Kobe’s top five players he went against includes Jordan, LeBron

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When you think about all the great players Kobe Bryant has gone against in his two decades in the NBA, you have to appreciate how hard that would be to narrow down to just five guys.

But Kobe was asked to list his toughest five, and he came up with a heck of a list, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN.

For the record that’s three guys from early in his career — Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler — and two guys at the peak of their powers now in LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

If you have a problem with this list, well, first off it’s Kobe’s opinion so you can tell him how his 20 years experience in the league and keen basketball mind are wrong. From our armchair, we can certainly make a better list (*cough*). Second, all those guys are studs and current or future Hall of Famers.

Drexler may be a guy some younger fans sleep on, because he didn’t necessarily put up the highlights that someone like Tracy McGrady did. But Drexler is a Hall of Famer who was key to the 1995 Houston Championship but before that had been an essential part of the excellent Portland teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s, including making it to the Finals in 1990 (falling to the Bad Boy Pistons). Drexler is a 10-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA, hard to defend wing that was a guy Kobe had to get by early in his career. He belongs on that list.