En the history of basketball, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are ranked among the top five players of all time. Two minds focused on the competition, titles and ‘killers’ for rivals. Kobe came after Jordan and he wanted to beat him from day 1. “I’ll go for that rookie laker,” ‘MJ’ came to recount in their first All-Star together. A competition that, although it was not really as such, marked basketball until LeBron James landed in the league.
Jordan and Kobe played in the same position -scorer guard-, they were references and they took six and five rings, respectively. They led the two great dynasties of the late 90s and early 21st century. They were everything. History compares them, although Kobe always believed that he was the chosen one.
“Do you know why Kobe decided to change 8 to 24? People don’t know. But it was the signal to everyone that they were one step above 23. From Michael Jordan,” said Kevin Garnett, Kobe’s eternal ‘enemy’ in the league.. “Carrying 24 was a shot at ‘Mike’. Every record Mike had, Jordan broke. It was all sacking ‘MJ’, passing ‘MJ’ and making ‘MJ’ disappear. That’s what 24 is about.” added the Celtics legend.
Kobe took the 24th to make Jordan disappear
Whichever is the best, both professed tremendous respect for each other. From that competitive DNA, probably, a special relationship was born. No one will ever forget Jordan’s tears at the basketball community’s farewell to Kobe Bryant following his passing. “When Kobe died, a part of me died,” the Bulls legend said.
“I loved that guy’s attitude to compete and play against someone who could improve his game. I totally loved him. It didn’t matter what he thought of me, it was a challenge. I admired that passion, because you don’t see someone who wants to improve daily. Not just in sport. Also as a father and husband. I feel inspired by what he did, what he shared with Vanessa and her daughters,” Jordan said.