Dirk Nowitzki on Kobe: “He’s probably the greatest player in my generation”
Kobe Bryant was a core topic of conversation this week after passing Michael Jordan to become third all-time on the NBA scoring list in Minnesota on Sunday. This of course opened up a deeper conversation about where Kobe falls on the list of all-time greats.
Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan are Kobe’s generational contemporaries still enjoying success in the league. From ESPN’s Tim McMahon, Dirk recently expressed his respect for Kobe:
“He’s probably the greatest player in my generation that I played against,” said Nowitzki, who has 27,239 career points and will likely pass Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone over the next few weeks to move up to seventh on the list. “Obviously Shaq was very dominant, Tim Duncan was great, but I just loved watching Kobe. I don’t think there will ever be another MJ, but he’s definitely as close as it gets that we’ll ever see.”
While Kobe is still looking to surpass MJ in terms of overall legacy, the task is made more difficult by his current situation in Los Angeles. Both Dirk and Duncan are in positions to make a run at adding another championship to their legacy, while Kobe plays out the remaining two years of his contract in hopes of another opportunity in LA.
Despite, these players came up together and have battled for over a decade. They’ve seen each other evolve through each phase of the league, and you see the respect displayed when they get the chance to talk about one another.