The Kobe Bryant to Michael Jordan comparisons are seemingly never-ending and it’s not without reason. Bryant modeled his game after Jordan and as he has gotten older, has modified his game to sustain his dominance, much like MJ did.
While some people don’t like to compare the two, one of Jordan’s fiercest rivals, Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas had an easy answer when asked who Kobe reminded him of during an NBA.com Open Court Roundtable:
I would have to say Jordan. From mannerisms and everything. The way he walks, the way he shoots, the way he carries himself. And it’s not a bad role model to have and I think he’s the closest thing to Jordan that we’ve seen.
Thomas pretty much summed everything up. Every NBA player grows up watching the game and emulating their favorite players. Big men could see Olajuwon’s post moves and try to learn the ‘Dream Shake.’ Point guards could see Magic Johnson with his no-look passes and try to re-create ‘Showtime.’
Anyone who watched Jordan growing up wanted to do what he did. From the patented fadeaway jumper, to the amazing feats of athleticism, and classic dunks. Everyone wanted to be ‘like Mike.’ Kobe was the first person who could actually pull it off.
Most believe he’s not quite on Jordan’s level yet as he has yet to win his sixth championship and he is as determined to do that as ever. Maybe once he is able to pull that off, Phil Jackson will have to re-think his choice.
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