Who has earned praise from the future Hall-of-Famer?
It’s the question that is asked in every sport – who is the best team of all time?
And when somebody asks Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar Kobe Bryant who the best starting five in the NBA has ever been, people tend to listen.
Bryant was a guest on a LA radio talk show this week where he discussed his all-time starting side, the future of Dwight Howard and the Lakers and his progress after Achilles heel surgery.
Without hesitating, Bryant said his dream team would be Magic, Jordan, Bird, Russell and Jabar.
That’s Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul Jabar for anybody playing along at home.
Listen to Bryant name his All-Time team at the 11.00 mark.
Rumors continue to swirl around the Lakers this off-season as the club prepares to try and retain centre Dwight Howard, who has expressed his desire to look at other offers now he is a free agent.
Bryant said for all of the tough love he has given the way of Howard in their first full season as teammates, he realises that players of his talent are not that plentiful, even in the NBA.
“There’s always so much talk going on, especially with big-name guys going here, going there, but that happens once in a blue moon. I think at the end of the day, everybody stays,” Bryant said.
And by everybody, Bryant means Howard and Clippers star Chris Paul, who has previously expressed his desire to play alongside D12.
With the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets at the front of the line to try and steal Howard away from Los Angeles, Bryant could prove to be a vital member of the ‘keep Dwight in LA’ initiative.
Bryant said he spoke to Howard recently: “Just to check in with him, see what he was doing, see what he was up to, see how his summer was going. But I haven’t spoken to him since. I know he’s got a big decision to make and I’m sure he’ll take the visits and talk to the players from the teams that he’s considering. We’ll touch base a lot more,” he said.
As for his timetable to return from surgery, Bryant has scaled back his claim he would be right for the season’s first game in October, saying he would prefer to take longer to make sure it’s right to have another run at the title.
“I’m shooting for November, December (at the) latest. That’s my goal in my head. That’s what I’m shooting for. I’m really, really determined about getting there,” Bryant said.
“When they think the tendon is strong enough for me to be able to progress to doing really heavy weights and more conditioning and things like that, then it’s on me. I won’t have any fear or any worry of the tendon rupturing again.”