Kobe Bryant Talks Best Competitors He's Ever Faced, Favorite Championship He's Ever Won, and Shaq in TNT Interview

Just one of many topics Mamba talked to Ernie Johnson about.

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It's possible you stayed up late and saw this, but it's more possible that you went to bed because you have stuff to wake up for on weekdays. It doesn't really matter because NBA on TNT posted Ernie Johnson's interview with Kobe Bryant to their Twitter feed so you can both watch it and sleep. The interview touched on a number of topics as Mamba remained candid with regards to his farewell season.

First, Kobe was asked about the obvious, retirement, saying that there's "zero" chance of a Michael Jordan/Brett Favre-esque change of heart. He seemed pretty adamant about that. So you have until next April (at best) to watch him play live.

When asked about his "short list" of the best competitors he's ever faced, he kept it very short (as in two) rattling off: Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson (though he did give Scottie Pippen a mention, too). On that same note, when asked, "Who came the closest to being the Kobe stopper?" he said the player that gave him the most trouble was Tony Allen, beating out Bruce Bowen and Raja Bell.

Later on, Kobe was asked about the favorite of his five championships. Older Kobe says what's on his mind and he's less inclined than your average athlete to spout platitudes, so he didn't go the route of "They're all the same," instead listing the 2010 title over the Celtics as the best of the bunch.

Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, Kobe didn't hesitate when asked if he could have one do-over, saying that he'd "Take more of a leadership role in talking to Shaq earlier, before things went south."

There's a few other questions (and several more details) in the video above. If you want to hear them, check out the full interview above.

Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to sportstips@complex.com.

[via NBA on TNT]

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