Michael Jordan is a competitor, to this day. Remember his Hall of Fame speech? That fire still burns, even if that passion will not be reflected in the quality of the team he owns in Charlotte.
So with Kobe Bryant one ring away from tying Jordan’s six, you know there will be some comparing. And you know MJ will not give up his crown as the greatest of all time easily. So, Jordan said this about Bryant to Game Hunters, the USA Today’s video game magazine.
I think he is always going to be within the conversations of some of the greatest players who’ve played by the time he is finished. Where does he rank among those, if you are talking about positions? If you are talking about guards, I would say he has got to be in the Top 10.
Of course, the throngs on the Web who are convinced Kobe can walk on water were insulted. Kobe just top 10? They are convinced he is knocking on MJ’s door for that top spot, that Kobe’s honor must be defended at every turn and that MJ has dared insult Kobe’s standing in the game.
Kobe’s thoughts? Meh. Whatever.
“It’s an accurate statement,” Bryant said. “I’m definitely one of the top 10 guards. It could mean two, it could mean one, it could mean four or five. I’m definitely one of the top thousand. Look, I know how he feels about me.
“There have been a lot of great guards to play the game. For me to sit here and say, ‘He should have said top five,’ that’s disrespectful to the other guards that I’ve watched…
“I don’t look at it as motivation,” said Bryant, who hasn’t talked to Jordan since the Lakers played at Charlotte last season. “I’ve never given it thought that I wanted to get six to catch Michael. His six and my six are different. That’s not to say that his were more challenging than mine because I had to play a different role and do something out of character my first three. They’re just different.
“It steps into a territory that only a select few have ever been to. I understand. That’s what special to me, that I’m this fortunate to have this opportunity. So, let’s try to make the most of it.”
The real test is this — will seven years after Kobe retires, will there be a Kobe revival in the NBA 2K23 game?