In the latest episode of Showtime’s All the Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Allen Iverson has opened up about what the late Kobe Bryant means to him.
“I didn’t have a personal relationship with him, but…you know how killers respect killers,” he said.
Both players started their NBA careers all the way back in 1996, with Iverson retiring in 2011 and Kobe in ’16. “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 we’re friends.”
The two of them were never really friends, but Iverson stressed that he wished they could’ve been, based on all the stories he heard. “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, later calling him “the ultimate” as far as basketball goes.
Watch the clip from the episode above, and check out the full episode on the Showtime Basketball YouTube channel here: