KEY POINTS

  • Allen Iverson named LeBron James his third favorite basketball player of all time after Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant
  • The NBA Hall of Famer said James wanted to be like him instead of Jordan
  • James previously described Iverson as a "true warrior"

NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson recently recounted the time LeBron James said he wanted to be like him as he named his favorite basketball players of all time.

The 11-time NBA All-Star recently made an appearance on Showtime’s “All The Smoke” podcast to discuss his legacy and some of the best players in the game. Iverson, who has played against James, Michael Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant during his time in the league, put the Chicago Bulls legend at the top of his list, followed by Bryant and James.

“My favorite is always gonna be Mike [Jordan], you know what I mean, Kobe (is next), my 1 and 2,” Iverson revealed during the Thursday, Sept. 24 episode of the podcast. “I got ‘Bron [James] no. 3.”

Though he loves James, the former Philadelphia 76ers superstar said that Jordan has a special place in his heart and Bryant is the closest thing to MJ. But he said the Lakers superstar is also in a league of his own.

“As great as he [James] is, I’m just not gonna do it (compare him to Bryant} just ‘cause,” Iverson told hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.

“When LeBron was talking about me, sayin’ like, he wanted to be me, he didn’t wanna be Mike. (But) ‘cause you know how much he loves Mike, so it aint no disrespect,” the NBA legend explained. “I just love Mike so much and Kobe is the closest thing to me to Mike, and then LeBron is just hands down is in a class by himself.”

Iverson went on to mention Shaquille O’Neal, Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard as some of his favorite players as well.

When James entered the NBA in 2003, Iverson was at the pinnacle of his career. The pair faced each other inside the court for seven straight years. But in the 2010-11 NBA season, no team was interested in signing Iverson and he never managed to make an NBA comeback since then.

Roughly three years after Iverson’s final NBA game, James spoke about his legacy. According to then-Miami Heat star, Iverson reminds him of undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather as he was “a true warrior.” James also regretted the way “The Answer” parted ways with the NBA.

“[Iverson] reminds me of Floyd Mayweather,” James told ESPN in October 2013. “You could never question [Iverson's] heart, his will to want to win. A true warrior.”

“I hate the fact that his career ended the way it did,” he added. “But he had an unbelievable career.”

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan and LeBron James are considered among the greatest in NBA history. In this picture, James #6 of the Miami Heat hugs Michael Jordan after defeating the Charlotte Bobcats 109-98 in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 28, 2014, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
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