Kobe Bryant says his only rivals are Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson

Kobe has some bold words concerning his rivals in the NBA

3/3/12 in NBA   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Kobe Bryant could retire tomorrow, and he'd go down as one of the best basketball players ever. But you don't need to tell him that... he's already very aware. When asked about the rivalry between him and Dwyane Wade, he laughed it off, saying Wade isn't quite on his level.

"He's too young. He's too young. When I came into the league, he was in elementary school."

So who are his rivals? No one playing right now, according to Kobe.

"At this point my rivals, in terms of what I have left to accomplish in my career, (left the game) when Magic (Johnson) and Michael (Jordan) retired in '98. That's it. In terms of what I'm looking to accomplish, that's about it."

Clearly these are some pretty strong words, but to be honest, he's 100% right.

Some people are calling it cocky, but to compare Kobe's career to any active player would be almost criminal.

Tim Duncan has been a great player for the Spurs, and he has 4 championships, but even his stellar career pales a bit in comparison compared to Kobe in terms of individual excellence. Also, their style of play is so dramatically different, there's really no way to reasonably compare them.

As far as others who play similarly today, there really isn't anyone who can touch Kobe's legacy. Wade has a ring, but he doesn't have 5, like Kobe. LeBron James might be the best individual player in the world right now, but he has a well-documented history of coming up short in the playoffs.

Just how close is Kobe to surpassing Michael Jordan? Honestly, he'd need to win two more championships and at least one more MVP, in my mind. Even then, I don't think you could compare his career to Jordan's level of dominance.

But you can be sure that Kobe has his eye on the Greatest.
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

3/17/13   |   rick_ross95   |   8 respect

delonamos wrote:
bron is right up there, imagine phil coaching bron, 10 rings. look at mamba and king head to head, king owns him

Coaches don't win rings players do. Phil would of failed with Lebron instead of Kobe. Phil Jackon teams need clutch players Lebron can't shoot

3/17/13   |   rick_ross95   |   8 respect

WhoDat12 wrote:
LOL @ Hoe-be...

But too often in team sports, championship rings are used as a measuring stick to determine who is great and who is one of the greatest.  It takes more than one great player to win a championship. If all you needed was one great player, the Sixers would have beat the Lakers in the Finals with Iverson and perhaps there would be no Lakers dynasty. There's more to being great than just championship rings, but that seems to be the logic a lot of people go by. But by that logic Robert Horry (7 championships) was a better power forward than Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, and he's also better than Kobe because he has more rings.  Brian Scalabrine is also better than Malone and Barkley. And of course that would mean that Bill Russell (11 championships) is and would always be the greatest player of all time

You don't play for media approval which is what the MVP trophy is. You play for championships. Fan's only care about MVP's when they their team isn't winning what say it with me now yes CHAMPIONSHIPS. Their is no other way to differentiate between two players who are close statistically then championships.

9/11/12   |   raymundo36

raymundo36 wrote:
damn!!no one in this world will be better than michael jordan in the history of basketball,,kobe is a selfish player,and kobe cannot get another m.v.p..shitt!period of his career its and end of his hapeness.

i think kobe is the one and only popular player and a long time franchise player that only get a 1 m.v.p..for a million dollar that lakers pay him is not solid to pay that cost,,theres a player that there salary is lower than kobe and gives a champion on there team,,his not deserving that his the best eww!and yucks!!

9/10/12   |   scquwi1   |   1227 respect

raymundo36 wrote:
damn!!no one in this world will be better than michael jordan in the history of basketball,,kobe is a selfish player,and kobe cannot get another m.v.p..shitt!period of his career its and end of his hapeness.

MVP is a joke of an award, it does not mean you were the best in the league. Kobe is selfish, hahhahaha so was Michael Jordan, he would be the first to tell you he was.  

9/9/12   |   raymundo36

damn!!no one in this world will be better than michael jordan in the history of basketball,,kobe is a selfish player,and kobe cannot get another m.v.p..shitt!period of his career its and end of his hapeness.

8/23/12   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

alainpeartree wrote:
Until  Hoe-be gets rings 6 and 7 he will always be in Jordan's shadow and if Magic didnt retire because of his virus- how can we say how many more rings he wouldnt have won? I say Jordan, Magic then Hoe-be

LOL @ Hoe-be...

But too often in team sports, championship rings are used as a measuring stick to determine who is great and who is one of the greatest.  It takes more than one great player to win a championship. If all you needed was one great player, the Sixers would have beat the Lakers in the Finals with Iverson and perhaps there would be no Lakers dynasty. There's more to being great than just championship rings, but that seems to be the logic a lot of people go by. But by that logic Robert Horry (7 championships) was a better power forward than Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, and he's also better than Kobe because he has more rings.  Brian Scalabrine is also better than Malone and Barkley. And of course that would mean that Bill Russell (11 championships) is and would always be the greatest player of all time

8/23/12   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

Kobe is just being Kobe which is brash and cocky (and to some arrogant). Kobe saying something like this is like the sun rising...you may not know the exact time it's going to happen, but it's going to happen.

6/25/12   |   rick_ross95   |   8 respect

Kareem is the greatest all things in cluded

5/21/12   |   delonamos   |   1 respect

LakerMike wrote:
Honestly, comparing rings to MVP awards are like comparing automobile engines to rims, you can have sweet 22's and no motor, or you can have a strong motor and stock rims - one gets it done and the other just looks nice. No one can honestly say Kobe shouldn't have won at least 3 MVP's, but that ship has sailed. However, LeBron is about to win his third, but he is like the car with sweet rims and no motor.

No offense, but to those players that have come before, Wilt is the perfect and ultimate example, look at their competition. Did MJ ever beat a team as strong as the Celtics? He did not, and Kobe did so with less talent around him than Michael did for any of his rings. Magic even played with two other top-50 greats and with the deepest team in NBA history. Yes, Kobe played 8 season alongside Shaq, but he will have played more of his career without him, and has already won multiple titles with lesser talent in the current modern-day NBA era, which is the strongest the league has ever been.

Kobe needs at least one more ring and probably two to be considered greater than Jordan and Magic, but he's right there already. I'm sure Kobe is fine letting LeBron win MVP's while he is singularly focused on the ultimate prize - another championship trophy.

bron is right up there, imagine phil coaching bron, 10 rings. look at mamba and king head to head, king owns him

3/5/12   |   alainpeartree   |   6866 respect

Until  Hoe-be gets rings 6 and 7 he will always be in Jordan's shadow and if Magic didnt retire because of his virus- how can we say how many more rings he wouldnt have won? I say Jordan, Magic then Hoe-be

3/5/12   |   beerstudk   |   1538 respect

LakerMike wrote:
Honestly, comparing rings to MVP awards are like comparing automobile engines to rims, you can have sweet 22's and no motor, or you can have a strong motor and stock rims - one gets it done and the other just looks nice. No one can honestly say Kobe shouldn't have won at least 3 MVP's, but that ship has sailed. However, LeBron is about to win his third, but he is like the car with sweet rims and no motor.

No offense, but to those players that have come before, Wilt is the perfect and ultimate example, look at their competition. Did MJ ever beat a team as strong as the Celtics? He did not, and Kobe did so with less talent around him than Michael did for any of his rings. Magic even played with two other top-50 greats and with the deepest team in NBA history. Yes, Kobe played 8 season alongside Shaq, but he will have played more of his career without him, and has already won multiple titles with lesser talent in the current modern-day NBA era, which is the strongest the league has ever been.

Kobe needs at least one more ring and probably two to be considered greater than Jordan and Magic, but he's right there already. I'm sure Kobe is fine letting LeBron win MVP's while he is singularly focused on the ultimate prize - another championship trophy.

The only arguement I have is that Kobe had Shaq for his first 3 rings, MJ never played with anyone half as talented as Shaq.  I know most people think Pippen was a top 50 player, but Shaq is a top 10 player.  So there's that.

Fact of the matter is that Kobe is a self-absorbed, selfish pr!ck and that's why he'll never be as 'good' as MJ.  Everybody loved Jordan, he was the ultimate team player and a consumate profesional.  He made everyone around him better and he didn't have arguements with his coaching staff and ownership through the media like Kobe constantly does.  Plus raping a chick in Colorado doesn't help him at all

3/4/12   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

Kobe is still a f'ing ball hog...no where near a complete player

3/4/12   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

(Edited by derms33)

what about Rondo today?  18 pts, 20 asst, and over ten rebounds....wow, he had an outside shot to speak of, he'd be a top 3 player

3/3/12   |   scquwi1   |   1227 respect

LakerMike wrote:
Honestly, comparing rings to MVP awards are like comparing automobile engines to rims, you can have sweet 22's and no motor, or you can have a strong motor and stock rims - one gets it done and the other just looks nice. No one can honestly say Kobe shouldn't have won at least 3 MVP's, but that ship has sailed. However, LeBron is about to win his third, but he is like the car with sweet rims and no motor.

No offense, but to those players that have come before, Wilt is the perfect and ultimate example, look at their competition. Did MJ ever beat a team as strong as the Celtics? He did not, and Kobe did so with less talent around him than Michael did for any of his rings. Magic even played with two other top-50 greats and with the deepest team in NBA history. Yes, Kobe played 8 season alongside Shaq, but he will have played more of his career without him, and has already won multiple titles with lesser talent in the current modern-day NBA era, which is the strongest the league has ever been.

Kobe needs at least one more ring and probably two to be considered greater than Jordan and Magic, but he's right there already. I'm sure Kobe is fine letting LeBron win MVP's while he is singularly focused on the ultimate prize - another championship trophy.

Wait if you are going to talk about Kobe winning with less then Magic or MJ, lets look at the teams he and the Lakers beat. The Nets twice, 76er's, Magic, and Pacers. The were not star struck teams by no means. I will agree the Celtics, have stars, but come on they are old and not as strong as back in '08 when the Celtics beat them. The Magic Lakers beat the 76er's, Celtics, and Pistons, far better competition then what Kobe's Lakers faced.

MVP and Rings do not make you the best player. Satch Sanders has more rings then Kobe and MJ, but no way was he a better player. Besides if you have the right role players a team can win a championship. Look at the Houston Rockets the only real star they had was Akeem Olajuwon and they won back to back. So comparing the Laker teams is like comparing apples and oranges.

 As you said Kobe could have won more MVPs but he did not, and the question should be really if he had won in some of the years he lost would people complain and said there was no way he deserved it.. No it just some voters who think so and so was more valuable to their team.

going back to what the author was saying Kobe is right there  is no player in the NBA that can be called his rival. As for James being the best right now Kevin Durant, could argue that, and with the way the way the Heat and Thunder are playing it could turn out these two will become rivals. Wait, no strike that with the way the NBA is run these two we be teammates.

3/3/12   |   LakerMike   |   2 respect

(Edited by LakerMike)

Honestly, comparing rings to MVP awards are like comparing automobile engines to rims, you can have sweet 22's and no motor, or you can have a strong motor and stock rims - one gets it done and the other just looks nice. No one can honestly say Kobe shouldn't have won at least 3 MVP's, but that ship has sailed. However, LeBron is about to win his third, but he is like the car with sweet rims and no motor.

No offense, but to those players that have come before, Wilt is the perfect and ultimate example, look at their competition. Did MJ ever beat a team as strong as the Celtics? He did not, and Kobe did so with less talent around him than Michael did for any of his rings. Magic even played with two other top-50 greats and with the deepest team in NBA history. Yes, Kobe played 8 season alongside Shaq, but he will have played more of his career without him, and has already won multiple titles with lesser talent in the current modern-day NBA era, which is the strongest the league has ever been.

Kobe needs at least one more ring and probably two to be considered greater than Jordan and Magic, but he's right there already. I'm sure Kobe is fine letting LeBron win MVP's while he is singularly focused on the ultimate prize - another championship trophy.