Over 18-plus seasons, Bryant has averaged 25.5 points on 45.2 percent shooting while earning 16 All-Star appearances and helping the Lakers win five championships.
The Lakers' star has come under scrutiny this season for his shot volume.
Nowitzki, who has earned 12 All-Star nods and won one championship over 16-plus seasons, entered the league two years after Bryant. Nowitzki currently sits six spots behind Bryant on the league's scoring list.
Nowitzki mentioned other transcendent players in this era before concluding that he "just loved watching Kobe."
“He’s probably the greatest player in my generation that I played against,” said Nowitzki, who has 27,239 career points and will likely pass Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone over the next few weeks to move up to seventh on the list. “Obviously Shaq was very dominant, Tim Duncan was great, but I just loved watching Kobe. I don’t think there will ever be another MJ, but he’s definitely as close as it gets that we’ll ever see.
“He had it all. He’s a clutch player, can make shots from anywhere. I’ve had a blast from watching him during his career very closely. That’s a heck of an accomplishment for sure.”
The Mavericks next face the Lakers on Dec. 26 in Dallas. Los Angeles has gone 8-17 this season while Dallas is 18-8.