Of all the legends in NBA history, Jerry West is probably Kobe Bryant’s favorite. After all, Mr. Clutch is the one who shrewdly worked out a trade to bring Bryant to L.A. when KB was a teenager, and the man provided counsel through Kobe’s most tumultuous times in the League.
Jerry West, who for years has called Kobe Bryant the League’s greatest player, has a new favorite these days. It’s some guy from Ohio.
“If I had to have somebody make a last-second shot, it would be Kobe Bryant,” said West, architect of the great Lakers teams from Magic Johnson years in the 1980s through the Shaquille O’Neal clubs of the early 2000s.
“But even though it’s hard for me to be objective, because I brought Kobe to Los Angeles, I do think LeBron has surpassed Kobe as a player.”
Jerry’s assessment of the two superstars was brought up during the postgame chat with reporters following the Lakers’ Game 1 win over Denver, and Kobe said it didn’t bother him one bit. Absolutely no one believed him, nor should they.
I’m guessing that Jerry probably shouldn’t expect a Christmas card from the Bryant family this year.