Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant were two of the best players of their generation, even though Bryant earned more accolades than Iverson. They even played against each other in the NBA Finals, where Kobe and Shaq dominated the Philadelphia 76ers to win their second of three consecutive titles with the Los Angeles Lakers.
They were rivals on the court but the respect they had for each other was huge and Iverson remembers that now. The Answer sat down with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on Showtime’s All the Smoke podcast to discuss a variety of topics on his career, personal life, and more. At some point, they talked about Kobe, with Iverson revealing they didn’t have a personal relationship as he would have liked.
“I didn’t have a personal relationship with him, but…you know how killers respect killers,” he said.
“He knew who I was, I knew who he is. He gave me that push, I gave it to him. I love the stories that people gave me that were teammates, that were friends.”
He stated he would have loved being friends with Kobe given all the good stories he heard about the Black Mamba during their active days.
“I wouldn’t say it bothered me, but I wish I could’ve had a better relationship with him as far as how great other people said he was, and what type of cool dude he was. You know, I want that energy around me,” AI continued.
Unfortunately, Kobe passed away last January 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Iverson couldn’t get closer to who he called “the ultimate” as far as basketball goes, but he knows they respected each other. They both were killers and you know Kobe really liked people with that mindset.