Kobe Bryant was a big fan of Michael Jordan for a long time, and bookmaker software services saw that in his career, the world-famous Lakers shooting guard was compared to the NBA legend. He even wanted to play alongside Jordan.
On Monday, the Washington Post reported that over a decade ago, Bryant was looking to part ways with the Lakers so he could join the ranks of the Wizards, where Jordan’s career was coming to an end.
“That’s true,” Bryant said, according to the newspaper. “A long time ago? Yeah.”
“I’ve always been very big on having mentors, on having muses, and I’ve been really, really big on that, being around guys who have done it before and done it at a high level and always tried to pick their brains and always tried to absorb knowledge. Obviously, being in that situation [with the Wizards], it would’ve helped having to be around him every day and so on.”
Unfortunately for many NBA fans, a scenario with Jordan and Bryant didn’t happen, as Jordan and Abe Pollin – who was the Wizards’ owner then – went separate ways in 2003. This took place one year prior to Bryant turning into a free agent.
“We would’ve put together a great team and we would’ve won championships,” said Bryant.
The Lakers guard also said that a crucial reason for him wanting to leave the Lakers was the famous dispute that he had with Shaquille O’Neal, his teammate back then, who won the Finals MVP on three occasions – from 2000 to 2002, something that many fans remember very well.
“The challenge had been thrown down upon me, of not being able to win without Shaq,” said Bryant. “A public challenge never really bothered me too much, but he made a couple of comments as well. I think he called me Penny Hardaway Part 2 or something like that. So that’s what [ticked] me off,” Bryant said.
“Then it was like, ‘Listen, you know the step back that I took to help us win championships. Let’s not get [expletive] confused. I can dominate on my own. I decided to stay here and win championships and sacrifice MVPs and scoring titles and all that stuff.’ So once that was said, it was like a line in the sand now.”
News of Bryant wanting to play alongside Jordan came as a surprise to many fans and bookmaker software services, and they’re wondering about how things would have worked out if both of these stars actually joined forces.