With the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant, many fans have looked back nostalgically at his career, his accomplishments, and some no longer hesitate to make him their GOAT, or place him second in that race.
Among his most fervent defenders is his former sidekick Shaquille O’Neal, who has a good case for anyone making the Mamba the greatest player in history. The same goes for Vince Carter, who said not long ago that he sees Kobe ahead of LeBron right now.
In fact, this increasingly widespread opinion is perhaps best expressed by Scottie Pippen. In an interview for the Thuzio company last April, « Pip » said something that seems unimaginable coming from him: « Kobe Bryant was better than Michael Jordan ».
Kobe would call me, talk to me, and sponge off anything I could tell him. It was amazing to know that he did that with so many great players. He did that in every facet of his life, whether it was afterwards to become a director, or to write best-selling books.
Kobe was a very smart young man, and he really believed in becoming the best player in the world. I hate that he wasn’t told enough about what a great player he was.
Kobe wanted so badly to become Michael Jordan. When I look at his highlights, his videos, I honestly think to myself, « Damn, he was better than Michael ». He worked so hard… And he went straight from high school to the NBA, he didn’t play for a college like North Carolina and for a coach like Dean Smith…
Everything Kobe Bryant learned, he did by probing the legends of the game. As Scottie Pippen rightly illustrates, the legendary #24 was not fortunate enough to be trained by an equally legendary coach like Dean Smith. This finally makes his career path all the more impressive.
Knowing Michael Jordan’s resentful temperament, this is the kind of comment that will not help his relationship with Scottie Pippen. He must see in these words a real affront from his former partner.