Being the incredible competitor that Kobe Bryant was, he never challenged Michael Jordan to a game of golf, knowing he’d lose.
Michael Jordan is the fiercest competitor in NBA history. There are few players in league history who have a resume comparable to Jordan. MJ’s influence was so impactful, even today, after nearly 2 decades of his final retirement, people still look at his highlight reel with awe.
If there was one player who could match Jordan’s competitiveness, it was Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. The NBA has probably not seen a more hard worker than the late megastar.
The two legends are often compared to each other and have been vocal about their brother-like relationship. Although, a few years back, in an interview, Bryant mentioned why the two global icons never played golf against each other.
Michael Jordan has been playing golf since his college days. Jordan was so good and competitive, he even gambled over his golf matches. Kobe Bryant was known for not liking to lose. The only reason why the 18-time All-Star didn’t play Jordan was that Jordan would’ve easily defeated him. Kobe explained:
“Michael and I had this conversation recently. He said ‘Now that you are retiring now you can come out with me and play golf.’ I said no. He said ‘You going to have to play golf.’ I said ‘Not with you though. You have been playing since college. You want to get out there and just kill me.’ I’m not a golfer and I’m not going to play. I’m a realist.”
‘Jordan is like an elder brother to me’: Bryant gave details on his relationship with the 6-time champion
People often thought that the Black Mamba and Air Jordan didn’t like each other because of the constant comparisons between the two. On the contrary, Bryant calls Jordan his elder brother. Back in 2016, Kobe gave details on his relationship with Michael Jordan, in an interview with Jim Gray. Bryant revealed:
“He’s (Michael Jordan) like a big brother. The second time I played him in 1998, I asked him a couple of questions. He gave me some very detailed responses and said ‘Hey, I’m gonna send over my number. If you need anything just call’.”
“To this day I call him for anything and he calls me right back. We’ll have very in-depth conversations. He’ll share whatever it is that he’s learnt over his career, be it leadership or how to chase guys off the screen. He’s been a fantastic mentor.”
We’ve truly been blessed by witnessing these two players. However little on-court battles we’ve seen between the two generational talents, it has always been a treat to watch. It’s great to see the camaraderie, love and mutual respect these global icons had for each other.