If the San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat in this year’s Finals, Tim Duncan will have the same number of championships as Kobe Bryant. The series is currently tied at 1-1, but it hasn’t stopped anyone from comparing both players’ careers.
Seven-time NBA champion and former Laker Robert Horry was privileged to play with both Bryant and Duncan in his career. After the Spurs advanced to the NBA Finals, Horry believed that Kobe has had a better career than Duncan in a radio interview with In the Loop with Nick and Lopez.
Unfortunately for Duncan, Horry’s opinion still hasn’t changed even if Duncan does win his fifth championship. In his interview with HoopsHype, Horry provided his reasoning for choosing Kobe over Duncan:
I would still pick Kobe. Tim is great, but I tell everybody this: Look at this from the GM perspective. Who’s going to sell tickets, put the people in the arena? Tim? Nah, not so many [laughs]. Don’t get me wrong, he’s going to win, but he won’t draw so many people to the arena.
Not many people will disagree with Robert Horry about Bryant’s entertainment value to the NBA for the past seventeen seasons. The world was excited to watch a 17-year old high school phenom out of Philadelphia who drew comparisons to Michael Jordan. While Bryant didn’t play much his first two seasons, there was always a highlight dunk waiting to happen when he entered the game.
When Kobe was finally able to display his full repertoire, he didn’t disappoint and showed the world he did garner those Jordan comparisons. When the media said he couldn’t win another championship without Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant proved those doubters wrong with his fourth and fifth championships. In his seventeenth season, Bryant was playing at an unbelievable level before the season-ending Achilles tendon rupture.
Regardless of who has had the better career, Tim Duncan has been extremely consistent as a winner, which is rare in sports or any other profession for that matter. Kobe Bryant’s career has been filled with highs and lows that more people can relate to. It’s good conversation to compare their careers, but at the end of the day, remember to appreciate their sustained level of greatness and what they have both done for this game.
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