The relationship between and is often described as that of brothers. However, Kobe could be the greatest understudy Jordan will ever have. Both are the game’s legends and are known for their incredible thirst to excel.
Bryant entered the NBA in 1996 as the 13th overall pick and played his entire career for the Los Angeles Lakers. He immediately admired Michael Jordan and wanted to learn all his tricks. In his first game against Jordan on Dec 17th, he said – “
Kobe went on to win five championships and the 2008 MVP award. Over the years, basketball experts have often compared their games and considered Bryant – the closest player to Michael Jordan. It should come as no surprise that they were so close to each other.
Jackie MacMullan, a retired sportswriter and former NBA reporter for ESPN, covered the Lakers legend for her entire career. While appearing on a talk show, MacMullan talked about how Kobe was one of the most intelligent basketball players in the NBA.
She went on to describe Kobe’s passion and curiosity for the game while describing an incident involving Michael Jordan. Here is what she said:
“He is calling Jordan at all times in the night and day. Jordan told me recently that he would tak to him for two hours in the night at 2 AM, hang up the phone and say to himself – Why am I telling him all this? I never told anyone all this.”
Mike recognized the persistence and sincerity of a kid wanting to improve. There was nothing that he appreciated more. While speaking in Kobe’s memorial, a teary-eyed Michael narrated the same incident and appreciated his pursuit of excellence.
Anyone who knows about Kobe Bryant has heard of his famous – Mamba Mentality. According to him, it was the constant effort to improve oneself and become the best version. His daily routine, work ethic, and curiosity validated the mentality he preached.
Like Jordan, he also pushed himself to limits and expected the same from his teammates. They both had zero tolerance for indolence and as leaders let their feelings known to the team. Maybe, this was another lesson that Michael Jordan taught the late Kobe Bryant.