As NBA fans, we all love assembling our dream all-time starting fives and creating the most unstoppable teams in history. But it's even more fun and interesting when some of the game's greats share their five. We recently covered MJ's and AI's best fives, and today is the turn for Kobe Bryant's all-time five.
Keeping it humble and old-school
Back in 2009, right after winning his fourth championship and first Finals MVP, Kobe was in high spirits. Finally breaking out of the shadow of being Shaq's sidekick, Bryant proved he can be the unquestioned alpha on a championship team, making his legacy even more memorable.
After beating Orlando in Game 5, Kobe decided to stick around for a bit in Disney World and celebrate his win and do an interview in which he shared a few interesting gems. Amongst those was Kobe's all-time starting five:
Woah, of all time? Magic at the point, MJ at the two, Larry Bird at the three, Bill Russell at the four. This is tough. Wilt at the five. And I'm struggling because Kareem and Wilt they're neck to neck...I'm nowhere near that stuff. You have Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Walt Frazier, Bob Pettit. The list goes on and on."
Kobe Bryant, ESPN
The interviewer was surprised Kobe didn't include himself in the five, asking if he would at least be the 6th man, but Kobe showed his humbleness, continuing to name other legends and give his respect. Most of the legends include themselves in their dream lineup, and with every right so, but Kobe surprised a lot of people and kept himself out of it despite being extremely deserving of it.
Kobe's choice of players was simple but effective, taking the legendary trio of Magic, Michael, and Larry on the perimeter, with the duo of two legendary centers in Russell and Wilt in the frontcourt. All of those guys are can't miss choices that more than often find themselves in these all-time dream fives.
The center position was the only real debate for Kobe, who had trouble choosing between Wilt and Kareem. To be fair, he couldn't have gone wrong either way. Interestingly, his former teammate Shaq didn't get even a mention, but I doubt that had anything to do with their former beef. Kobe was simply more a fan of the old-school game and legends.