LeBron James on Allen Iverson: “Pound-for-pound, probably the greatest player”

October 30, 2013

Just as he did when he was honored at a 76ers game in March, Allen Iverson will feel the love tonight at his official retirement. (H. Rumph Jr. / AP)

Allen Iverson has spent the last 24 hours or so preparing for his return to Philly, where his retirement from the NBA will become official.

He’s been nostalgically retweeting photos of great moments from his career and tonight he’ll be honored at the 76ers’ opener.

The Sixers’ opponent, the Miami Heat, will feature at least one player who holds A.I. in high esteem: LeBron James.

“Pound-for-pound, probably the greatest player who ever played,” James said of Iverson (via ESPN’s Chris Broussard).

“I watch Jordan more than anybody for sure, but I’ll watch tapes of A.I., too. I don’t take anything from A.I.. Well, I do — his will. They say he was 6 feet, but A.I. was like 5-10½. Do we even want to say 160? 170 [pounds]? Do we even want to give him that much weight? And he played like a 6-8 2-guard. He was one of the greatest finishers we’ve ever seen. You could never question his heart. Ever. He gave it his all. A.I. was like my second-favorite player growing up, after MJ.”

James and Iverson were teammates on the 2004 Olympic team, back when James was just a pup in the league.

“He  reminds me of Floyd Mayweather,” James said, of the 5-foot-8 boxwer who is undefeated.  “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,” James said, “but he had an unbelievable career.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · October 30, 2013