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LeBron James: I didn’t want to be Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson. I wanted to be Allen Iverson

Puerto Rico Senior National Team v USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JULY 31: (L-R) Amare Stoudemire, Allen Iverson and LeBron James of the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team sit on the bench during an exhibition game against the Puerto Rico Senior National Team on July 31, 2004 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The three missed a team meeting and will not play in the game. (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)

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LeBron James has always been complimentary of Allen Iverson.

He even called Iverson his second-favorite player growing up after Michael Jordan.

But as a basketball role model, Iverson rated No. 1.

LeBron, via Chris Palmer of Bleacher Report:

“I didn’t want to be Michael or Magic,” says LeBron James. “I wanted to be Allen Iverson.”

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson were both better than Allen Iverson.

But Iverson – with his braids, tattoos, arm sleeve, headband, crossover, small size and big swagger – defined cool for a generation.