It’s easy to compare Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Not only are both players some of the best to ever play the game of basketball, but they got to the top using similar tactics. Both Bryant and Jordan are talked about as hyper-competitive — and not always in a good way.
Given that, it should come as no surprise that Bryant, now 41, desperately wanted to match Jordan’s biggest NBA accomplishment. By the time Bryant’s career was over, he wanted to win six NBA championships.
Bryant never got there. And while Bryant won five rings and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players of all time, not winning a sixth ring really “pissed” Bryant off.
Bryant revealed that on the “All the Smoke” podcast with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes. The Jordan conversation begins around the 27:50 mark.
After some talk about Jordan, Barnes asked Bryant about coming up short in his pursuit of six rings. Barnes and Bryant were teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers, and Barnes knew how badly Bryant wanted “to sit at the table” with Jordan.
Bryant doesn’t hesitate, “Oh, it pissed me off,” he said. Bryant also revealed that he wanted to win eight NBA championships when he started his career.
Though he fell short of matching Jordan, Bryant doesn’t have any regrets about his career. As he explained, he worked as hard as he possibly could. Knowing that, Bryant can be comfortable with the accomplishments he was able to achieve.
Though Bryant never matched Jordan, winning five rings is quite the feat. Very few players can “sit at the table” with Bryant. While that should make Bryant happy, he can’t help but focus on the one thing he couldn’t do.
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