Earlier this month, Michael Jordan was interviewed to talk about the release of the video game NBA 2K14. Among the topics of discussion was whether he thought any of today’s NBA stars could give him problems had they played one-on-one in his prime. His answer: “I don’t think I would lose, other than to Kobe Bryant because he steals all of my moves.”
On Friday morning, Bryant joined Big Boy’s Neighborhood on Power 106 FM and was asked about Jordan’s comment about stealing moves.
“I’m a student of the game, you know, so I know the history; I know where Michael’s moves came from,” said Bryant about stealing moves. “I know they came from David Thompson. I know they came from Dr. J. I know they came from, in particular, Jerry West. So Michael didn’t invent the wheel. He stole a lot of moves from a lot of great players.
“I just so happened to steal some moves from him, and I just probably stole them better than anybody else has. You have to learn from the greats that came before you, that’s how it should be done.”
Jordan has said in the past that his favorite player growing up was Thompson, and it would only make sense for anyone to mimic the moves from those he grew up watching. Jordan may not have created all of his own moves, but he was able to put his own signature on how those moves were executed in the same way that Bryant has throughout his career.
After Jordan’s retirement, Bryant became the premier wing for other perimeter players to form their respective games around. Bryant says it’s an honor to see some of today’s players do some of the same things he does on the court.
“Most of these guys that I’m playing against grew up watching me. Whether it’s James Harden or Russell Westbrook or the Durants or the LeBrons of the world, you know, they grew up watching me. It’s an honor when I go against these guys and I see some of the similarities in the footwork — it’s good.”
In 10 to 15 years from now, we’ll be talking about how the NBA’s future stars have shaped their games around Kevin Durant and LeBron James the same way that we’re discussing Bryant and Jordan and West and Thompson before them.
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