Allen Iverson made headlines this week as the Pro Basketball Hall of Famer shared his latest perspective on the NBA’s ongoing debate regarding the greatest player of all time.
Iverson, much like many NBA legends, has consistently lauded Michael Jordan as the GOAT, especially amidst ongoing discussions about LeBron James challenging Jordan’s legacy. In a recent interview on Rachel Nichols’ Showtime series, Headliners, the 76ers icon reaffirmed his stance, also disclosing his choice for MJ’s closest competition: the late Kobe Bryant. Iverson remarked, “I’ve never seen nobody as competitive as him but Mike. Like, when people talk about your favorite players, or the best players in the world, I say Mike, and I say Kobe, you know what I mean? And then everybody else.”
While Iverson’s choice of Jordan as the greatest player is unsurprising, his endorsement of Bryant as the NBA’s second-best player of all time may raise eyebrows, especially considering Iverson has previously referred to LeBron James as “God’s gift to the basketball world,” acknowledging James as the league’s leading scorer. Despite their historic rivalry, the mutual respect between Iverson and Bryant remains timeless. When Nichols inquired if James is “after that,” Iverson affirmed, “Definitely, definitely after that.”
Whether Iverson’s perspective will evolve in the future remains uncertain. Presently, the legendary guard seems to place Jordan and Bryant’s legacies at the pinnacle, acknowledging that James, now in his 21st year in the league with the Los Angeles Lakers, is still crafting his own narrative.