Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant enjoyed a distinguished 20-year playing career that resulted in a plethora of accolades, five NBA championships and many friendships along the way.
In his prime, Bryant was part of one of the most dominating eras in Lakers history when he and Shaquille O’Neal formed a fearsome duo that helped deliver three consecutive NBA titles at the start of the millennium.
By the end of the 2000s, Bryant led the franchise to two other championships with a more balanced team and less star power.
During an appearance on The Jim Rome Podcast, he singled out the 2009-10 Lakers roster as his favorite group of teammates he got to play with:
“You go down our ’09-2010 team, and literally pick every single guy from that roster. That ’09 team was really special. It was the most fun I ever had playing basketball my entire life. That was just a special, special group. We all had special bonds. I’d never been on a team where literally everyone liked each other and respected each other to the point where we could be brutally honest with each other, argue with each other about it, and not feel personal about it. All those guys on that team, from one all the way down to 14-15, it was beautiful.”
It’s hardly surprising that Bryant chose the 2009-10 Lakers roster as his favorite collection of players to share the court with. For one, the group helped the soon-to-be Hall-of-Famer capture his fifth and final NBA championship.
That season’s roster featured an excellent blend of youth and experience with multiple fun personalties across the board.
From up-and-coming players such as Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar to proven veterans like Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol, current Lakers head coach Luke Walton, and Metta World Peace, there was always a positive vibe in the locker room.
That led to great chemistry between the group, and of course, a magical playoff run that saw the Lakers overcome a 3-2 deficit in the NBA Finals to knock off the rival Boston Celtics.
In the same interview, Bryant touched on other topics as well, including a purported altercation with rapper Master P, which the 18-time All-Star claims he doesn’t recall.