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"He always told me 'I want to be able to sit at same table as MJ'" - Matt Barnes recalls a close conversation with Kobe Bryant back from 2010

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns, Game 6
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns: Game 6

Throughout his historic NBA career, Kobe Bryant kept his eye on goal — to surpass Michael Jordan as one of the greatest players ever. Bryant's former teammate and analyst Matt Barnes recently recalled a conversation he had with the Lakers legend about him wanting to emulate Jordan.

Barnes was personally recruited by the future Hall of Famer to help him chase his sixth ring. In an episode of the documentary series "Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers", Barnes said:

"Kobe wanted that sixth ring. He always told me 'I wanna be able to sit at the same table as MJ'. Meaning, he needed one more piece of hardware to be able to do that."

As far as their resumes go, the LA Lakers legend came very close to matching "his airness." He doesn't have six rings and six Finals MVPs like Jordan, but the 18-time All-Star has a big list of historic accloades himself. Kobe won five titles and two Finals MVPs in his career for the Lakers.

Kobe was never shy about his pursuit of chasing Jordan. Along with perfecting a lot of his moves, there are many stories of how driven he was to be seen as an equal to the Chicago Bulls legend.

Matt Barnes on his phone call from @kobebryant in 2010:“As a team they are in search for a 3-peat. Kobe wanted that 6th ring. He always told me I want to be able to sit at same table as MJ. Meaning he needed 1 more piece of hardware,” says @Matt_Barnes22.#LakeShow #LakersDoc https://t.co/O6cuDzlMqi

Kobe Bryant will always be the closest thing the NBA gets to Michael Jordan

Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers

To this day, Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest player in the history of basketball. It's rare to see the second coming of such a generational talent, but the NBA did not have to wait long in this case.

For more reasons than one, Kobe Bryant will be the closest thing the sport ever gets to another MJ. Both are truly unique in their own way, and it's fair to assume that we are not going to see someone like them anytime soon.

The one thing the two Hall of Famers had in common was their pure obsession to win. No matter what the stage was, they would do whatever it took to come out on top. Jordan once had his famous "flu game," while Kobe also led the Lakers to a title with a broken finger on his shooting hand.

Kobe and MJ also came up clutch in big moments. When the game was on the line, they always had the courage to take the final shot.

Despite never securing that sixth ring, Kobe Bryant still achieved his goal of cementing his name next to Michael Jordan.

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Edited by Gautam Aggarwal
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