“Killas respect killas” – Allen Iverson on when ESPN’s First Take compared him and Russell Westbrook

Iverson showed Russ respect despite the debates.

Despite being constantly compared to each other in the NBA media, Allen Iverson respects Russell Westbrook. The debate resurfaced again in 2021 while Westbrook was putting up historical numbers as a member of the Washington Wizards, and ESPN’s First Take’s Stephen A Smith, Max Kellerman, and Kendrick Perkins had a war of words about whose career they considered better.

“Allen Iverson played in a different era, a tough era, and as a six-foot guard, 160 pounds soaking wet, he averaged 45 minutes a game in the playoffs. His career 29 points per-game scorer. He got them to the Finals. Now let’s get to Russell Westbrook. We got to stop acting like people are hating on Westbrook,” he said.

Perkins disagreed

While it’s important to highlight that Smith may be leaning into his individual bias, considering he personally covered Iverson during his reporting career, he did have a supporter in Kellerman, who also believed AI would rank higher than Westbrook all the time.

Despite reasonably valid points raised, Perkins was in complete disagreement and wanted Russ to finish his career with a better resume. As his former teammate and somebody who saw his potential, Big Perk believed that Russ could supersede The Answer.

“When you look at those accolades and you look at the resume, it is similar. It matches up. Allen Iverson, one-time MVP, so does Russell Westbrook. Allen Iverson, eight playoff appearances in his career. Russell Westbrook got 10. Allen Iverson, two-time scoring champ. Russell Westbrook got one. Both of them have two all-star MVPs, ok?” Kendrick said.

“But when we go down and we look at this, this is the separation right here, ok? This is the separation. Oscar Robertson set a milestone, a feat 54 years ago that no one thought that this milestone could be broken – the triple-double. A milestone, and guess who comes along, Russell Westbrook, not only did he reach that milestone, he did it for three straight seasons,” Perk added.

It doesn’t matter to A.I.

Despite the heated exchange between the three analysts, it’s clear that Westbrook and Iverson have nothing but respect for one another, even though Russ has been outspoken about believing they are very different players.

As the debate caused a storm on X, Iverson took to the platform to give his thoughts on the discussion and to shout out Westbrook. The shows must go on, but debates such as these need to consider situations in which neither player really cares about where they sit all the time.

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