LeBron James made headlines last week when he named his top four players of all-time and boldly stated that at the end of his career he fully expects to be among those four. LeBron’s list included Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and surprisingly Oscar Robertson, leaving off legendary big men Bill Russell — who has more titles (11) than any player in NBA history — Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
“I would say Magic, Bird, Michael, and Russell,” Bryant said. “That’s impossible to do four, though, man. Come on. That’s crazy. That’s tough. Absolutely tough.”
When Kobe was asked by TNT’s commentating crew during the All-Star game Sunday what he thought about LeBron’s list, Bryant gave his perspective on LeBron’s opinion. “It doesn’t matter who he says, inevitably you’re going to leave somebody out,” he said. “It’s tough.”
But the slight difference in Kobe and LeBron’s list isn’t the story here. It’s Bryant — a notoriously confident and hyper-competitive player — being humble enough not to include himself in his “Mt. Rushmore” of greats, even after an 18-year career that includes five NBA championships, an MVP award and ranking fourth all-time in points scored.
The evolution of Bryant over the years from a brash young superstar to humble veteran has been interesting to watch. He’s come full circle as a professional athlete, and hopefully James takes some notes and can follow a similar path as he enters the stretch run of his playing career.
Powered by Sidelines