As Kobe Bryant approaches Michael Jordan for third all-time in scoring, the two greatest shooting guards that have ever played the game have been compared more than ever. When Bryant came into the league, the match-ups between him and Michael were widely advertised.
Naturally, the two would jaw at each other occasionally as they would battle each other. Kobe claims that while both are not afraid to speak their mind, MJ would be the one to dish out the first lashing according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report:
“But Michael likes to talk, too. I’m not the only one who likes to talk, right? The times that we have talked trash, I haven’t been the one who has initiated. We just rib each other; we just kind of joke around about stuff. He knows who I am; I know who he is. Mutual respect.”
Kobe was deemed the “Air Apparent” when he came into the league at 17 years old. While this label came with a lot of pressure, Jordan supported the high-schooler.
This level of respect and understanding comes from within for the two NBA icons. Jordan understood early that Bryant is one of the hardest workers in the league and will do anything to win.
Much like Jordan, Kobe has always been known as the ultimate competitor. The rare mentality to want to beat you into the dirt every night is shared by the two legends which allows them to appreciate each other as a person as well as a basketball player.
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