Kobe Bryant: Allen Iverson Can't Fight Emotions While Sharing Memories of Late Lakers Star

The loss of Kobe Bryant still is affecting many across the NBA world, including former Sixers star Allen Iverson. The former NBA star has already spoken about the loss of Bryant shortly after the helicopter crash that claimed his and 8 other lives.

But in a new sit down interview with Players Tribune on Don't At Me with host Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, Iverson gets emotional discussing his memories of Bryant on the court.

The chat was produced over All-Star Weekend in Chicago and captures Iverson's emotions about the late Lakers star and his one time playing on the same team in 2008.

"It was always a battle between me and him," Iverson said during the interview. "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," Iverson continued. "Not knowing that would be the only time that I had a chance to play with him."

Iverson had expanded on his thoughts toward Bryant the day after Bryant's deadly crash. He also shared kind words toward Bryant's family and the loss of daughter Gianna in the same accident.

"Words cannot express how I'm feeling today. The only 2 words that ring in my head — devastated and heartbroken. I cannot seem to shake this feeling no matter what I've tried to do since hearing this yesterday," Iverson wrote on Instagram.

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"People will always remember how we competed against each other in the league, but it goes so much deeper than that for me," he continued. "The story of us being drafted in arguably the deepest class of its kind ever in the NBA can be debated for many years to come. However, his generosity and respect for the game is something that I witnessed first-hand every time we stepped on the dance floor to compete.


"It's one memory of him that I can't stop thinking about. It was our rookie season and my first trip to LA for a game against the Lakers. He came to my hotel, picked me up and took me to a restaurant. When we returned before he left, he asked me, "What are you going to do tonight?" My reply was, 'I'm going to the club, what are you going to do?' He said, 'I'm going to the gym.' That is who he always was, a true student of the game of basketball and also the game of life. He prepared relentlessly. There is something we can all learn from the "Mamba" mentality and from the way my brother lived his life. He will always have my respect as a competitor, as a friend, as a brother."

Bryant's public memorial will be Monday, Feb. 24 at Staples Center. The NBA paid tribute to the late Lakers star during All-Star Weekend, including a touching tribute to kick off the main game.