Few athletes have made a greater impact on their sport and culture more than Allen Iverson did during his career.
The Hall of Famer influenced not just younger generations, but also his peers around the NBA with his look – from the headbands and dreads to the long shorts and tattoos.
On Showtime’s video podcast “All the Smoke,” former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson reminded the Sixers legend just how much he means to not just themselves, but to those who looked up to him.
Jackson, in particular, gave a passionate speech about the impact he had, likening him to Kobe Bryant.
“People look at your page because you’re a cultural icon. The way I dress right now is because of you…. People looking at your pace to follow not just your lifestyle, but because we love you, bro,” Jackson said. “You gave a lot of people confidence when they didn’t have confidence in themselves. You let a lot of people know they can be themselves and still be successful. It’s ain’t just us, bro. It ain’t just basketball players. It’s rappers. It’s everybody. You gave them the confidence to be themselves in anything they can do, in all of us.
“That’s why people follow you. You gotta accept that. You know why I’m telling you – you mean a lot to us. We can’t lose you. We just lost Kobe. We can’t lose you. We gonna give you all the flowers in the world, bro, right now. You feel me?”
The conversation stemmed from Iverson discussing people following him and not respecting him, but the trio also discussed Bryant more later in the show.
Iverson touched on his relationship with Bryant, which was more a professional relationship rather than a personal one.
“I didn’t have a personal relationship with him, but you know how killers respect killers? That’s what it was,” he said. “He knew who I was, I know who he is. He gave me that push, I gave it to him. I love the stories people give me that were teammates, that were friends. I love the stories – I wouldn’t say that it bothers me, but I wish I could have had a better relationship with him as far as how great other people said he was. I want that energy around me.”