Kobe Bryant credited his success to the mentorship of someone who never played basketball – the King of Pop Michael Jackson.
There have been very few players who have been as influential as the late Kobe Bryant. His impact was so great, he got a whole generation to shout out “Kobe” whenever they shot the ball. What Kobe had achieved in his illustrious 20-year career, can not be compared to any other.
People would often imagine that Bryant would credit his success to the mentorship to the likes of Michael Jordan or Shaquille O’Neal or maybe his coach Phil Jackson. Although, in an interview back in 2010, Bryant surprisingly revealed how the late Pop star Michael Jackson mentored him in ways no one could. Bryant explained:
“It sounds weird, I guess, but it’s true: I was really mentored by the preparation of Michael Jackson. “We would always talk about how he prepared to make his music, how he prepared for concerts.”
“He would teach me what he did: How to make a Thriller album, a Bad album, all the details that went into it. It was all the validation that I needed – to know that I had to focus on my craft and never waver. Because what he did – and how he did it – was psychotic.”
“He helped me get to a level where I was able to win three titles playing with Shaq because of my preparation, my study. And it’s only all grown. That’s the mentality that I have – it’s not an athletic one. It’s not from [Michael] Jordan. It’s not from other athletes… it’s from Michael Jackson.”
“Michael Jackson had offered his ranch to me at the time of my wedding”: Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson were really close friends. Jackson himself called Bryant up as a rookie and gave him words of encouragement. Kobe also revealed how MJ was a really nice person and the friendship the two shared:
“Beyond the genius of what he was, he was just a genuinely, genuinely nice person. He got me hooked on movies that I would normally never watch. Fred Astaire movies. All the old classics. I would never, never watch those.”
The two were so close that King of Pop even offered his own ranch to Kobe when Bryant was tying the knot with his then-fiancée Vanessa. Bryant revealed an anecdote depicting Jackson’s generosity:
“I remember my fiancée and I told him we were getting married, and him just being really excited and actually just offering up the ranch to have our wedding there because privacy was going to be an issue. We wanted to get married in a church, so that’s what we wound up doing. But he made the offer.”
“He was just a genuinely nice person who was exceptionally bright, exceptionally bright, and driven and talented. You mix those things together, man, you have Michael Jackson.”
Clearly, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson are two of the biggest icons in their fields and their fan-following extremely loyal. Till this date, even after their unfortunate passing, both the legends have had a massive impacts on their fans throughout the world.