LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Kobe Bryant may have been shooting for immortality long before his life was tragically cut short.

In an appearance Monday on ESPN’s “The Jump”, former NBA scoring champ Tracy McGrady recalled Bryant telling him that he wanted to die at a young age.

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“This sounds crazy but Kobe spoke this, he spoke this, He used to say all the time, ‘I wanna die young’,” said McGrady. “He used to say, ‘I want to be immortalized, I wanna have my career, be better than Michael Jordan, and I wanna die young’, and I just thought he was so crazy for saying that.”

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HOUSTON – FEBRUARY 6: Injured player Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Tracy McGrady #1 of the Houston Rockets on February 6, 2005 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowleges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Despite recurring health issues that prematurely ended McGrady’s career, both he and Bryant were considered two of the game’s preeminent scorers in their respective primes.

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The two shared a common past and a friendly rivalry: they were both rookies drafted straight o5ut of high school, Bryant with the Lakers and McGrady with the Toronto Raptors.