‘I Wanted to Be the Best Big Brother That I Could Be’: Michael Jordan Opens Up on His Relationship With Kobe Bryant

Published 05/15/2021, 3:00 PM EDT


“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” — Anais Nin. This adage holds true for Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, two of the most prominent personalities in the game of basketball.

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Michael Jordan is all set to induct Kobe Bryant into the Hall of Fame class of 2020. However, ESPN’s senior NBA writer Jackie MacMullan put forward in recent developments stating how Jordan was too emotional to give the Hall of Fame speech.

Thus, reports suggest that Vanessa Bryant might give the speech during Bryant’s induction into the Hall of Fame.

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Michael Jordan and his relationship with Kobe Bryant

During his early years, Kobe would text Michael for inputs to improve his game. Moreover, the similarities in their playing style were clear for everyone to see. During the memorial ceremony of Bryant, Michael Jordan gave a moving speech which might be his best speech ever.

“What Kobe Bryant was to me was the inspiration that someone truly cared about the way either I played the game or the way that he wanted to play the game. He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be. And as I got to know him, I wanted to be the best big brother that I could be.

“To do that, you have to put up with the aggravation, the late-night calls, or the dumb questions. I took great pride as I got to know Kobe Bryant that he was just trying to be a better person – a better basketball player. We talked about business, we talked about family, we talked about everything. And he was just trying to be a better person.

“Now, he’s got me and I’ll have to look at another crying meme for the next,” said Jordan.

In other words, it was obvious to see the relationship they possessed with each other.

The enigmatic ‘Black Mamba’

Kobe Bryant was a legend on the court. However, his influence outside the court was commendable. Michael Jordan was arguably the greatest trash talker in the game’s history. Likewise, Bryant’s intangibles were there for everyone to see. In a game against the Orlando Magic, Matt Barnes tried to scare off Kobe by taunting the ball onto his face. But Kobe’s reaction was iconic.

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The sheer charisma he possessed in one moment truly speaks volumes on the mental stability of ‘The Black Mamba’. The determination to carry forward under tough circumstances shows his unflappable personality.

There is no man capable of inducting Kobe into the Hall of Fame than Michael Jordan. Although it will be emotional for Jordan, there is not one person who resembles Kobe as much as him.

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Jacob Gijy

117 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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