Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers travel to Boston to play the Celtics on Thursday night. Prior to that matchup, Bryant sat down with ESPN's Jackie MacMullan and he offered his opinion on some of the biggest headlines surrounding Boston sports.
Bryant rejected the idea that the Celtics are a better team now that Rajon Rondo is done for the year with a torn ACL, despite their 4-0 record without the star point guard.
"You don't want Rondo? Send him my way," Kobe declared. "I love everything about him. Everything. I love his attitude, I love his chippiness, his edge, his intellect, his know-it-allness. All of it. That's what makes championship players.
It's not really a surprise that a guy like Kobe likes a guy like Rondo. Both seem to be no-nonsense type of players on the court and possess that same confidence that crosses over into arrogance. Winning is clearly important to both, but the individual stats mean something too. Just as Kobe is surely aware of how many points he needs on a given night to pass somebody on the all-time scoring list, Rondo is frequently seen trying to pad his assist totals.
"What guard have you seen at his size that will get you 18 assists, 17 boards and 20 points all in one game? That's unheard of. I love that kid. I always make a point of talking to him during All-Star [weekend]. He's one of my favorites."
Furthermore, Bryant told MacMullan that he's a fan of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
"I'm hoping Gronk will be there. I like him. He seems to perform at a high level every time out. Last time we were in town we talked for a little bit. He was a fun guy.
"Everyone is so worked up about what he did (in Vegas). It's funny. If there were camera phones back in the day, the biggest athletes in the world would have had a lot of explaining to do."
Take that as you will. If I had to guess, I wouldn't have thought that Kobe and Gronk would get along. But I guess Kobe will respect anybody who can consistently perform at a high level. And maybe Kobe likes to have fun sometimes as well.
Read the whole conversation between Jackie MacMullan and Kobe Bryant here.