In an extensive interview with Chris Palmer of ESPN Magazine, Kobe Bryant talks about everything from his own legacy to his one-on-one games with players throughout his career.
When Kobe was asked what it was like to drop 33 on MJ as a 19 year old he said,
“I wasn’t scared or nervous back then when I played Jordan. He looked at me like he was going to f--- me up but I had to let him know that I wasn’t that guy. I let him know that I’m not like all those other guys he played against. That’s not what I was there for. I was there to compete and I did.”
Chris Palmer: You versus LeBron? Who wins?
Kobe: No question. As far as one-on-one, I’m the best to ever do it.
Palmer: Damn. That’s pretty confident.
Kobe: LeBron is a terrific all-around, five-on-five basketball player who’s an all-time great. But I’d get him.
Palmer: Who could get you?
Kobe: Kevin Durant is the guy that would give me the most trouble. With his length and ability to use the dribble, he’d be tough.
Palmer: I always wanted to see you play Tracy McGrady.
Kobe: I played T-Mac. I cooked him. Roasted him. Wasn’t even close. Ask him, he’ll tell you. When I was about 20, we were in Germany doing some promotional stuff for that other sneaker company and we played basketball every day. We were in the gym all the time. We played three games of one-on-one to 11. I won all three games. One game I won 11-2. After the third game he said he had back spasms and couldn’t play anymore.
Kobe’s career is far from over. So, by no means is his legacy already written. But one thing is for sure, Kobe Bryant is already one of the all-time greats and if he’s able to get one or two more rings, it will be even harder to stop the MJ comparisons.