly burdensome to learn.

However, I find that when people neglect practice of REBT they tend to disturb themselves, only complicating matters further. In REBT, one’s unhelpful beliefs lead to the consequence of emotional disturbance and behavioral dysfunction.

When people disregard practice of the technique though irrationally conclude, “REBT doesn’t work,” I wonder what they expect of a tool they use less—rendering the tool useless. It truly is an unreasonable assumption to discount REBT altogether, due to one’s lack of practice regarding the technique.

Personally, I practice REBT daily. As well, I invite my clients to do the same. Yes, I’m talking about practice—not a game, not a game; practice—because when game time is at hand, you will be more proficient at handling the challenge you face. Practice!

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

As a psychotherapist, and hip hop head from the old school, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


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Hollings, D. (2023, March 4). M-E-T-H-O-D, man. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

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Hollings, D. (2022, July 11). Unconditional acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, October 20). Useless tools. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

SoundHoundin. (2011, February 8). DJ Jazzy Jeff - Practice ft. J-Live [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from

Walks, M. (2021, May 7). The little-known story behind Allen Iverson’s ‘practice’ rant. ESPN. Retrieved from

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