The debate between Bryant and James has been going on for years and after arguing against the latter for so long, Lakers fans must now witness him pass the former while wearing a Los Angeles Lakers jersey no less.
One thing Bryant was known for while playing was his unmatched competitiveness. He put in an unreal amount of work into being the best he could possibly be and though he didn’t quite accomplish everything he wanted, he cemented himself as one of the greatest to ever play.
Now with James set to move ahead of him, some believe that deep down the competitiveness of Bryant would make him unhappy at being knocked down a spot, but he insists he has no problems being passed on the scoring list, according to Bill Plaschke of Los Angeles Times:
“I’m comfortable with the 20 years and moving on,” he said, noting his legacy didn’t feel threatened. “People tend to misconstrue my competitiveness and that of other athletes as well. They think, they’re competitors, they don’t want the person coming up behind them to pass them or break their records, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Bryant went further on the topic, believing that it is pretty ridiculous to harbor any sort of resentment to an athlete breaking a record he owns:
“If you’re playing together on the court, that’s a competition. But when you have done whatever you can do and now you move on from that, you don’t wish bad on other athletes because you’re trying to preserve whatever idea you think people have of your legacy. To me that’s very immature and juvenile. For me, it’s just the opposite.”
The differences in competing on and off the court are stark in Bryant’s case. As he noted, playing against someone on the floor is one thing but off the floor, he has always been one of the most helpful legends to anyone who wants any kind of help and that has continued on to this day.
Bryant benefitted from legends helping him and he has passed that on as well. He loves to see his fellow players accomplish great things — even if it does come at the expense of his own career standings.