How Kobe Bryant’s Expertise of the Fadeaway Shot Helped Him Contain Michael Jordan in This Rare Clip

Published 08/23/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – DECEMBER 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers waves to the crowd after passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list with a free throw in the second quarter of the game on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan were both fortunate that their career timelines could clash. As a result, the world saw at least eight such games where the two titans of the sport could play against each other.  

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

On the eve of Kobe’s 43rd birthday, it’s only amazing to relive the rivalry that shaped Black Mamba’s career. KB always saw MJ as his idol and took every possible lesson from the legend while they were both still active. While a Bulls MJ dominated over Kobe, the latter took over the reins when Jordan donned the Wizards jersey.

DATE: 10/20/01 PHOTO BY : JOEL RICHARDSON DIG MICHAEL JORDAN AND THE WIZARDS HOST NEW JERSEY NETS (Photo by The The Washington Post via Getty Images) | Courtesy: Getty Images

When Kobe Bryant blocked Michael Jordan

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

During a 2002 game between the Washington Wizards and the Los Angeles Lakers, something rather rare took place. With the Wizards leading the decisive quarter with a 10-point margin and five minutes remaining on the clock, Kobe pulled off a crazy sequence.

The young and agile Kobe Bryant was defending Michael Jordan when MJ resorted to a fadeaway jumper. Black Mamba read that really well and threw his body towards Air Jordan to then block his otherwise amazing attempt. Both KB and MJ stood at 6’6” and hence a one-on-one between the two was always about skills and never really about the taller player dominating.

Take a look at the historic block – 

DIVE DEEPER

Charles Barkley Once Sparked Controversy By Picking Allen Iverson Over Michael Jordan

25 days ago

When Black Mamba pushed MJ to the floor

In yet another Wizards vs Lakers game, 18 years ago, something hilarious happened. This time around, MJ was guarding Kobe Bryant when the latter pushed the 6x NBA Champion on the floor. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The next thing everyone saw was a Wizard player pushing Kobe away to stretch a helping hand towards MJ. However, Michael denied the help from his own teammate and rather allowed Kobe to stand over him, share a smirk, and help Jordan on his feet. It was a classic moment defining their mutual respect for one another.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

They played this game on March 28, 2003, when the Lakers had won the night 108-94 with Kobe scoring a crazy 55 points against MJ’s 23. That was also the last time the two faced each other. 

Watch this story – How Michael Jordan Was the Worst Drafter Ever

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Sourabh Singh

1589 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT