Kobe Bryant Talks LeBron James, Michael Jordan and the Greatest of All Time

Kobe Bryant has started to tweet, but no social-media platform will provide enough material to substitute for the lingual gold the Black Mamba gives us with every word he utters.

The Los Angeles Lakers starter isn't one to refrain from speaking his mind, especially on the cusp of a defining contest. The lead-up into the epic battle between Los Angeles and the Miami Heat proved to be no different.

In a lengthy interview with ESPN.com's Chris Palmer, Bryant touched upon a little bit of everything, including the comparisons made between him and Michael Jordan:

I appreciated them but after a while it just got old. They eventually faded away because I was putting together my own identity. But I’ll never forget how much I learned from MJ. I got so much from him. I knew what he did, I knew his moves and I used them. But for me the comparisons didn’t work because our situations were totally different. I came straight out of high school and played with a dominant big in Shaquille. Man, I was so young when I got to the NBA. What was I like 17? I mean, 17! The more you think about it, my situation was completely different than MJ’s so the comparisons were just, you know, I stopped paying attention to them. 

Kobe's assertion that he was put in an entirely different situation than Jordan (he was) implies that a once frequent display of self-praise is on the way. But it isn't.

After touching upon His Airness, Palmer asked Bryant if he thought he was a top-five player, and the Mamba was nothing but humble:

I don’t know. I hope so. I’ve still got a little time left, but honestly I haven’t thought a whole bunch about legacy and that kind of stuff. I just feel like there will be plenty of time for that. 

There's no question Bryant considers himself a top-five player, though. He's never shied away from dubbing himself the best, and for a guy who never yielded...

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