World Peace was also Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers teammate; the two won a ring together in 2010.
The Chicago Bulls’ 16th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft out of St. John’s University in New York, defense has been World Peace’s calling card.
While promoting his XvsX Sports basketball platform on today’s episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Metta World Peace discussed guarding the trio of James, Bryant and Jordan.
World Peace also discusssed the ongoing comparison between the trio and his relationship with Bryant.
Metta World Peace on playing with the Lakers and meeting Kobe for the first time:
“I met Kobe when he played AAU basketball. He was 15. I was 14. He was one year older than me, and he had 40 points against us in a game. I wasn’t really playing at that time, I was young but my defense was real stellar. They said, “Ron. Get in the game. Get him!” and scored about 6 to 8 points on me. The bulk of his points were mostly scored before so, that was like the first time I met him and he kind of remembers and he don’t but, I’m sure we spoke about it but, he’s not here now to defend himself. But yeah, that was the first time I met him and he’s just so competitive and he’ll be missed a lot. Obviously in the league, we was going back and forth. You know, he’s trying to kill, and I’m trying to fight and kill at the same time; so you know, it was definitely a helluva introduction to Kobe on how I met him and how it ended.”
Metta World Peace on the last time they saw and/or spoke to each other:
“I actually used to text him every now and then. Just to say wassup, see what he’s doing…I mean, he’s just a great guy. He responds, he’s always supportive, when he speaks to you and things like that… so yeah. Off and on.”
Metta World Peace on the game before Kobe passed and LeBron passing him that night:
“I pay attention to the Lakers and what goes on, but I wasn’t watching that game. I just felt bad for LeBron. Like, goddamn. LeBron does everything in his power to include basketball players. He does everything in his power to make people feel wanted and loved. You see him do it all the time. You know – and he’s a tough player. He’s tough minded no matter what people say, he’s tough. And you know, I also feel like he’s a guy with compassion. You gotta feel bad for him that shit happened; you know, one of his favorite players passed away when he broke his record? …. I would’ve been devastated.”
Metta World Peace on LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant comparisons:
“Hell yeah! I mean they’re all very similar. As much as Kobe reminds us all of Mike, look at LeBron’s shots. The fadeaways?… and understand LeBron got better with time. I mean, he’s just as good as he was before. It’s just now he’s not running as fast but he’s just as good.”
Metta World Peace On guarding Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James:
“I think Jordan is probably the most efficient. He has more tools than LeBron. LeBron is stronger than Jordan. Jordan is stronger than Kobe. Kobe has a little bit more Rucker Park than Mike…but with all of them you got to play hard because what you don’t want, is them getting 60. They might get 40, some days you keep them under 30. That’s a big thing, keeping them under 30. On some days you might keep them under 20. I had my fair share of when I did hold them under some points but, it was not easy man. These guys can play, and just like if you were guarding me – you have to work. In the NBA, players can just score.”