Kobe Bryant is still four years away from being eligible, but the near-certain future Hall of Famer already has two people in mind for his induction.
The five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers said he would want Phil Jackson or Michael Jordan on stage with him at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
"They've been the greatest mentors, not only in my career as an athlete, but also as a person," Bryant said in an interview with Complex. "And what I might say is just a lot of thank yous. 'Cause I've had a lotta help along the way. A lotta lotta help."
Jackson won five titles with Bryant during 11 seasons as head coach in L.A., adding to the six rings he won with Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. After leaving the Lakers, Jackson served as a front-office executive for the New York Knicks for three tumultuous seasons.
Bryant's playing career was constantly compared to that of Jordan's, and the two are mentioned as among the top players in NBA history. Jordan said in August that he would rank Bryant above Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James among the greatest of all time, saying that "five [rings] beats three."
An 18-time All-Star, Bryant retired after the 2015-16 season. He will have his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys retired at halftime of the Lakers game against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 18.