The newly retired Bryant spent each of his 20 seasons in the NBA with the Lakers, but loyalty never came up when he spoke about Durant on The Jim Rome Show on Thursday (via Andre Vergara of Fox Sports). Rather, he spoke about how he would've reacted as a competitor.
"I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, 'That's unfair,'" he said. "If you're a real competitor, you look at that and say, 'OK, lace 'em up. Let's go. I don't care how many players you have over there; we're still going to take you down.'"
Billed as one of the fiercest adversaries to play the game of basketball, Bryant was never one to back down from an opponent as he fueled himself and those around him. It's a safe assumption that this Golden State team would have presented a challenge Bryant would have reveled in:
That kind of tenacity will be needed to take down the defending Western Conference champions next season. Bryant disclosed he sees a lot of his tendencies in Durant's former teammate, Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook.
"When I turn on the TV and watch players play, the player who plays with the same kind of emotion and grit and competitive intensity is Russell," he said. "He's going hard, doesn't matter who's playing against, doesn't matter what the odds are. ... He's going 110 percent every single time."
As the definite leading man of the Thunder, Westbrook won't need much more motivation when it comes time to meet Durant and the Warriors on the court.
Their first matchup will take place Nov. 3 in Oakland, California, and there's a good chance Bryant, like most of the NBA universe, will be tuning in.