Kobe Bryant once revealed that him and Michael Jordan would have conversations about who would best who in both their primes.
The story of the NBA over the course of 75 years can most certainly not be told without mentioning Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. Coincidentally, both the mentor and the mentee are also arguably two of the most competitive legends to have ever graced NBA hardwood.
Jordan and Kobe go way back to the mid to late 90s when the latter had just entered the league. By the time the Lakers youngster had reached his sophomore season, he’d already made an All-Star Game. It was this 1998 ASG that put the Philly native on the map and on the radar of several elder statesmen in the league.
‘That little Laker boy’ was told by Michael Jordan himself that if he needed anything, he was merely a call away. When they weren’t chatting over the phone, the two were facing off against one another. Even while on the court, Bryant kept asking the Bulls legend about everything from his patented fadeaway to his footwork.
Safe to say, Kobe Bryant was an exceptionally quick learner.
Kobe Bryant details how him and Michael Jordan would discuss their hypothetical 1v1s.
Both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant had various primes throughout their careers. Early 2000s Kobe had all the athleticism in the world while also figuring out the art of the mid-range. Mid 2000s Kobe was a one-man wrecking crew who had the perfect blend of athleticism, explosiveness, game IQ, and overall feel for the game.
Back-to-back Finals MVP Kobe was one of the smartest players to have ever played the game and had essentially made the fadeaway his own. When it comes to Michael Jordan on the other hand, it’s hard to pick between MVP and DPOY MJ in ‘88, 1991 Jordan, or either one of the ‘96 and ‘98 Jordans.
As little kids would discuss who would win between two players, so did Bryant and Jordan. According to the ‘Black Mamba’, MJ would bring up the topic of who would win in a 1v1: ‘91 Jordan or ‘03 Kobe.
Surprisingly, Bean would put an end to these conversations by hilariously saying, ‘Remember who you’re talking to.’