The 10 Best Press Conferences In Sports History

By: 05.07.12
Jim Mora

I’m partial to Allen Iverson‘s 10-year-old “practice” press conference moment as the best ever as an NBA fan — but I’m not blinded by the hardwood to know it’s but one of the stars in the press conference’s stellar history.

The default recipe for a memorable press conference is a surly person behind the mic prodded by a question from the press that raises the coach or athlete’s ire. Rare are the jovial press conference memories, but they exist in here, too.

Bottom line, these videos have us laughing for days, even if we’ve seen them all before dozens of times.

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10: Brian Scalabrine in 2008 brushes off a reporter’s “how does it feel to suck?” question by reminding him time makes everything hazy.

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9: Temple coach John Chaney holds a guerilla takeover of then-UMass coach John Calipari‘s time with the media back in the mid-90s. They nearly fight, with Chaney adding a “I’ll kill you!” for good measure. How many coaches want to do this to Calipari now?

8: Then-Ron Artest has got Wheaties! Those were literally the first words out of his mouth to begin a great 10-minute press conference where he brought all of Queensbridge onto the podium after beating the Celtics in Game 7 of the Finals. I want back more of happy Artest/World Peace rather than elbow-to-the-face Ron Ron.

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7. Coastal Carolina football got put on the map by coach David Bennett‘s presser last fall. He wants you to act more like dogs, dawg, and like any good coach he demonstrates what he wants.

6. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson isn’t laughing about this press conference meltdown from two seasons ago. He’s just telling you what he does every single week, and nothing is funny about it (though he might be embarrassed about it).

5: Somewhere Bobby Knight watched Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy go off on a story in The Oklahoman nodding and smiling.

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4. Shaq ended his career the way only the Big Aristotle, etc., could. Turning his last official meeting as a player into a spectacle, O’Neal answered a fake call from James Dolan to apply for the Knicks’ GM job, showed off his math acumen for adding up all the points and boards he could have had, and generally went out with a bang.

3. Usually when the media member eggs an athlete on with a leading statement, the athlete stops the question in its tracks. But when Miami’s emcees told LeBron in the Big Three’s de facto first press conference, he kept it going. Not five…not six…not seven…

2. Jim Mora/Dennis Green/Herm Edwards are a triumvirate of the three best NFL press conferences. With apologies to Rex Ryan‘s incredible ability to talk in front of microphones, The Colts/Cardinals/Jets coaches all have to be taken together as the best of the NFL in that they’re each so bizarre. At least with Ryan you can grasp a narrative to his press conferences. From “playoffs?” to winning the game, to knowing who they thought they were, these three are incredible.

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