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Allen Iverson answers: Who is the Kobe Bryant of rap?

December 19, 2013

Recently at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Shade 45 Sway in the Morning host Sway Calloway sat down with NBA legend Allen Iverson.

After dishing on NBA culture, Iverson’s basketball shoes, tattoos and The Answer’s relationship with his kids, Sway asked the former Philadelphia 76ers point guard what it was like watching hoops from the sidelines.

“It’s different when you don’t play anymore and you watch,” Iverson said. “You still love it, but it still hurts that you don’t play anymore. This day was inevitable. I mean, I’ve been playing 30 years of my life. I’m 38 years old, I’ve been playing the game for 30 years. And obviously it has to come to an end. But it still bothers you, because you wanna do it.

“You see guys that you know you’re better than, but you don’t play, you know what I mean?,” Iverson continued. “It’s fun at the same time, you know, watching it, watching the dudes you loved, dudes that you had a relationship [with] and you see them being successful. That’s what makes you feel good, too. And people always ask me all the time, you know, ‘Who you going for this year?’ You got so many dudes that you deal with and you love, it’s hard to say, ‘All right, I want such and such.’ I want Melo to win every year, I want LeBron to win every year.

“So I just watch,” Iverson said.

Later, Sway and Iverson talked about hip-hop.

“I’m a big fan,” Iverson said to Sway, “You’re a legend. You know how I feel about hip-hop, and how I feel about that aspect of my life because, you know, it’s a big part of my life and who I am.

“It’s just like basketball,” Iverson said of hip-hop. “You got your Michael Jordan, then Kobe comes along, then LeBron comes along, and sooner or later we’re gonna have somebody that we say, ‘Damn,’ [and] we start comparing them to LeBron. That’s how rap is. You got the greatest rappers, and then all these dues are coming along. The talent is just gonna get better and better.”

Sway then asked Iverson to pick the rap game’s equivalent of Kobe Bryant.

I think the Kobe of rap is a guy that’s older in the game, but still crazy, so I would say Jay Z: ‘I’ve been around for a while and from the beginning ’til now, I’m still bad as Hell, but I’ve been here for a while.’

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