The late Kobe Bryant was a scholar of basketball, studied Michael Jordan’s profession and possibly greater than another participant of his period replicated him on the court docket.

Tracy McGrady, Bryant’s former counterpart, mentioned in an episode of the “All The Smoke” podcast that it was fascinating to be across the Los Angeles Lakers celebrity once they have been developing within the NBA.

KOBE BRYANT WAS THE ‘CLOSET THING’ TO MICHAEL JORDAN, MAGIC JOHNSON SAYS

“To be round Kobe at 19 years previous, bro, you’d’ve thought Kobe had been right here earlier than and been across the greats of the sport as a result of his mindset was so totally different than I’ve ever skilled and ever seen in anyone at 19 years previous … This man actually, really thought he was higher than Michael Jordan,” McGrady advised former gamers Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.

McGrady, like Bryant, got here into the NBA proper out of highschool. He performed three seasons with the Toronto Raptors earlier than he finally performed for the Orlando Magic, amongst different groups later in his profession.

KOBE BRYANT HATED TALKING ABOUT WHETHER HE’D BEAT MICHAEL JORDAN 1-ON-1: ‘HE’S LIKE MY BIG BROTHER’

McGrady wouldn’t turn out to be the nice he was till the 2000-01 season when he averaged 26.eight factors per sport for the Magic. He mentioned on the podcast he believes the Raptors would have competed for an NBA title if he stayed on the crew.

“We might’ve performed for a championship,” McGrady mentioned. “We might’ve confronted the Lakers if I might’ve stayed, there isn’t any doubt about that, however, there was a lot stuff happening in Toronto with the group. There was no means I may’ve stayed.”

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The 2000-01 Raptors crew might have featured McGrady, Vince Carter, Antonio Davis and Alvin Williams. With out McGrady, the crew completed 47-35 and misplaced within the NBA Playoffs to the Philadelphia 76ers.