When it comes to discussions about who’s the greatest NBA player of all time, Michael Jordan and LeBron James usually come up, at least among a certain generation of basketball fans.
But there’s another guy who some might say also needs to be included in that debate, and that’s none other than Kobe Bryant.
The retired hoops star sat down with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on “All The Smoke” podcast, where Jordan’s name came up.
Barnes mentioned that Bryant once said that he “wanted to sit at the table with MJ,” in terms of getting six championship rings like he did.
Kobe left the NBA with five rings, the last time being in 2010 when the Los Angeles Lakers outlasted the Boston Celtics in seven games.
“Oh, it pissed me off,” said Bryant around the 27:50 mark about falling one ring short of Jordan. “But things are what they are. You push for a goal. My original goal was to try to win eight.”
“You push for it and you try to do the best you can,” he added. “At the end of the day, you can be comfortable with the results and where they landed and where they ended up.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Bryant said he and Jordan are far different from each other, because the retired Chicago Bulls star would compete at everything and anything, while Bryant said he’s the opposite.
“I only compete with things that I really am good at,” he explained.
The former shooting guard also talked about a conversation that he and Jordan had about the 1991 Bulls taking on the 2003 Lakers, since both had powerhouse squads in those years.
“He’ll talk basketball all day long. ‘What would’ve happened if my ’91 against your ’03?'” Bryant said Jordan asked. “What he started the conversation, [was like] well, ‘I would’ve destroyed you.'”
“I just said, ‘Listen, remember who you talking to,'” Bryant continued. “And he just started laughing and said, ‘I’m just messing with you.’ And then we just kind of moved on.”