Kobe Bryant revealed his all-time starting five in an interview with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America his all-time starting five and discussed topics as ranging as how he knew it was time to retire and what he thinks of the criticism he’s received for his poor play this season (which Kevin Durant saw fit to criticize the media for earlier this week).
When Roberts asked him to name his five greatest players, Bryant responded, “I would never put myself in the starting five, ever. I’ll put the people I’ve actually learned the most from, being Jordan, Magic, Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon and Jerry West.” Some may miss the manner in which he responded to the question and start breaking down whether his five are “right” or not, but it’s important to note that he said “I learned the most from” so it’s hard to argue with that. After all, it’s his learning experience where talking about.
And it’s an interesting group of players because of who is and isn’t in it. The common denominator of all those players is that they were all-around players, able to score, rebound and pass the ball. But it’s also interesting in who is absent, notably the choice of Olajuwon over either of Kobe’s former teammate Shaquille O’Neal and former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Like, seriously, how is the all-time leading scorer not in your starting five?
Guess he didn’t learn form Kareem.
Bill Russell is also an interesting omission. Remember the heat that LeBron James got for not including Russell on his Mt. Rushmore?
Roberts also asked him about some of the criticism he’d received from the media for his poor play this season, and whether he thought it was fair after all he’d done for the game. Bryant’s response was forthcoming,”Yeah, I wouldn’t have it any other way. You can’t sit around just expecting everybody to give praise all the time. You gotta be able to take the good with the bad.” Sorry Kevin Durant.