'One of the greatest': NBA stars post their own tributes to Allen Iverson
MAR 02, 2014 1:18p ET
Philly fans aren't the only ones who love Allen Iverson.
Sure, the 76ers rightfully showed their love Saturday night for one of the greatest players in the history of their franchise, retiring Iverson's No. 3 jersey at halftime of their game vs. the Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center.
But A.I. also was honored via social media by some of the biggest stars in the NBA. LeBron, Kobe, 'Melo, D-Wade and more took to Instagram and Twitter to pay tribute to "The Answer."
"The King" himself congratulated Iverson via Instagram -- and even credited him with inspiring some of James' on-court fashion. He posted the following with a photo: "Pound for pound!! Congrats homie. What a pleasure to complete against u and also become a friend in the process. U the reason why I got tattoos, wore a headband and arm sleeve. Thanks for everything!! #AITheGoat #BubbaChuck #HOFNext"
Kobe Bryant -- who along with the Lakers defeated Iverson and the 76ers in their lone NBA Finals appearance in 2001 -- said competing against A.I. forced him to up his own game. His Instagram post read: "Time has wings my brotha. Your game pushed my then 21 year old self to play beyond my years. Your impact on the game will be felt for generations. #salute #respect #96 #AI"
Carmelo Anthony -- who was a teammate of Iverson's when the two played for the Denver Nuggets -- called Iverson "a friend and my brother," and posted an image of the two of them sharing a laugh with the following post: "Congratulations to one of the greatest to ever do it. Proud to call him a friend and my brother. Peace God. There will never be another Bubba Chuck. Love you King"
John Wall, whose Wizards went on to defeat the 76ers on Saturday night, tweeted his salute to Iverson while standing beside the banner itself, calling the Philly legend his "role model":
More tributes poured in over social media from current and former stars all over the league. See some of them below:
• Minnesota Timberwolves star guard Ricky Rubio, via Instagram: "One of the greatest. Respect #AI3"
• Evan Turner, newly minted member of the Indiana Pacers, via Instagram: "Pound for pound one of the greatest of all time! His confidence and tenacity was so inspiring. Coach Mullins always told me that everyone should compete with the heart and effort that had. #longlivethelegend #respect"
• Indiana Pacers guard George Hill, via Instagram: "Congrats To One Of My All-Time Favorite Players! The Reason I Wanted To Play Basketball. Allen Iverson Will Always Be Pound For Pound The Greatest!!! #A.I"
• Washington Wizards swingman Trevor Ariza, via Instagram: "One of the best to ever do it. #ai3"
• Two-time All-Star Baron Davis, via Twitter:
• Chicago Bulls player Jimmy Butler, via Instagram: "Congrats to one of the realest to play the game! One of the many players I looked up to growing up. On getting his jersey retired! My guy @theofficialai3"