In his pursuit of basketball greatness, the late Kobe Bryant did not hesitate to seek help from the idols who paved the way for players like him. Chief among them was Michael Jordan, whom the Los Angeles Lakers legend greatly respected.
Last year, an episode of The Ringer’s Icons Club podcast focused on the relationship between Kobe and Shaquille O’Neal, which also highlighted Bryant’s relationship with Jordan.
In the late 1990s, when Jordan retired for the second time, the 19-year-old Kobe often communicated with the six-time NBA champion, even at two or three in the morning, to get information.
Jordan is both annoyed and amused, as the podcast’s introduction says:
“At first, he (Kobe) was irritating, but then, it turned into, ‘Man, it’s a sense of respect,’ and I respected him for it, and from that point on, I was going to do whatever I could to help him. “
The Chicago Bulls greats shared some details on how to use a wide stance to create space in their moves. Jordan also shared advice on how to be a great leader, including speaking up and pushing teammates to be their best.
The guidance Kobe received from “his aura” apparently worked wonders for Kobe Bryant’s game, and Kobe went on to become a legend in his own right.
With his fierce competitiveness, Kobe won five NBA championships with the Lakers, was named Finals MVP twice, league MVP once, was an 18-time NBA All-Star, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame like his hero Jordan .
Jordan was one of the speakers at the memorial service following Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in 2020, recalling his special bond with the “Black Mamba.”
‘I knew there was greatness in him from the first day I saw him’ – Former Los Angeles Lakers coach reveals initial thoughts on young Kobe Bryant
Former Los Angeles Lakers player and coach Byron Scott knew from the beginning that Kobe Bryant had the potential to achieve great things, skipping college and going straight to the NBA at age 18.
In one of last year’s 10-part docuseries about the Lakers, Bryant was touched upon, with Scott recalling his initial thoughts about the Hall of Famer:
“I knew he had great things from the first day I watched him practice, and then we got Shaq, and if they could come together, I felt like the sky was the limit for them.”
Scott played his final year in the NBA during the 1996-97 season alongside rookie Kobe Bryant. He then coached Kobe Bryant’s final two years in the league from 2014-16.