Kobe Bryant's claim is sure to stir up debate.
Kobe Bryant's claim is sure to stir up debate.

Kobe’s surprising NBA GOAT response

IT'S the question that will never have a definitive answer but Kobe Bryant has thrown his hat into the NBA GOAT conversation.

The Lakers legend was on The Late Late Show with James Corden when the age-old question was asked.

Usually it's a two-horse race between Michael Jordan and LeBron James but Corden threw a spanner in the works, adding Bryant to the two-horse race.

The punishment for not answering? Eating a cow's tongue.

The evasive star has avoided answering the question in the past and really considered eating the cow's tongue.

"I'm not going to answer it because everybody is going to sit there and debate about this," he said.

But the Lakers guard, who finished his career in 2016 as a five-time NBA champion, finally relented, answering the question.

"I'm the best, Michael the second best, LeBron third," he said.

Jordan is the most successful of the three players, as he has six NBA Finals wins - one more than Bryant and two more than James.

Bryant with LeBron James back in 2011. Pic: AP
Bryant with LeBron James back in 2011. Pic: AP

But James recently eclipsed Jordan's overall points haul. James now has 32,516 points in 1,197 games played - 224 more points than Jordan, who's fifth on the all-time points-scored list.

James is likely to leapfrog third-place Bryant, who had 33,643 points in 1,346 games.

The all-time points leader is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with 38,387 points in 1,560 games.

Bryant, renowned for being a hard worker and ruthless competitor, is no stranger to ego trips.

However, this may not have been his real answer.

Kobe likes throwing a spanner into the works.
Kobe likes throwing a spanner into the works.

Earlier in the week Bryant opened up about his thoughts on the GOAT debate.

"It's hard for people to believe, but I really don't care," Bryant said.

"I've moved on. You have a career, you do the best you can for the 20 years I was fortunate to play and then you shelf it. You're done.

"You move on to the next thing. Now I'm focused on these next 20 years.

"Those debates are entertaining, I'm sure it's fun for people to engage on those, but for me personally, it doesn't matter.

"The best way to explain it is I typically do not engage in things that I cannot definitively win."

Bryant was recently ranked sixth in a survey from Business Insider with Jordan getting 66 per cent of the vote, LeBron 10.4 per cent while Bryant received 2.3 per cent.

Larry Bird (4 per cent), Wilt Chamberlain (3.5 per cent) and Shaquille O'Neal (2.7 per cent) were the players in between.