LA Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in NBA history. Bryant once revealed his list of NBA GOATs, while playing in a Drew League game in 2011.
Fresh off getting swept in the 2011 Western Conference semifinals by eventual champions Dallas Mavericks, Bryant spent the summer playing in the Drew League. In one game, Bryant was caught on video trash-talking former NBA player Marcus Banks.
Bryant seemed unimpressed with the competition as he started talking about his choice for the greatest players ever. He chose Wilt Chamberlain as his GOAT, followed by himself and the great Michael Jordan.
"You got to be kidding me. This s**t child's play, man. It's too child's play. Child's play. Repeat the list, man. Repeat the list. Wilt. Me. Mike. Say it with me. ... Don't forget the list, man. It's a short list," Bryant said.
It's no secret who Bryant patterned his game on - "His Airness." Bryant idolized Jordan to the point that they became as close as brothers. Jordan became a mentor and friend as Bryant developed into one of the greatest players and one of the best shooting guards in NBA history.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Marv Albert a few years ago, Bryant described Chamberlain as a "physical specimen" who dominated a different era but was impressive. Bryant said:
"It was a different game. Still, 50 points and 25 rebounds is 50 points and 25 rebounds. It's a credit to what a physical specimen he was and how talented he was."
Michael Jordan on teaching Kobe Bryant his fadeaway
At a young age, Kobe Bryant showed off his work ethic and insane drive that made him one of the best to ever do it. However, Bryant needed a mentor to guide him and teach him greatness. He managed to find one, and it was the one and only Michael Jordan.
One of the things Jordan taught Bryant was his patented fadeaway, which is one of the most unguardable shots in NBA history. In an episode of The Ringer's "Icons Club" podcast, Jackie MacMullan recalled what Jordan said about teaching Bryant his signature move:
"The one thing that I did give him that I felt like I regretted—but then again, I appreciated—was his turnaround fadeaway. He learned my move. He learned that to a point where he would use it — relentlessly, especially when you know you're getting double-teamed. ... I took great pride in seeing him utilize that, even though he didn't do it against me that much."
When Bryant tragically passed away two years ago, Jordan was one of the people who gave a speech at Bryant's memorial. Jordan was also the one chosen by Bryant's widow, Vanessa, to welcome the LA Lakers legend to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year.