It’s not a secret that Allen Iverson has the biggest respect for Kobe Bryant and all the things he did on the court. They were actually very good friends and they didn’t miss any chance to praise one another. AI is 100% sure Bryant belongs to the elite of the game, as he called him an automatic ‘top 5’ player of all time during an interview with Complex, where he discussed his upcoming shoe collaboration with James Harden, Michael Jordan’s docu-series and more.
A month ago, Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith revealed his top 10 players of all time, shocking everybody putting LeBron James on 10th while relegating Kobe Bryant to the 11th spot on the list.
“LeBron is in my top 10 (of all-time) BUT he’s No. 10… Kobe is not in my top 10.” @TheJetOnTNT isn’t putting LeBron or Kobe anywhere near the top of the all-time list.
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) July 7, 2020
Not only fans were shocked by this, but Iverson too. The Philadelphia 76ers legend talked about this, making it clear that Kobe Bryant is at least a top 5 player of all time.
“I love Kenny Smith, but I don’t know about that one, buddy. Bean was Black Mamba, man. He’s automatically top five. Automatically, when it comes to me. Like, I ain’t never seen nothing, besides Black Jesus [Michael Jordan], amen, I ain’t never seen nothing like it. When people talk about how he basically copied Mike, I mean, why would you copy anybody else? If I was 6’6…I tried to copy Mike, but I’m just six feet. I tried the best that I could to emulate that guy, man, because that was the greatest that I’ve ever seen in my life.”
That list did raise a lot of eyebrows around the league, but Smith was firm in his position. He doesn’t see Kobe as a top 10 player ever and LeBron isn’t a top 5 for him for the same reason, they played in an era where scoring was easier than ever.
That surely explains why Smith feels that way but it’s not like that will change how impactful and how great Kobe and LeBron have been for this game. Fortunately, other former players like Allen Iverson knows we are in front of two of the greatest men this game has ever seen.