Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are arguably the only two people in the history of the game that could challenge Michael Jordan for the GOAT status.
And, according to Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy, they have way more in common than what people realize, not only when we talk about their games but also about their work ethic and how effort they put into their craft:
“Absolutely, those guys… people are always having a conversation about the GOAT… they are trying to put those guys against each other on a daily basis. But what people don’t understand all three of those guys [Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James] and ant other great players their work ethics are insane, insane to the point to where people really don’t understand how much work they put on the court and off the court in taking care of their bodies,” Handy claimed during an interview for the Battle for LA Podcast – ClutchPoints podcast.
Handy is one of the few privileged people that have seen both James and Bryant hit the gym and master their game. And, according to him, their preparation on a nightly basis is what makes them so similar to each other and that different from the rest:
“And there are a lot of common denominators between Kobe and LeBron in the time that I’ve spent with them. A lot of denominators in how they study the game their basketball IQ, how they study their opponents, how they study themselves. They’re in a different class because for them they’re really pushing themselves to try to perfect the game, they’re pushing themselves to be as great as they can be every day. Having had the chance to work with both of those guys there are so many similarities in how they approach the game and how they work," he concluded.
Even so, perhaps the GOAT conversation is futile at this point. I mean, with all that has been said and how the media, analytics, and fans have studied every players' case, whether if its James, Bryant, or Jordan, we're just fortunate to have seen them in their primes.