Kobe Bryant is on a promotional tour for his book The Wizenard Series: Training Camp, the first in a series about an inner-city basketball team that gets gifted with magical powers and learns how to play together. Creating a book series about young basketball players and making the media rounds means it is fairly unavoidable for Bryant to get asked about his basketball opinions.
On The Late Late Show With James Corden, Bryant took part in a game where he either had to eat a piece of cow tongue or rank, in order from best to worst, himself, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan.
Despite initially saying, “I’m not going to answer it, because then everyone is going to sit there and debate about it,” Bryant seems to get deterred by the less-than-appetizing appearance of the cow tongue. Or does he?
This is a man whose first name is literally a type of beef, and we’re supposed to believe he can’t stomach taking a bite of cow tongue? This isn’t some exotic type of animal that Corden is forcing upon Bryant — unless he has developed some aversion to beef since he got food poisoning from a burger in 2002, Bryant is definitely comfortable eating cow.
Nevertheless, Bryant pivots, puts down the tongue, and ranks himself first, then Jordan, and then LeBron. The goal is clearly to suggest that he is making this ranking under some type of duress, but perhaps the challenge was simply a pretense for the Laker legend to share his deep-seated feelings about his historical greatness in the context of the G.O.A.T. debate.