Five NBA championships aren't enough for Kobe Bryant.
Days after announcing that he'll retire at the end of this season, the future Hall of Famer told Robin Roberts during an exclusive Good Morning America interview Wednesday that he didn't accomplish everything he wanted to over the course of his 20 years in the NBA. What's missing? Three more rings.
"I wanted eight championships as a dreamy kid, growing up in Italy. I wanted eight," Bryant said. "Magic [Johnson] had five and Michael [Jordan] had six and it's, 'OK, I want eight.' I had the opportunity to win seven and it didn't work out."
By that, Bryant is referring to the Los Angeles Lakers losing to the Detroit Pistons in five games of the 2004 NBA Finals, resulting in the dismantling of the Lakers dynasty, which had won three straight championships from 2000-02, and the organization trading Shaquille O'Neal.
Although Bryant relishes what he has accomplished over his 20 years in the league, his efforts aren't enough to put himself in the Top 5 players of all time.
"No, I would never put myself in the starting five, ever," Bryant said. "I would put the people that I actually learned the most from — being Jordan, Magic, [Larry] Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon and Jerry West.
"To be mentioned in the same breath as those players, honestly to me, that's everything," he added. "We'll sit and debate endlessly who would win in a 1-on-1 matchup with myself and MJ and we could debate that until the cows come home."
That last statement triggered Roberts into asking who would win between the legendary shooting guards.
"He would win some, I would win some," Bryant said smiling. "But those are debates that will go on forever."
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(Photo: ABC/Lou Rocco)
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