NBA on TNT & NBA TV Analysts Reflect on Kobe Bryant’s Iconic Career & Final All-Star Game
A collection of NBA on TNT and NBA TV analysts – Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Chris Webber, Grant Hill, Greg Anthony, Brent Barry, Dennis Scott and Steve Smith – offer their thoughts on the legendary Kobe Bryant’s final All-Star Game, which will air on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. ET, with pregame coverage beginning at 7 p.m. on TNT.
Shaquille O’Neal on former teammate Kobe Bryant’s chances of having a big All-Star Game:
“Knowing Kobe as well as I do, I’m sure if he gets going, and the guys get him going, you know the crowd’s going to want it to happen; certain players are going to want it to happen. If he can find his stroke and get it going a little bit, I can guarantee you he’s going to go for the MVP. It’s his last one, why not go out with a bang? My last one in Phoenix, Kobe and I split the MVP. I kind of knew that would be my last one… Kobe kept feeding me and guys kept feeding me. Knowing Kobe, if he gets it going, especially early, he’s definitely going to go for it.”
Charles Barkley on the finality of Bryant’s last season and All-Star Game:
“It’s going to be bittersweet. I think it’s great that the fans voted him in to be a starter. The one thing me, Kenny and Shaq can talk about is that retirement is difficult because you’re not gonna play basketball again… It’s just not there, it’s hard. When it gets close to retirement, you realize how hard the game is… It’s gonna be bittersweet and I think the NBA will roll out the red carpet and deservedly so. Kobe’s been one of the greatest players we’ve had in our lifetime, in NBA history. It’s been an honor and privilege to watch him play, just like it was for me to watch Shaq play. The game is about greatness. Every player in the NBA is a good player, but there are very few great players who are on Mt. Rushmore, like Kobe is, like Shaq is. They’re the guys that make this thing go.”
Kenny Smith on Bryant being voted an All-Star starter by the fans:
“It makes it special. He has not only been an ambassador of great play and championships, but he has been the face that guys have chased to be like since Michael Jordan left the game. He has been that guy.”
Chris Webber on what he expects in Bryant’s final All-Star Game:
"This All-Star is special because fans will get to witness the best entertainer and the fiercest competitor. I’m sure he’s going to give some All-Star moments for people to talk about for years to come."
Grant Hill on playing in Bryant’s first All-Star Game in 1998:
“You knew he was talented and you saw his competitive fire in that game. You felt that he had a chance to be really good but he far exceeded everyone’s expectations. He’s clearly cemented his legacy as one of the best to ever play but you saw a lot of potential and of course he was very young in his first All-Star Game.”
Greg Anthony on where Bryant ranks among all-time Lakers:
“There are always going to be people that have strong opinions about the Lakers, Kobe Bryant and his place in that’s organization’s history. When you look at the totality of his career, in my mind, he’s the greatest Laker to ever play the game.”
Brent Barry on Bryant’s influence on today’s players:
“The interesting thing about playing my whole career against him is that [early on] you didn’t know what he was going to be and how great he was going to be… The type of impact he had on the generation of players we are watching now – what it is he did to them in their belief in their skill set; their belief in how competitive you have to be – I think that’s the lasting mark of what Kobe Bryant represents to the NBA, his tenacious work ethic.”
Dennis Scott on Bryant’s legacy playing his whole career for one team:
“For Kobe to play his whole career in one uniform for 20 years is the biggest thing for me. It’s very rare nowadays for a guy in any sport to stay with one team during their career, let alone for the amount of time that Kobe has.”
Steve Smith on Bryant’s on-court legacy:
“I think this is a celebration of a guy who’s one of the most fundamentally sound, athletic and skillful guys to ever play the game.”
NBA on TNT
TNT is the exclusive home of extensive live coverage of NBA All-Star Weekend including all of the marquee events from Toronto. Programming highlights include the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 12, at 9 p.m. ET; State Farm All-Star Saturday Night featuring the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Verizon Slam Dunk on Saturday, Feb. 13, with event coverage starting at 8 p.m.; and the 2016 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 14, with pre-game coverage beginning at 7 p.m.
About NBA TV
NBA TV is a part of NBA Digital, the NBA's extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets jointly-managed by the NBA and Turner Sports including NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, the NBA App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com. The network’s live coverage will include NBA All-Star Media Day, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Finalists Announcement and the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge Practiceon Friday, Feb. 12; NBA All-Star Practice and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s All-Star Press Conference on Saturday, Feb. 13; and Inside the NBA presented by Kia with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith live from Toronto, on Sunday, Feb. 14.