‘One of the greatest’: NBA stars post their own tributes to Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson speaks during the retirement of his No. 3 jersey at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

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."

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"

More tributes poured in over social media from current and former stars all over the league. See some of them below:

• Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade, via Instagram: "Pound for pound… I had a pleasure of competing against and playing with one of the greatest to do it.. Much love and Respect to @theofficialai3"

• Minnesota Timberwolves star guard Ricky Rubio, via Instagram: "One of the greatest. Respect #AI3"

• New York Knicks sharpshooter J.R. Smith, via Instagram: "Congrats to one of the greatest teammates I’ve ever had! AI3"

• 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"