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Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has conceded that he is jealous of the stability and continued success that the San Antonio Spurs have enjoyed over the past decade or so.
The Lakers slipped to 1-8 for the season after a loss against the Spurs at the Staples Center on Friday, but Bryant was speaking earlier in the week after the loss against the New Orleans Pelicans.
With the franchise suffering their worst nine-game start in their history, Bryant has considered the stability and continuity that the Spurs have had with Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
“I’m extremely jealous of that,” Bryant said.
“I don’t know if I can express to you how jealous I am of the fact that Tim, Tony [Parker], Manu [Ginobili] and Pop [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] have all been together for all those years. Like, I can’t even … I can’t express to you how jealous I am of that. Not all this up-and-down stuff.”
The Lakers are currently going through a transitional period with Bryant only having less than two years remaining on his current contract, while Duncan, Parker and Ginobili have all been together since 2002 and they have won a record 111 playoff games together.
Bryant discussed what it would have been like if he, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson had held together after winning titles in 2009 and 2010.
“It would be like if Me, Pau, L.O. and Phil, if we were all just here, still,” Bryant said. “It’s crazy. That longevity is freaking crazy.”
Since 1999, the Spurs and Lakers have met seven times in the playoffs with the latter leading 4-3, although the teams combined have won 10 of the 16 championships since then, five for each team.
However, it would appear as though the Spurs are more likely to add to that total in the coming years, and although he admits he couldn’t be any more different to Duncan, Bryant wishes his fellow Hall of Famer well after enjoying their battles over the years.
“There’s two different ways of skinning a cat, two complete opposite ways,” Bryant said. “He’s a quiet competitor. I wear mine more on my sleeve, but he’s got the same competitive fire as I do. It’s been a joy to compete against him for all these years.”