Lakers: Ex Player Reveals Why MJ, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant Are GOAT

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How does Kobe Bryant compare to Michael Jordan and other NBA legends? (Getty)

Michael Jordan is believed to be the greatest of all time! The former Chicago Bulls All Star won six NBA Championships alongside greats like Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and head coach Phil Jackson.

MJ also inspired a generation to be great and through example taught many how to construct a steady brand.

Many say that Kobe Bryant is the closest to MJ. Coached primarily by Phil Jackson, Kobe’s style of play won him five championships alongside greats like Shaquille O’Neal and with a supporting cast that included the likes of Derek Fisher and Robert Horry.

Lakers All Star, LeBron James is still writing his legacy and has done a great job in doing so. LBJ ha won three championships and is curently searching for his fourth alongside big man, Anthony Davis.

Retired NBA veteran Tim Thomas has played against all three men.

Thomas, a seventh overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft played 12 NBA seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers.

He averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 824 games. MJ was a mentor because of Thomas’ connection and friendship with Scottie Pippen. Thomas played AAU basketball with Bryant. By the times James entered the league in 2003, Thomas was a seasoned.

So what are they like? Appearing on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Thomas discussed it. 

Check out our dialogue below:

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Where do you draw the line between….you played against Kobe, you played against Mike, you played against LeBron. Everybody talks about GOATS. Everybody should be respected in their timeframe or era. How do you differentiate between the three?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – APRIL 22: Gary Payton #20 and Tim Thomas #5 of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrate victory over the New Jersey Nets in Game two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at Continental Airlines Arena on April 22, 2003 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Bucks won 88-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Tim Thomas: I mean you can’t. All of those guys stolen something from the people before them. And they just made it look better and perfected it to a certain point where they benefited. I mean all of those guys are great man. And like MJ said there are different eras so you can’t really can’t put guys in those categories. Because Kobe came in when Mike was on his way out, LeBron came around when Kobe was on his way out even though they were still competing for championships together but Kobe was a little older. Same thing with Mike. So I mean it’s just different man. It can go on and on. Same thing with the big guys. They talk about Wilt and Shaq, or Wilt and Kareem or Bill Russell. Bill Russell should be the GOAT of everything. I mean how many rings does he have? 30? He won every year. 12 rings? That’s the real GOAT. But you know it’s going to be the barbershop topic or whatever, but it’s good. Somebody’s going to come around in the future. It might be LeBron’s son and break his records, or break MJ’s records so I just hope we’re around when we see it.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: When did you know Kobe was special?

Tim Thomas: When we first got together. We was kids that was so hungry man. Like it didn’t matter who we played against back then. We just learned to play against the best. Line ‘em up. Let’s go. Coming up out of you know grammar school and high school. When we all got on the same team, the stuff that we were doing was easy for us and you just tell that he was an individual that was motivated to get to where he wanted and then his Pop played, so he had a lot at that particular moment that he wanted to prove. And Kobe is Kobe man. Had a great career, Vince had a great career and that’s what it’s about.

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