Lakers franchise star Kobe Bryant has been making his media rounds during his World Cup travels. From surprising basketball fans when he revealed that soccer was actually his favorite sport to commenting about Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs winning another NBA title, Bryant has been quite chatty this off-season.
In an interview discussing whether Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi needed a World Cup in order to be considered great, CNN’s Alex Thomas asked Bryant if the same applied to Miami Heat superstar LeBron James:
He has two of them,” Bryant told CNN referring to James’ two championships. “For us players, it really becomes about how many you get, which sounds absolutely ridiculous, right? Because you’re really lucky and fortunate to win one, but now it’s become so jaded that it’s like, ‘Okay you only won one or you only won two, you should win five or six, which is absolutely ridiculous, but none the less that’s the challenge that we deal with.”
Bryant is all too familiar with greatness being synonymous with championships. Basketball fans have been using championships to compare NBA greats for decades. Michael Jordan’s six rings will always give him a leg up to Bryant’s five, unless of course, Kobe catches Jordan. And, in the eyes of many, James will never be considered one of the great ones, until he has a ring for every digit on his left hand.
It’s refreshing to hear Bryant refer to the notion that an NBA great needs to win a handful of rings as “ridiculous.” Nevertheless, Bryant will surely continue to respect the challenge. After all, Bryant’s said the only thing he’s pushing towards during the last legs of his career is the pursuit of number six.
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