Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant were two killers on the court. These two legends gave their all every time they went at it; they were big rivals on the floor and very good friends.
Their competitiveness was unmatched, but Iverson has made it clear that there were differences between them. He learned that in his rookie season, when Kobe proved he was all about basketball and nothing else.
On 2020 Mamba Day, Iverson wrote a letter to Kobe on The Players' Tribune, recalling the time Bryant decided to go train instead of partying, as The Answer wanted to. The Los Angeles Lakers legend was very serious about basketball, and that was above almost everything in his life.
"Where’d the time go, man? That first trip out to L.A. feels like it was just yesterday. We were just kids, with everything in front of us," Iverson added. “What you getting up to later?” “I’m going to the club”.
“I’m going back to the gym”. "I’ll never forget that. "You’re not here on this earth anymore, but you’re not gone, either. You just say the name Kobe Bryant, and the memories come back in a split second.
"I can see you pointing your finger up in the air, walking off the court after you dropped 81 on Toronto. "I can see you jumping up in the air just like MJ after you won the title."
The respect between these two was tremendous. Kobe had nothing but love for AI and vice versa. They clashed in the Finals, and Kobe won the title alongside Shaquille O'Neal in a season that saw Iverson win the MVP award.
They were part of each other's legacies and that won't ever change. AI perfectly summed up how mystique Kobe was and his incredible personality. That's why he won 5 NBA championships and became one of the best players to ever do it.
Kobe isn't around anymore, but those who watched him play and went against him will never forget him as the great player and person he was.