Allen Iverson feels like a proud dad watching this current generation of NBA stars. The celebrated icon was once a controversial figure at the height of his career due to his signature look of cornrow braids, tattoos and baggy threads. AI was the poster child for the Gen X bad boy.

Looking back, Iverson tells Revolt that he feels the challenges he faced, both on and off the court, were worth it, giving players now the freedom to be themselves.

“It’s the best feeling in the world” AI told Shade 45 host Sway. “A lot of people don’t know when I came in and they made a big deal about my hair and tattoos and all that I took an ass whooping for it as far as from the media. To see guys being able to be themselves and look like they want to look and dress like they wanna dress, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s bittersweet. But it makes me feel good that I inspired guys to feel good in their own skin.”

See the interview for yourself below.