Do not think this fact has passed Kobe by.
In an interview with ESPN he divulged his feelings in no uncertain terms:
“If you ask me if I’m okay with Tim doing it, I’m not,” Bryant said. “I’m not okay with that.”
Kobe is extremely aware of how he ranks with fellow players, especially where number of championships is concerned.
He was clearly irked by Shaquille O’Neals’ taunts questioning his ability to win a ring without Shaq on his team. When asked about what winning ring number five meant in 2010 he bluntly replied “One more than Shaq”.
Presumably he wants to be remembered as the best player of this era, and Tim Duncan is his rival.
Although Kobe Bryant at 35-years-old is three years younger than Tim Duncan it seems more likely that Duncan reaches ring number 6, assuming he comes back to play next season.
The Spurs have now reached the NBA Finals twice in a row and the Western Conference Finals three times in a row. Their roster isn’t in flux – it will at large be kept the same, allowing for some small variation in the role players.
Kobe meanwhile is currently the only player apart from Steve Nash who is contracted for the upcoming season, and are coming off the back of the worse Lakers campaign in recent memory, arguably ever.