Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson has shown his softer side since retiring from the NBA in 2010. While he was known for his hard-nosed style of play on the court during his heyday, he's become known more lately for the love he shows his NBA brethren and his big old hugs.
Whether he's talking about the current Sixers squad being his "little dudes" or his old rivals like Ty Lue, A.I. never has a bad word to say. He's a true ambassador of the game.
The Players' Tribune did a nice sitdown with Iverson over All-Star weekend and it's making the rounds again today thanks an ESPN bump.
While Iverson shared an incredibly heartfelt written remembrance of Kobe Bryant shortly after his death, as Sixers fans know, there's nothing quite like seeing the emotion in Iverson's face when he's feeling it.
Iverson talks fondly about the one time he got to play on the same team as Kobe in the 2008 All-Star game.
.@alleniverson will never forget those moments on the court with Kobe at All-Star Weekend.— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) February 16, 2020
The 11-time All-Star reflects on the Mamba's legacy.
For more, watch the full #DontAtMe episode with @ROSGO21 and @spidadmitchell: https://t.co/D6MfIBueqw pic.twitter.com/dgiAdfjXzN
"It was always a battle between me and him," Iverson said. "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. Not knowing that would be the only time that I had a chance to play with him."
The two didn't see much action together in the 2008 game as Kobe was limited with a finger injury and only played three minutes.
Back when he was involved with the Big3 League in 2017, Iverson dreamed about a potential pairing with Kobe: "That would be a dream of mine to play with Kobe."
It never happened, sadly.
Iverson went on to retell the story about Iverson going to the club and Kobe going to the gym which lead to the most poignant quote from the whole interview.
"That was the Mamba. He was younger than me, but I actually looked up to him and his greatness," Iverson said.
You can watch the full sitdown with Iverson on Perriscope here.