You’d think LeBron James winning his second consecutive title fires up Kobe Bryant to get healthy and get back to the NBA Finals.
But it was Tim Duncan he was worried about getting another ring.
Bryant currently has five titles and would like to stand alone as the greatest of his generation.
“San Antonio getting so close to winning No. 5, probably hurt me a little bit too,” Bryant told Lakers.com. “I want to make sure I push the ring count out a little further. It was really, really close there. “
The San Antonio Spurs were less than 30 seconds away in Game 6 of the Finals from Duncan getting his fifth ring, but they fell to the Heat in seven games.
Duncan hasn’t caught up yet, but Bryant is still chasing Michael Jordan for title No. 6.
Bryant still has great respect for Duncan continuing to play at a high level at age 37.
“To what us old guys can do if you play together, if you play with one mind and one purpose you can accomplish great things,” Bryant said. “It was inspirational for me and hopefully inspirational for the city of Los Angeles and this organization of what we can do, how this tide can change fairly quickly and we’ll be looking at a parade.”
Bryant has spent the offseason recovering from a surgically repaired left Achilles tendon.