To millions of fans around the world, Kobe Bryant was one of the most imposing people to ever set foot on a basketball court. But to those who were fortunate enough to play alongside or even against him, he was a colleague and friend. Bryant balled with the best, including hall of fame point guard Allen Iverson. Together, the Black Mamba and the Answer thrilled audiences but, in the midst of that, they built a brotherly bond that endured for years. So when Iverson spotted a poster of him and the late athlete, he had a very sweet response.
The 46-year-old Allen Iverson recently appeared at a public event in Texas, where he signed autographs for fans. During the meet-and-greet, he was approached by a young fan, who handed him the throwback poster showing him with Kobe Bryant. The veteran star seemed taken aback and gazed over it for a moment, before responding in a way that most basketball fans would:
It was a sentimental moment, to say the least, and one that both the former point guard and the fan likely won’t forget. As captured by kkcameron of Instagram, the Philadelphia 76ers legend signed the poster and, not only that, he provided the young man with a bit of invaluable advice. Check out the heartwarming exchange in its entirety in the post down below:
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I mean, no big deal, just an NBA GOAT casually letting a kid know that he should strive to listen to his parents. I don’t know about that kid but, if Allen Iverson had advised me to step it up at that age, I definitely would’ve done it. Quite frankly, you love to see the sports staple paying it forward in such a way. You also can’t help but get a little teary-eyed when seeing him react to that poster.
Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson both entered the NBA back in 1996, with the latter being selected with the first pick in the draft and the former being acquired with the 13th pick. Both would have stellar rookie seasons and, as most know, they’d go on to become two of the league’s marquee names. Though the two had plenty of incredible matchups, their most notable may be their meeting in the Finals in 2001. Iverson attempted to will his team to victory, but the Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal-led Lakers emerged victorious. The loss may still sting for A.I., but it seems the memories of his former on-court rival are what have really stayed with him all these years.
Since Kobe Bryant’s death in 2020, many have taken time to pay tribute to him and share their fondest memories of him. Immediately after the news broke, former players and celebrity friends honored the man, and even ESPN’s The Last Dance paid homage to his storied career. On the first anniversary of his death, stars like Jimmy Fallon continued to reflect, while Shaquille O’Neal sweetly checked in on his late teammate’s parents. And of course, Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, has also kept her husband’s name alive, paying tribute to him on personal occasions and continuing his charitable efforts.
His death, and that of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, is honestly still a hard pill to swallow. While he’s no longer with us, it’s those memories of him on the court and chopping it up with fans in public that can help provide comfort to Allen Iverson and others who knew and loved him. And for those looking to relive his theatrics on the basketball court and his accomplishments in the public eye, there are documentaries and specials you can check out.
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