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Bryant names Jordan, LeBron, Durant among top five match-ups

USA Today (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

LOS ANGELES--Kobe Bryant admitted that contemporaries LeBron James and Kevin Durant are tough to defend and adept at stopping him.

In a conference call set up to some international reporters on Tuesday (Philippine Time), the soon-to-retire Los Angeles Lakers star considered James and Durant among his top five players.

He also named hall of fame inductee Michael Jordan among his best opponents, but the other two were surprise picks from Bryant.

"Top players, let’s see: Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Clyde Drexler," Bryant said in the de facto press conference.

The entry of the Houston Rockets legends into Bryant's shortlist came as a shocker, especially that of Drexler, who was already at the twilight of his career when Bryant arrived, considering he entered the league during the prime days of the likes of Penny Hardaway and Grant Hill.

Bryant, however, admitted that adding Olajuwon, who played center, and Drexler was actually tough for his part.

"[Choosing the top five] players is a little tougher for me because I came in the league where there were so many great players playing like John Stockton was still playing; Clyde Drexler was still playing. Gary Payton, Anfernee (Penny Hardaway) – I mean [there were] a lot of [players that I have played against]," Bryant continued.

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