If Kobe Bryant had chosen to go to college after high school, as opposed to the NBA, he’d have gone to Duke to play for Mike Krzyzewski, right? Wrong, according to Bryant.
On Thursday night, Bryant revealed to Jimmy Kimmel that he’d have gone to North Carolina in order to match up with Vince Carter every day in practice, writes Mark Medina:
[pullquote]Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski and Bryant developed a strong bond both through the recruiting process and through two U.S. Olympic gold medal runs. Bryant asked the Lakers to hire Krzyzewski in 2004 after parting ways with Phil Jackson. Even Bryant has openly suggested he would’ve played for Duke.
Instead, Bryant would’ve chosen their arch rival down Tobacco Road.
“If I had to make a decision I probably would have went to Carolina because of the competition,” Bryant said Thursday night
at the Nokia Theatre during Kobe Up Close Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel,” with the the proceeds benefitting the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Foundation to fight homelessness. “The year before, Vince Carter had played for Carolina and was the best guard in the country and I wanted to test myself against him and play against him every day in practice.”[/pullquote]
Of course, if Bryant ended up playing for UNC, the comparisons to Michael Jordan would’ve gone into overdrive. MJ went to North Carolina from 1981 until 1984, winning a NCAA championship in the ’82 season.
Bryant, meanwhile, decided to skip the collegiate level altogether and instead was drafted 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets, who later traded his draft rights to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Vlade Divac.
Image by Tyson Beck