Virtually every NBA fan alive today has to have a personal answer for the debate over the greatest basketball player of all time. The majority of people think it’s Michael Jordan or LeBron James. Plenty others think it’s Kobe Bryant or Bill Russell. Joel Embiid thinks it’s Wilt Chamberlain.
Not everyone has an opinion, though. Apparently, that group includes Bryant.
The Los Angeles Lakers great revealed his lack of opinion in an interview with ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, saying that he’s moved on from his career enough that he doesn’t even want to debate about it.
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 22, 2019
A transcript of Bryant’s answers to Greenberg:
It’s hard for people to believe, but I really don’t care. I’ve moved on. So, you have a career. You do the best you can with the 20 years I was very fortunate to play, and then you shelf it. You’re done. You move onto the next thing, so now I’m focused on these next 20 years. Those debates are entertaining, I’m sure. It’s fun for people to engage in those, but for me personally, it doesn’t matter.
I think the best way to explain it is I typically do not engage in things I can not definitively win.
That’s a fair outlook to have on what has transformed into one of the most exhausting debates in sports, and probably a healthier way to live overall. Then again, it could be telling that James, as well as any other active player, didn’t make Bryant’s past all-time starting five.
Bryant already has an advocate in the debate in the form of past teammate Shaquille O’Neal, as well as a swarm of Lakers fans who watched Bryant win five rings in his 20-year career.
As far as Jordan and James go, well, James has naturally already crowned himself the GOAT by virtue of one of his three titles, and we can all probably guess where Jordan thinks he belongs as well.
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