Kobe Bryant Says Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Elena Delle Donne Could Play in NBA

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 26: Former NBA player, Kobe Bryant, looks on during the game against the Las Vegas Aces and the Los Angeles Sparks on May 26, 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE  (Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Kobe Bryant believes some of the top players in the WNBA could hold their own in the NBA. 

"I think there are a couple of players who could play in the NBA right now honestly," the Los Angeles Lakers legend said in an interview with CNN. "There's a lot of players with a lot of skill that could do it."

Bryant then listed off Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Elena Delle Donne as three stars who immediately came to mind.

Despite retiring in 2016, Bryant has remained close to the game.

The New York Times' Marc Stein reported in September he held an offseason camp for a few NBA players including Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Kyrie Irving and Jamal Murray. His influence has extended to the WNBA as well.

Seattle Storm star Jewell Loyd, whose "Gold Mamba" nickname is inspired by Bryant, told High Post Hoops' David Vertsberger in June 2017 she received some tutelage from the future Hall of Famer as she approached her third season in the WNBA.

Taurasi and Moore were both among the WNBA's top 20 players named to coincide with its 20th anniversary in 2016.

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Taurasi is the league's all-time leading scorer with 8,575 points and counting, and she had been 13-0 in winner-take-all elimination games prior to the Phoenix Mercury's semifinal exit in the 2018 playoffs. Many would argue Taurasi is the one player you'd want taking the last shot with the game on the line.

Moore is a four-time WNBA champion who's all-around game is almost unparalleled. She's averaging 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals through her first eight seasons. She sat out the 2019 season, and her status for 2020 remains unclear.

Delle Donne didn't crack the 20th anniversary list but will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the WNBA's greatest players. She collected her second MVP in 2019 after becoming the first player in league history to join the 50-40-90 club.