As a rabid fan of the GOAT growing up, Kobe Bryant knows unequivocally how good Michael Jordan was in every year of his career.
If there’s one player in basketball history who’s put in the work to earn MJ comparisons, it was Kobe. The Black Mamba dedicated his life to getting better personally at the sport and making his team better.
Through 20 years and 5 championship runs, the comparisons between Kobe and Michael Jordan never really died down. They were there for a reason – Kobe came into the league playing in similar fashion to MJ from his second threepeats.
The artistry, the footwork and the presence of mind that Kobe displayed in traffic was eerily reminiscent of MJ. You couldn’t help but wonder if you could electronically superimpose one onto the other’s greatest plays with no difference.
The likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard have all grown into Kobe-level midrange assasins. But if you’re getting real with it, they don’t seem nearly as inevitable as Kobe or MJ did at their respective primes – though the numbers don’t tell this particular story.
Kobe Bryant picks 91 Michael Jordan as the one player he’d like to face in their prime
Kobe Bryant was on the Dan Patrick Show quite a few times through the course of his legendary life. Dan, who’s one of the pinnacles of sportscasting, always enjoyed interviewing the Lakers legend.
Patrick got Kobe to pick out which year MJ seemed to be at his peak on individual level:
“I’ve never wasted my time talking about things that I definitively cannot win. Like we could sit here and debate who’s better, Kobe or Michael or all this other stuff.”
“I’m not going to waste my energy until you can develop a time capsule where I can go back in time and face Jordan in 91, 92, 93, or LeBron in that kind of time capsule and put us all in the same era and they will see what’s what.”
Dan further elaborated on this question, going
“Whose prime would you want to play against in a time capsule? Your prime versus their prime.”
“Well, definitely Michael Jordan 91. No doubt about it.”
“Mike and I have had these conversations before where we sit around and we talk about it. And I say 91 because that sticks out like the year where he was really in his prime, physically, mentally, when it felt like he was this absolute bull. So I would love to see what that looks like.”