Lakers News: Michael Jordan Suggests Paving The Way For Kobe Bryant

Lakers News: Michael Jordan Suggests Paving The Way For Kobe Bryant


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Over the past decade and a half, no two players in the NBA have been compared more than Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Many believe Kobe is a mirror image to Jordan in terms of style of play and dominance on the basketball court. The Lakers superstar idolized Jordan growing up and perfected his craft while emulating the six-time NBA champion along the way.

— Think You Know Everything About Kobe Bryant? Take The Ultimate Kobe Quiz! —

In Roland Lazenby’s new book, Michael Jordan: The Life, Jordan spoke about Kobe during an NBA predraft camp in 2008. Jordan said the following about Kobe’s game that strongly resembles his own:

“But how many people lighted the path for me? That’s the evolution of basketball. There’s no way I could have played the way I played if I didn’t watch David Thompson and guys prior to me. There’s no way Kobe could have played the way he’s played without watching me play. So, you know, that’s the evolution of basketball. You cannot change that.”

Jordan went on to praise Kobe for putting in the work with the mental toughness to sustain a certain level of success in the NBA via Lazenby:

“So he’s not one that’s so different than me, but he is different than me. People just have to understand that, and realize that you may see a lot of similarities, but he’s definitely different.”

With five NBA titles, numerous milestones and the distinction as one of the best to have ever played the game, Kobe has cemented his legacy even if his career were to end today.

After signing a two-year contract extension worth $48.5 million, the Lakers superstar will have two more seasons to reach Jordan’s total of six NBA champions. Although many doubt the Lakers’ chances of contending for another title in the Kobe Bryant era, the perennial All-Star remains optimistic as long as the team makes the right moves this summer.

Along with Jordan chiming in on the Kobe comparison, Lazenby’s book also goes in-depth about Jordan’s experiences with Magic Johnson and former University of North Carolina teammate James Worthy over the years.

Roland Lazenby’s new book can be purchased at Michael Jordan: The Life
NBA Draft Combine: Lakers Mitch Kupchak Talks Kobe Bryant’s Influence On Coach

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  • sal

    This offseason we sign Monroe and Deng to lets say about $7M and $10-11M respectively. That’s $18M on those 2 new players. + $24M for kobe + $9M for Nash. That totals $51M plus some 1 year contracts to fill it in.
    (whoever plays PF)
    That is a very decent lineup that will improve drastically on D with Deng/Monroe. And if Kobe can still hit 20-24 we’ll be in good shape. Decent shot to make the playoffs. Say we get in at 6-8, challenge the 1 of the top seeds then it’s a first round bounce. All while our Rookie PG matures more. Now 2014-15 season is over. Nash is off the books so we have, Kobe $24M again on the final year of his 2 yr contract, we have Deng making $10M, Monroe making $7-8M and the rookie pick locked in. So projected salary hit for the 2015-16 season is so far $42M plus the draft pick. And some role players off the bench. Don’t forget you can break the $62M salary cap barrier if you get decent bench players and we would have the mid level exception.
    So $42M that lets us sign Love to a 4 year max deal. Our salary cap would just about break hitting the $60M range but very doable.
    Our lineup in 2015-16 can now be
    Rookie PG (Smart or Exum)
    Kobe (final year)
    Ahhh now that is a perfect balance of scoring with love and kobe and some D with Monroe and deng, all while our PG gets an extra year of experience under his belt. Say we get the 4-5 seed (hopefully Spurs have declined by now and were competing with Houston/LAC etc.) Very very likely we get to the 2nd round maybe conference finals with this line up. But we get bounced again.
    2015-16 season over.
    Now our payroll is looking like (Kobe is off the books)
    Smart or Exum – $5M
    Deng – $10M
    Love – $19-20M
    Monroe $7-8M
    That’s $43M locked in. Leaving enough to sign KD or Westbrook. Now I don’t think KD leaves OKC but westbrook reuniting with Love in LA seems possible. Westbrook would absolutely be entering his prime at this point with Love. Along with Deng possibly in the last year of his contract still playing D and solid scoring. Monroe becomes an even better defender and our 2014 draft pick has gelled to a current Kyrie Irving by now.
    Smart or Exum
    Absolutely ridiculous. Im not saying its going to happen but everything I spit out right now is not out of the question at all. Obviously key is getting a defensive minded head coach. Improve our D this year. Drafting a good PG, and being attractive for Love next year and it will all form itself.

    • Matt Williams

      As far as the empty PF position for next season, Pau’s natural position is power forward.

      • William Zhou

        There you are wrong. Pau’s natural position is center

        • lakerfan

          Idk about that, 2009-2010 Gasol did awfully good at Pf, Bynum at center.

          • Daryl Peek

            Bynum was often injured and benched. People mistakenly believe Gasol and Bynum played together under Phil. Phil often staggered there minutes and preferred having LO play PF while Gasol manned the center position. This is why Gasol got use to eating in the post first.

          • Chrmngblly

            Hey, DP, how are you? I know you are still in mourning over MDA and the failure of your crystal ball, but tell me this: Why would anyone publicly say out loud that Kobe would not have any input on selecting the next coach? That seems so remarkably insecure to me.

            I am sort of the opposite of that, in that I accept all advice and ignore most of it, whereas you accept no advice and then make your decisions in a vacuum–like Jim Buss. What is going on?

          • Daryl Peek

            Dr. Buss publicly said Kobe nor any player would have input on coaching hires. Again, see the 2005 Michael Eaves interview. I keep trying to tell you’all this is just the entire FO following Dr. Buss’s script. What you and most also seem to misunderstand or want to conveniently ignore is the constant pressure the media brings in asking the same question over and over on said topic. If Kupchak and Dr. Buss had remained silent it would be the same thought process of disrespect anyway.

          • Chrmngblly

            I would have expected them to publicly express a more enlightened view, namely that the door is always open if someone like Kobe has a point of view to offer–which surely is true. The “for-public-consumption” stand that Mitch keeps putting out screams “weakness.” I can’t see why they do it.
            As far as nursing off his dead daddy’s tit from the grave, Jim Buss will never be a man until he has his own plan. You know that. I doubt that Dr. Buss’ plan envisioned all the botches that have the Lakers teetering on the brink of the abyss, as they are now. With no coach, no players and a questionable FO, what should the Lakers do next?
            I know I haven’t given you the respect you crave, DP, it’s just that you’re so wrong all the time. What can I do? What should you do?

          • Daryl Peek

            You continue to disrespect as usual. You can’t help yourself SMH. If Dr. Buss were alive and well this current situation would likely be no different just as he and West went through it in the 90’s. Sometimes you have to reboot. Sometimes times, an aging superstar, injuries and mistakes put you in a bind. No team is immune to this. If they were you’d have a dynasty like the 60’s Celticks, and we both know the parity of today’s NBA (and sports world in general) will not allow for that. This is the problem with all of the blame game pundits and fans who constantly want blood. Dr. Buss also spoke on this in that 2005 interview. Reality VS unrealistic expectations. Things will eventually get better just as they did as the 90’s progressed… Patience’s

            BTW, learn some humility and mind your tongue. That’s all I ask. I’ve allowed myself to get off track in the past but no longer and that is why I’m not here as often.

          • Chrmngblly

            You know I love ya’, DP.

            It is true. I do like to bait you a little. And I can’t help myself, that’s true, too. But humility? Is that a French word? What do you know about this?

            No matter what, Mitch should not be provoking Kobe after the swell record the FO has with coaches. I am just saying…

          • Daryl Peek

            Mitch is just paying it back to Kobe the same way he does them publicly, especially given his non communicative MIA stance. Call it petty if you may but there is obviously trepidation over that. Plus as previously mentioned, Dr. Buss set that precedent and it is a mantra the FO will continue to chant like it or not.

          • Chrmngblly

            Whatever. It is still amateurish and shameful as a policy AND, even if true, it is dumb PR.

        • Lakesforlife

          Under mike D’antoni he’s center Phil Jackson he can be more of a pf

          • Chrmngblly


        • Leonel CuffyoChick Pierre

          Rather have Pau at PF than Center …. and Nash Needs to go hang it up.

          • Daryl Peek

            Pau is no longer a Pf and has not been so since he became a Laker. Pau was at his best playing center with the Lakers.

          • Chrmngblly

            Correct. I really liked Aaron Gordon’s interview this afternoon. Did you see it?

          • Daryl Peek

            Didn’t see it but I think Kupchak and the FO are liking the idea of trading down in the draft and selecting a player like Adrian Payne coupled with another player in the second round. Shabazz Napier. I said that would be a great idea months ago…

          • Gregory Gaylen

            that would work!

        • Thomas Dease


        • navakid23

          pau is a PF. since he was in Memphis . that is why when the lakers had a true center in bynum, gasol was able to play his natural position.
          when bynum was healthy of course. but since bynum wasnt always healthy phil had to play gasol at center with LO but because they had no choice. in the 2010 finals. it was bynum at center and gasol at PF.

        • William Zhou

          When Bynum developed into an all star, Pau began to decline. When Howard came over, Pau struggled. This season, he had a better year at center

          • Daryl Peek

            Exactly. Pau is now a center just like Duncan became a center when Robinson retired. Bynum never truly played consistent minutes next to Pau. I really can’t for the life of me figure out why so many are fooled with this twin Tower theme of Bynum and Gasol? Phil never found that perfect balance between the two.

        • William Zhou

          Pau will play very well with a defensive center who does not demand the ball too much in the low post, such as DeAndre Jordan

    • Laker Expert

      Does not make sense to sign Westbrook if we do end up getting a pointguard in the draft. First lets see how we’ll do in the draft, that’ll dictate the future of this franchise and decisions.

      • sal

        definitely makes sense. anyone that watches nba knows for a fact westbrook isn’t a point guard by any means. kid can fucking score and does. he can easily average 35 a game if kd wasn’t there. he already gets 25 with splitting shots with kd. not saying he shoots a high %age but if he controls himself and matures, with that athleticism sky is the limit for him

    • Chrmngblly

      Not out of the question, but also not very likely, either.

    • Erad

      Yawn. Seems pretty lame to me

    • You idiot

      So let me get this right. We get in as a 6-8 seed get bounced but our pg matures? Then what continue sly get in as a 6-8 and lose? Because in the nba u either need to be great or horrible to to get to the top. I love reading these type of stupid post and how ppl think they know what there talking about. How about when u say Monroe and Deng for 7 mill or 10-11 mill “respectively” yea u really think so? U think that Deng will only get 10mill huhh? Your way of thinking they will never win a chip again. Forget trying to win with Kobe that is over with. Draft Exum,sign Love in 15 go after Durante 2016 and they’ll be ready to roll for the next 8 yrs again. Real simple

      • You idiot


        • Chrmngblly

          No, I think he really meant Jimmy Durante. Otherwise his numbers don’t work..:-)

      • ‘James Edwards

        THANK YOU SIR….. I read these all the time and I laugh at my the fake nba 2k GMs on here thinking they know how to build an nba franchise….listen if it was that easy you would be a GM already lol

        • sal

          shut the fuck up you don’t know shit. I explained how salary and budgeting would work. how does a video game where none of that matters come into play?

      • Azma

        Durant and love basically play the same position smart guy that’s why westbrooke is more realistic

        • Chrmngblly

          What? No way. Ibaka and Love play the same position.

      • sal

        You idiot. You think only playing in the playoffs makes a player mature or gain experience? Every nba game is valuable to a rookie growing. He’ll mature every game. And did you read my comment at all? I said we would get in the 6-8 spot by next year. By 2015-16 a team with Kobe Love our draft pick, monroe and Deng can definitely compete and get a top 5 seed. And like i said again i don’t think kobe wins another ring, i know were done with him, where did i say we advance with kobe? And also signing deng was only an example he’s replaceable. like i said the only important pieces is the head coach, love, the draft pick, and the 2016 free agent potential. everything else is interchangeable dumb ass

  • Slumlord Fonechi

    Kobe is no Jordan regardless of all the similarities. Kobe does not make teammates better like Jordan did. Jordan is the best ever.

    • Tyrone Von Gilyard

      Kobe is my favorite player of all time but I grew up watching them both. Both of them made their teams better because their team knew t pass both of them the ball cause they got a better chance of making it. lol

    • Dan

      If you mean create open shots for there team mates than yes they both made there team mates better. I cringe every time I hear that BS about player A making player B better. To say that discredits the work that players do in the summer getting ready for the season

  • Carmen Haro

    All the sudden … From what i just read M.J contradicted him self. He admitted KB would beat him in his prime ONLY because he stole his moves ! (Sounds like M.J intimidated by someone)
    Kobe responded I stole his moves ? It’s a domino effect . Now M.J all the sudden is saying what Kobe respond to him. WOW ! I can’t wait to see Kobe get’s that 6th ring. Hopefully 7. That will shut a lot of people up including M.J.

    • Joe

      Winning a sixth or seventh championship still would not cement Kobe over Jordan. Jordan won 6 final MVPs along with 5 regular season MVPs. Not to mention averaging 30 points a game over his whole career. Kobe would have to play well into his 40’s to even think about toppling those accolades

    • only 1 mike

      Laker fans are so egotistical!! Kobe is gay always been about himself an thrown teammates and coaches under that Faker bus.. he jumps to media to clear himself of the teams embarrassments Kobe has no class and is never n the same breath as MIKE!!!! THE ol Gardner snake won’t even make playoffs again is probly reality!!

      • Woot! I just scored 0.18 secon

        You cant say laker fans are egotistical and then say kobe is gay

  • Eddie

    Carmen kobe admitted that he asked jordan many years ago to show him how to do a fade away shot they even show Jordan teaching Kobe on camera during an all star game and ever since Kobe ten times better because the fade away is what Kobe does more than any shot and it impossible to stop so he should thank Jordan for those rings

    • Yamajasti


    • Tyrone Von Gilyard

      Yeah double wow for this one homie,, Kobe has the lakers and himself to thank for his rings just like jordan and his bulls.. Just leave it at jordan was an idol to kobe like kobe an idol to lebron george kd wade and melo. You watch george play it mirrors kobe back in the 3 peat era his iq his shots it all. Kd the same way his scoring mirrors that of kobe in the smush days. Its just if kd go cold he has others he can lean on kobe didnt. They all imitate what they see before them.. But their own individual drive pushes their limits on what they can do and what they can accomplish ,

      • Azma

        Exactly !

    • Azma

      You don’t think everyone after mj wanted to playbe like mj…..why is it that only kobe was able to it…..kobe doesn’t have to thank anyone but himself for this rings he put it the hard work,sacrifice and dedication for those rings….does mj have to thank west for his rings….think not

      • Calvin Mcgee

        Allen iverson didn’t he had his own scoring arsenal. Even though lebron.adores mj his game doesn’t resemble Jordan at all. Tracy Mcgrady as well people are quick to forget.

        • Azma

          It doesn’t resemble jordan cuz Lebron cuz he can’t play like jordan I’m pretty sure he would have loved to be able to play like jordan I mean c’mon the guy chose 23 as his number n did the powder toss kobe did none of those things ….iverson was small he has not choice to but to create his own style but in the end in resulted in a short nba career n no rings same as tmac

  • Woot! I just scored 0.18 secon

    Ok lets be honest here. Michael Jordan should not be getting away with this. Mj is the Goat and he deserves the respect of everyone but kobe is the closest thing to Mj ever and therefore a lot of respect should be thrown his way. Imagine if kobe had said this about lebron. As true as it may be, kobe would get roasted by the whole world and yet Mj gets a pass. I know what he did for basketball but this is disrespectful to kobe.

  • Tavion

    Kobe is kobe even without Jordan

  • Randy. Altman

    I think Mark Jackson or filing Scott should be the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers if this doesn’t happen I will never be a Lakers fan again