On December 3rd, Ernie Johnson sat down with Kobe Bryant on Inside the NBA for somewhat of an exit interview. Discussed in detail were his decision to retire at the end of this season, as well as some of the most significant moments and memories of his career.
Since Kobe was part of a renewed rivalry between Boston and LA, it was to be expected that the Celtics were mentioned on a couple occasions.
At 1:14, Ernie poses the question, "who came the closest to being the Kobe stopper?"
While Johnson expected the answer to be Bruce Bowen, the first name that rolled off of Kobe's tongue was Tony Allen, stating that Allen was "the player I always had the most trouble with individually."
At 2:44 into the interview, Ernie asks Kobe if he is able to rank his 5 championship titles, and if one was more significant to him than the rest. Bryant replied, "the standard answer should be no... but that's just not true. When we beat Boston in 2010, for me that is number one with a bullet because going up against three sure future Hall of Famers, being down in the series 3-2, having lost to them in 2008, and understanding the history and the rivalry and all that goes on there, and having a broken finger and playing with a cast on -- all of those things make that championship more special that the rest."
The rest of the topics covered in the interview are not Celtics related (aside from Kobe mentioning Bill Russell as one of his 3 most influential people), but still worth a watch if you have yet to see it.
The only answer that surprised me was Kobe's response to "if you could have a do-over in your career, what would it be?" His reply was to take more of a leadership role in talking to Shaq before things went south between them, but I thought for sure he would want to take back that LA Times "White Hot" photo shoot (among a couple of other things that come to mind).
|LA Times Magazine, 2010|
Kobe Bryant announces his retirement