Friday, Nancy Lieberman asked Iverson, arguably the greatest player, pound-for-pound, in NBA history, what it will be like to one day join the likes of Michael Jordan in Springfield, Mass. One of Iverson’s comments stood out in particular:
“What people really don’t understand – I really did actually practice,” Iverson said with a laugh. “Everything that I put in, is just a great feeling to know that, you know, all the hard work paid off.”
Why is that admission significant? Well, because AI, without provocation, talked about practice!
Earlier in the interview, Lieberman and Justin Termine had Iverson recall the greatest crossover of his career.
“That’s a no-brainer,” Iverson said. “The crossover on Mike [Jordan]. Because, that just lets you know how great of a player he was. I mean, he was the best to ever do it.”
And there will never be a better player than Jordan, Iverson insisted.
You have these arguments out here all the time about who’s the greatest basketball player to ever play the game. I don’t know why people even have the argument. I don’t know why there’s even a debate. It’s always gonna be him, regardless. You’re gonna have your Kobe Bryants, you’re gonna have your LeBron’s, you’re gonna have you Kevin Durants. And those guys are superheroes, man. They are great for our generation, and this generation right here. But Mike, I just remember the first time looking at him, and he didn’t event look human to me. I saw his aura. I couldn’t believe I was actually standing that close to him.
Michael was so good, Iverson reminded Termine and Lieberman, that, “he still almost blocked the shot” after getting crossed over.
Jordan didn’t, though, and Iverson sent the Philadelphia crowd on March 12, 1997, into a frenzy.
So did Iverson hit MJ with any trash talk after drilling the jumper?
“No, man, never!” Iverson said. “I respect my elders, trust me. And I respect my legends.”