Allen Iverson shares his thoughts on the state of the 76ers, his legacy, and Kobe Bryant
Iverson touched on several pertinent topics in an interview with CBS Sports
Allen Iverson may be retired from the NBA, but he hasn't ventured far from the game. You can often catch him courtside in Philadelphia showing support for the 76ers -- and the league's players in general. He holds the Allen Iverson Roundball Showcase every year, which provides top high school talent with an excellent stage to showcase their skills. The Iverson Classic, as it's called, is one of only a small number of NBA-sanctioned high school events each year and previous participants include current NBA players like Nassir Little, Darius Bazley, and Tyler Herro. Plus, Iverson's influence can be seen all over the newer generations of NBA players, both on and off of the court.
Considering his continuing close ties to the game and its players, it's no surprise that Iverson was in Chicago for the 2020 iteration of NBA All-Star Weekend, making appearances and taking in the weekend's events. CBS Sports had an opportunity to speak briefly with the Hall-of-Famer while he was at Panini's VIP Lounge signing cards and other items. (There's no shortage of interest in Iverson memorabilia). During the conversation, Iverson touched on the state of the Sixers, his legacy, and how he remembers Kobe Bryant.
CBS Sports: You're obviously no stranger to All-Star Weekend. Do you have a favorite memory from the annual event, and how much did it mean to you as a player to be named an All-Star?
Allen Iverson: I don't really have one particular [favorite memory]. I just think it's cool being around the dudes that you played against night in and night out. That's the main thing, just being around the guys that you normally go to war [against]… To be named an All-Star means a lot. It means a lot just for the fact that you get a chance to represent your city, and organization, and the guys you play with. Without them, you wouldn't be there.
CBS: In a recent video with the Player's Tribune, you talked about how you paved the way for the younger generations of players to be who they want to be both on and off the court. How much of yourself do you see in the up-and-coming players?
Iverson: A lot. [I see myself in those guys] A lot. It's dope because they're being who they are, and who they want to be. I think that's cool, just to see those guys live out their dreams and not be afraid of who they are as people off of the court. I think that's dope.
CBS: A big part of All-Star Weekend 2020 is about honoring late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. What's your memory of Bryant as someone that competed against him for years?
Iverson: My memory of Kobe is what it is man. He was just great. He was great. He was just a tough dude as far as competing. He inspired us all to try to be great because he wanted to be the best ... Every time I hear his name, it touches me. It's crazy [that he's gone].
(Iverson noted that the 2020 Allen Iverson Roundball Showcase will be dedicated to Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant).
CBS: How do you feel about your former franchise, the Philadelphia 76ers, at the season's break?
Iverson: Sky is the limit for us. We just have to get healthy. We haven't had a chance to be [fully] healthy and have our guys together all at once. Once we put it all together and get healthy then everything will be good.
CBS: Do you think the Sixers have a legitimate shot at winning the title this season?
Iverson: Oh yeah. For sure. Yep.
CBS: Lastly, how does it feel to be one of the few players that can truly say that they left an indelible mark on the game and surrounding culture?
Iverson: I'm just blessed. I'm just a blessed man. Just to be on the phone talking to you about what we're talking about, I'm just a blessed guy. I don't take none of this for granted. The same sentiments that I keep telling my kids. I'm blessed to have an impact on other people's lives. God put me in position to help people and to inspire and that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to be the best me. I ain't perfect or no shit like that, but I just try my best.
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