Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady were invited to The Jump a few years back. When Rachel Nichols asked Kobe if he could still play, he didn’t say no.
There are few players in basketball history who’ve won more fans over to their side than the Black Mamba. Kobe started his NBA career at 17 years of age and played in the league for more than half his life.
He was the biggest draw of the league all through the noughties, helping a new generation of basketball fans fall in love with the game. His work ethic, dedication, commitment and obsession for basketball perfection was there for all to see.
Through 20 years, Kobe frankly squeezed all that he could’ve out of his body on the court. He played through injuries, he played for bad teams and he even played alongside a superstar not giving his all.
But after he retired, Bryant took a huge step back from the game and allowed the newcomers to take center stage. LeBron James had already cemented himself at the top of the sport, but Bryant’s retirement brought the likes of KD and Steph to the forefront.
Kobe Bryant believed that he could’ve returned to the NBA even at the age of 40
Kobe and T-Mac were guests on The Jump with Rachel Nichols during the All-Star Weekend 2019. They discussed a few basketball issues from back in their own day. They also devoted some time to analyzing out the greatness of Harden’s 30-point game streak.
Rachel then led Kobe down the route of how badly he misses playing basketball. She squarely asked Kobe if the Lakers legend thought he had it in him to come back. Kobe replied in the affirmative:
“If I wanted to come back, I could. I don’t want to come back, I’m sure of that. If I wanted to, I could, you know. You’ve gotta diet, you’ve gotta really obsess about it.”
“You could do it, with the technology, study, nutrition, all the things that you have now, you can certainly do it. I just don’t want to. I mean, Vince is out there windmilling, man! I think he should enter the dunk contest.”
T-Mac, a cousin of Vince, smiled at the thought of the greatest dunker of all time making a comeback to the signature event of the All-Star Weekend. But he chose wise words while refuting the idea:
“Man come on, don’t get on that work now. Come on bro, now you’re trying to tear his Achilles.”