Allen Iverson never won a chip in Philadelphia, although he came very close. Blame Kobe Bryant for that one.
The Hall-of-Famer isn’t bitter, though. Iverson and Bryant became fast friends and shared a special bond after their playing days were over. They always brought out the best in each other, with Bryant referring to Iverson as his all-time toughest match-up.
Iverson recently revealed that he was dedicating the 2020 Allen Iverson Roundball Showcase to Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant. The tournament will be played on April 24 at the new 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, DE.
“My memory of Kobe is what it is, man. He was just great,” Iverson told CBS Sports’ Michael Kaskey-Blomain. “He was just a tough dude as far as competing. He inspired us all to try to be great because he wanted to be the best. Every time I hear his name, it touches me.”
Iverson and Bryant played head-to-head on 38 different occasions, with Bryant leading the series 24-14. Iverson had a higher points-per-game average in those contests — 26.6 versus 25.1 for Bryant — while the Lakers star held the rebounding advantage, 5.5 to 3.7. Of course, Bryant turned it up a notch in the postseason where his teams went 8-1 against Iverson’s squads, including the Lakers’ 4-1 series win in the 2001 NBA Finals.
Iverson Belives Sixers Can Win NBA Title This Year
Allen Iverson never got a ring, not after 14 amazing seasons in the NBA. Rapper Post Malone forever immortalized his lack of hardware in his breakout 2015 hit single “White Iverson.”
When Iverson looks at this year’s Sixers team, he sees a championship-caliber team. Give them time to gel in the second half of the season. They can get it done. In fact, Iverson still considers himself a part of the Sixers’ franchise and referred to them as “we” and “us” in comments to CBS Sports. He has openly lobbied for a front-office position with the Sixers in previous interviews.
“Sky is the limit for us. We just have to get healthy,” Iverson told CBS Sports. “We haven’t had a chance to be [fully] healthy and have our guys together all at once. Once we put it all together and get healthy then everything will be good.”
Good. How good? Good enough to win a championship and lead a parade down Broad Street this year?
“Oh yeah. For sure. Yep,” Iverson said when asked if the Sixers have a “legitimate shot” at winning the title this season.
NBA Legend Celebrates Michael Jordan’s Birthday
Many basketball fans — and sports enthusiasts, in general — took to social media to wish Michael Jordan a happy birthday. He turned 57 on Sunday and his highlight-reel plays were played seemingly on loop all weekend with the NBA All-Star Game festivities returning to Chicago for the first time since 1988.
Allen Iverson, who saw his career overlap with Jordan for four seasons, paid his hero a fitting tribute on social media. The two were teammates for the Eastern Conference in the 2002 NBA All-Star Game and Iverson famously “crossed-over” Jordan as a rookie in 1997.
“Mike is always going to be the GOAT,” Iverson said in a 2018 article for The Players’ Tribune. “And please don’t even insult me with any of this ‘stats, AI!’ business, like you have a chance of changing my mind.”
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