(1999) Allen Iverson Drops 41 on Kobe Bryant, Crosses Him Twice In the Same Game!
Here’s a flashback clip of a young Kobe getting “shook” by a young Allen Iverson…TWICE in the same game back in 1999.
In this game, which was the first sellout for the 76ers that season, Philly native Kobe Bryant took the challenge of guarding the rookie of the year from his draft class. Iverson responded to the challenge by following up a 39-point game with 41 points (on a career-high 36 attempts), a season-high 10 assists and another W. The 41 was his 8th career 40-point game and surprisingly the first time the 76ers won a game with AI scoring 40. The performance also increased the distance between him and Shaq for the NBA scoring race.
Kobe had 23 points in the 15 point loss and at that time was still looking for his 1st 40-point game.
Kobe was recently asked about his favorite memory of Iverson and he had the following to say about him and this game.
“And AI as a competitor, he drove me to be as obsessive, more obsessive about the game, because I had to figure out how to solve that problem, you know? And I told him — I saw him here this weekend. I said you don’t realize how much you pushed me. And I don’t think people nowadays realize how great you were as a player and how big of a problem you were for defenses. Happy for them both.
“When I matched up AI in Philadelphia in 1999, that was a big turning point for me. I remember being on the bus saying, you know what, I’ve got to become one of the best defensive players of all time because I can’t have this happen. That’s a direct result of what AI did to me that night in Philadelphia. I don’t think people realize how cold he was. They have no idea how hard it was to guard this guy. ”
During Iverson’s jersey retirement in 2014, many of the leagues best players took to social media to post congrats to the player many consider the best pound-for-pound basketball player of all-time. One of those players was Kobe, who posted these words.