EXCLUSIVEAt least one NBA star is willing to say it -- Kobe Bryant is a much tougher opponent than his airness, Michael Jordan was ... at least that's what Tracy McGrady hinted. (Pause for lightning bolts)
McGrady was responding to Kobe's recent comment that T-Mac was the hardest player he ever had to guard -- so, we expected him to throw a little praise back at Kobe.
But watch his comments at LAX -- McGrady wasn't just being nice ... and actually went out of his way to say it's "not even close" who his toughest assignment was on the court.
Remember, McGrady checked Jordan during MJ's final championship season in Chicago ... when he was older, but still making opponents look foolish (see Bryon Russell).
So, did Tracy just forget his MJ years -- or does he think Kobe is that good?