John Starks opens up about Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan; claims that the former wanted to duplicate and even surpass Jordan.
Michael Jordan’s reign over, not just a singular conference, but over the entirety of the NBA lasted for nearly a decade and would not be challenged for his throne atop the league by anybody. Kobe Bryant came into the NBA, not looking to challenge the Chicago Bulls’ vice-grip over the league, but to go after the man behind it all: Michael Jordan himself.
Kobe Bryant’s decision to ultimately skip college made him the subject of various conversations surrounding whether or not 17 year olds should be allowed to square off against grown men, without ever having college degree. Guys like Kevin Garnett and Bryant proved their doubters wrong in the 90s as they were relatively productive from the minute they stepped onto the court.
Though Kobe Bryant had a few hiccups along the way in his rookie season, it was clear that there was one player in his life that he was trying to emulate on his way to becoming a superstar in the NBA.
John Starks talks about Kobe Bryant wanting to duplicate Michael Jordan.
The similarities between Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan were starting to become uncanny and former New York Knicks guard, John Starks, opens up about exactly what was running through Kobe’s head when coming up in the league.
“You could tell that he was a student of the game, he knew the history of it and I think that’s what made him so special as a player. He went out there and said, ‘You know what? I want to compare myself to the greats.’ So he looked at obviously the best of the game at that time, Michael Jordan, and he went there every single day trying to duplicate MJ.”
“More than anybody he was the one who came as close to MJ in my book, to surpass him, but couldn’t quite get there because Michael is a different animal. But I respected that in Kobe.”
Kobe Bryant modelled his entire game after Michael Jordan, and in some aspects, perfected what Jordan was merely good at. Kobe’s footwork was unmatched at the elbow or on the baseline and when it came to the dunks and the fadeaways, no one could do it the way Kobe and Michael did.