Former NBA All-Star Explains Why Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant Were the Greatest Competitors of All Time

Published 09/29/2021, 12:30 PM EDT


Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant imbibed the true spirit of the game every time they were on the court. Their dedication, ability, and attitude of giving it all on the court have inspired many generations. Not only fans, but even former colleagues remain impressed with their spirit.

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These two generational talents represent the face and soul of the NBA. And the few lucky players who got to play with them cannot forget their experience of witnessing greatness till date.

Among them is former Golden State Warriors’ head coach, Mark Jackson. The former player became a coach after retiring in 2004. He has played against both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant in their primes. And in a recent interview, he talked about their spirit.

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Former Warriors Head Coach on Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan

On the latest episode of the weekly podcast “Club Shay Shay” with Shannon Sharpe, Mark Jackson opened up about his time playing against Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Jackson talked about how the two were fierce competitors.

He said, “The only guy that I would put in the discussion because both of these guys unfortunately late great Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. In my opinion the two guys I ever played against that was willing to leave it all on the court and I mean it all. They were willing to if it meant drop dead on the floor those two guys I’m convinced would be willing to do that for the victory. Now I would say this, as great as a competitor I am, that ain’t my testimony. I want to win but not at… not at that expense I’m not willing to take my last breath and win.”

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Michael and Kobe’s relationship

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played against each other several times. Even though they stayed friendly on and off the court, when it came down to the important games, they were at each other’s throats. While Kobe Bryant once dropped 55 points against Michael Jordan, Jordan averaged more points per game in the match-ups.

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While Jordan was like an elder brother to Kobe Bryant, who mentored him, they were also very close friends. This mutual respect amongst the two greats is truly an exception to the killer mentality they both played with.

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Kobe Bryant (8) of the Los Angeles Lakers shares a laugh with Michael Jordan (23) of the Washington Wizards during the game at Staples Center (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

233 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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