Is Kobe Bryant the NBA’s Most High-Maintenance Star?

Kobe Bryant is the greatest one-on-one player the basketball world has ever seen.

Don't believe me? You don't have to, because those are the Mamba's words anyway.

In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN The Magazine's Chris Palmer earlier this year, Bryant was posed with several hypothetical one-on-one scenarios.

Not surprisingly, Michael Jordan was first up on Palmer's list of potential foes. Bryant relented that he'd probably lose some games but would eventually edge out the Chicago Bulls legend in a seven-game series.

Next Palmer set up Bryant with the matchup that today's fans are dying to see: LeBron James. And the former preps-to-pros leaper spiked that question, and the interview, deep into the annals of hardwood history.

Who would win between Jordan's closest clones of this generation, Palmer asked. "Me, no question," Bryant said. "As far as one-on-one, I'm the best to ever do it."


Confidence is key for anyone considering putting themselves through the rigorous physical demands necessary to carve out a career in professional sports. With only some 400-odd roster spots available in the NBA, even the slightest bit of self-doubt can mean the difference between having the dream and actually living it.

Bryant will go down as an all-time great; again, not my words, but rather those of his accomplishments: 11 All-NBA first-team selections, five championships, two Finals MVP awards, one regular-season MVP nod and the fourth-most points scored in league history (31,617 and counting, via

And he's got a legendary ego to thank (or sometimes blame) for the path his career has taken.

Bryant doesn't have a filter. He speaks his mind, which is sometimes refreshing in this day of public relations-guided interviews when building a brand trumps saying anything of substance.


But a sharp...

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