(NEW YORK) — Former Boston Celtics star Larry Bird knows a thing or two about his name coming up in talks about being one of the greatest of all-time.
Bird played in an era when people debated if he was better than Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson. “Larry Legend” was a 3-time NBA champion, 3-time MVP, and 12-time All-Star sat down with ESPN’s Bill Simmons to be a part of another debate: who’s better, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James?
“As far as playing basketball, you’ve got to enjoy this guy. If you’re a basketball fan you’ve got to sit back and go, ‘Wow how did he do that?'” said Bird of James. “Some of that stuff that this kid does out there, LeBron James is by far the best player in this league.”
But if it came down to it in a clutch situation or finals game, Bird did not hesitate who he’d want to play with.
“Kobe. His desire to win, his dedication in the off-season to get better, he’s just a tough cat,” said Bird. “If you want to have fun like I did with Bill Walton, you play with LeBron.”
After hearing the interview, James was asked what he thought about one of the 50 greatest players of all-time saying he would rather play with Bryant.
“It’s simple. Kobe has five rings and I have none. It’s easy to say that, if I got five rings and Kobe has none, it would probably be the other way around.”
James then added that he was an easy target for people to take jabs at — until he wins a title.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire