While most (current) players will say that Michael Jordan was their favorite player growing up, when it comes to their second favorite player, the results are always different. Some say Magic Johnson. Others say Larry Bird. And for the younger players in the league, they pick guys like Kevin Garnett or Shaquille O’Neal. But what about Lebron James? Who was his second favorite player?
None other than A.I., Allen Iverson.
James recently told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that while he loved Jordan, it was Iverson’s will and determination that James crafted into his own game:
“I watch Jordan more than anybody, for sure,” James told ESPN’s Chris Broussard for a story in the upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine. “But I’ll watch tapes of AI, too. I don’t take anything from AI. Well, I do — his will. They say he was 6 feet, but AI 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. AI was like my second-favorite player growing up, after MJ.”
In addition to Iverson, James credits Jordan’s lack of fear as one attribute he has taken from the NBA great.