The Kobe Bryant-Michael Jordan comparisons took another turn, and it went beyond Phil Jackson writing about them in a book or basketball fans endlessly debating about them.
Jordan threw himself in the conversation by sharing he openly imagines playing against NBA legends in their prime, including Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and, of course, Bryant.
Jordan threw the famed Laker a compliment. Sort of.
“I don’t think I’d lose other than Kobe Bryant because he steals all my moves.” Jordan said in an interview promoting the video game, NBA2K14.
To which Bryant responded on Twitter.
“Domino effect. I stole some of his … this generation stole some of mine. Bryant then added the hashtag, #thecycle.
How would that Bryant-Jordan one-on-one game play out?
“He’s about 50 years old. It would be a hard time now,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said of Jordan before laughing. “Back then? I don’t know. He’s one of the greatest, if not greatest player. It would be fun to watch him play, that’s for sure. But I have no clue.”
Beneath his bubbly personality, Magic Johnson often reveals a brutally honest assessment surrounding the Lakers.
His skepticism these days doesn’t just rely on the Lakers’ slim championship fortunes, the product of a first-round sweep last season to San Antonio, Dwight Howard’s departure and uncertainty surrounding Kobe Bryant’s torn left Achilles tendon, From one Lakers legend to another, Johnson also doubts Bryant will return in time for the team’s season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers at Staples Center.
“I don’t think he’ll make the first game,” Johnson said Monday on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “I think that’s asking a lot of a man who’s dealing with an Achilles and he blew it out to come back for the first game. I think it’s going to be later than that.”
No one knows for sure how Kobe Bryant will look once he steps on the basketball court.
Sure, we’ve seen his unyielding determination as he’s progressed enough from his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon both to run on a weight-bearing treadmill and to shoot on a “Pop a Shot” arcade game. An informal sampling of outside medical experts familiar expect Bryant will still play effectively, but voice concerns that the seriousness surrounding the injury will take away his athleticism. It’ll be interesting to see to what degree the Lakers allow Bryant to expedite his recovery time versus exercising caution.
But that hardly has stopped NBA2K14 from offering a sneakpeak. The game doesn’t debut until Oct. 1, but Ronnie2K offered a brief video via his Instagram account on how Bryant looks in the video game. In that clip, Bryant’s aggressive. He relies on his crafty footwork to create space off his defender. He relies on his outside shot instead of driving to the basket. And, of course, he scores.