The loss of Kobe Bryant still is affecting many across the sports world as we can’t seem to wrap our head around the fallen legend being gone off the Earth forever. That also includes former 76ers star Allen Iverson.
The former NBA MVP recently had a sit-down interview with Players Tribune on Don’t At Me with host Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and it did not take long for him to get very emotional discussing his memories of Bryant on the court.
“It was always a battle between me and him,” Iverson said during the interview. “And then, having the chance to be on the same team with him…”
“I mean, looking back on it, that was it. Just having the chance to play with my guy,” Iverson continued. “Not knowing that would be the only time that I had a chance to play with him.”
Iverson was one of many that shared some kind words about bryant and the loss of his daughter after the accident.
“Words cannot express how I’m feeling today. The only 2 words that ring in my head — devastated and heartbroken. I cannot seem to shake this feeling no matter what I’ve tried to do since hearing this yesterday,” Iverson wrote on Instagram.
“People will always remember how we competed against each other in the league, but it goes so much deeper than that for me,” he continued. “The story of us being drafted in arguably the deepest class of its kind ever in the NBA can be debated for many years to come. However, his generosity and respect for the game is something that I witnessed first-hand every time we stepped on the dance floor to compete.
“It’s one memory of him that I can’t stop thinking about. It was our rookie season and my first trip to LA for a game against the Lakers. He came to my hotel, picked me up and took me to a restaurant. When we returned before he left, he asked me, “What are you going to do tonight?” My reply was, ‘I’m going to the club, what are you going to do?’ He said, ‘I’m going to the gym.’ That is who he always was, a true student of the game of basketball and also the game of life. He prepared relentlessly. There is something we can all learn from the “Mamba” mentality and from the way my brother lived his life. He will always have my respect as a competitor, as a friend, as a brother.”
Bryant’s public memorial will be Monday, Feb. 24 at Staples Center.
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