The all-time greatest NBA player debate is an ongoing one, but for the most part Michael Jordan is considered the standard by which all others are judged. Over past 20 years since Jordan retired, the two players who have truly garnered discussion and debate against Jordan are Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James.
Recently, however, the debate has focused almost exclusively on LeBron vs. Jordan, with many moving James ahead of Kobe on the all-time rankings. Hall-of-Famer and former Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Allen Iverson doesn’t understand this at all.
In talking about the debate, Iverson sounded in disbelief at people leaving Kobe out of the discussion, via The Unguarded:
“What bothers me, is when they do talk about it, LeBron is great, first of all. When they talk about comparing him to Michael, I don’t understand how they don’t have the debate when it comes to Kobe. Like, I don’t get it. I mean, you forgot or something? They forgot? I really think they forgot the Mamba, man. Certified serial killer, man.”
If anyone knows how good Kobe was, it’s Iverson, who squared off against him many time throughout his career including the 2001 NBA Finals.
Iverson also faced off against Jordan in his final couple of seasons with the Chicago Bulls and LeBron in his first few years in the league. Needless to say, Iverson has up close experience with all three players.
Bryant is one of the most divisive players in league history, with many looking down on him as an inefficient gunner who did little else aside from score. Of course, Kobe was more than that, but LeBron’s all-around game appeals more to some leading them to move him ahead.
But as Iverson said, maybe some people just forgot what Kobe did and the impact he had. These debates will continue to go on as long as the NBA exists, but Iverson is adamant that Kobe should be in any Jordan debate conversations.
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