In an interview with The Players Tribune, Allen Iverson talked about the feelings that are going through his head when he thinks about Kobe Bryant. Even though they were both fierce competitors on the basketball court, there was tremendous respect between them ever since they both entered the NBA in the famous 1996 draft.
Iverson said he would cherish the moments when they played together because he now realizes how important these moments were. Both Kobe and Iverson battled it out several times during their careers, and those matchups will also be forever immortalized in Iverson’s memory.
“Probably the one time I got the chance to play with Kobe. It was always a battle between him and me. Having the chance to be one the same team with him. I mean looking back on it like, that was it. That was it, having the chance to play with my guy. Not knowing that will be the only time that I had a chance to play with him.”
Iverson started to tear up when talking about the first time they hang out. Iverson was visiting L.A. at the time, and after having dinner with Kobe, he decided to go to a club to loosen up a bit. Iverson was surprised to find out Kobe was going to the gym to work out on his game. Iverson admits that despite Bryant being younger than him, he was the one who looked up to him because he immediately saw that kid is special.
“The first time me and him hung out. He took me out to eat in L.A. I told him I was going to a club and he asked me what I was going to do. I told him I was going to a club and he told me he was going to the gym. And that was just him. That was “The Mamba.” He was younger than me, but I actually looked up to him and his greatness.