It is unquestionable that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are two of the most talented basketball players to ever play the game, but it goes beyond just basketball skills that made them both so special.
Both Jordan, who won six championships with the Chicago Bulls, and Bryant, who won five with the Los Angeles Lakers, demonstrated a work ethic, unlike any other players because of their desire to be the best.
They both also had a desire to win, unlike any other play, as they simply would not accept losing.
In a recent interview with Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, Bryant talked about what made him so great, and he candidly said that he copied everything Jordan did:
The truth can now be told: Yes, Kobe Bryant says, he did copy Jordan—”Damn near 100 percent of the technique,” he says. “Damn near 100 percent”
Bryant also talked about the players of today’s game saying that he doesn’t quite see anyone that approaches the game the way he and Jordan did:
“When you’re looking at players out there now,” Bryant tells B/R Mag, “you’re saying, ‘OK, there’s not a next Michael Jordan.’ It’s not about the surface stuff. It’s about: Are they approaching the game the way he did? … That is what it means to be a Michael Jordan—to be a Kobe. That is what we should be looking for.”
In his 20 years with the Lakers, Bryant was an All-Star 18 times, made an All-NBA team 15 times, and was he was named to an All-NBA Defensive team 12 times. He also earned NBA MVP honors in 2007-08.
Jordan played 14 full seasons in the NBA and was named an All-Star in all of them while being named to an All-NBA team 11 times, an All-NBA Defensive team nine times and was the MVP of the league on five separate occasions.
There may not ever be another Jordan or Bryant, but young players of today can certainly take from their work ethic and desire to win, which was part of what made them both so great.