‘Michael Jordan or Phil Jackson’: When Kobe Bryant Revealed His Hall of Fame Desires

Published 04/16/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) during the second quarter in game 3 of the first round of the NBA playoffs Friday, May 4, 2012 at Pepsi Center in Denver Colorado. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


Recently, the NBA announced that Bulls’ legend, and arguable GOAT Michael Jordan, was going to induct Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

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Given the special bond Kobe shared with MJ, this move is the ultimate sign of respect by the league. In a career spanning to 20 years, ‘Black Mamba’ left a massive impact on multiple players and rightfully deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

When Kobe Bryant revealed whom he wished would induct him to the Hall of Fame

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After he concluded his legendary career, Bryant achieved a number of accolades. With 18 All-Star appearances, 5 NBA championships, 2 Finals MVPs and a single regular season MVP later, Bryant was a lock for the Hall of Fame.

A year after his retirement, Bryant sat for an interview with Complex Sports. There, the legendary Laker spoke about who should likely induct him to the Hall of Fame.

(Denver, Colorado – Friday, May 29, 2009) Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant embrace, sort of, near the conclusion of game 6 of the NBA Western Conference Finals at the Pepsi Center. Bryant led all scorers with 35 points, leading the Lakers to a 119–92 win over Denver. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“In terms of who might present, for me it’s two people: Michael Jordan or Phil Jackson. They’ve been the greatest mentors, not only in my career as an athlete but also as a person. And what I might say is just a lot of thank yous. ‘Cause I’ve had a lotta help along the way. A lotta lotta help.”

Given that he modeled his game after Jordan, MJ becomes an obvious choice for the same. Legendary coach Phil Jackson was an influential person in Bryant’s successful NBA career as he helped him win five championships.

Mamba opens up about the influence Michael Jordan had on his game

Jordan’s influence was pretty clear on Kobe’s play style. Be it his impeccable scoring prowess or his incredible athleticism, Mamba seemed like Jordan re-incarnated.

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Bryant opened up about the same in an interview with ESPN. ” I studied every player. Then once I came back to the States [and] I realized I wasn’t going to be 6-9, I started studying Michael exclusively.”

He added, “And then when I came to the league and [was] matching up against him, what I found is that he was extremely open to having a mentor relationship and giving me a great amount of advice and an amazing amount of detail, strategies, workout regimen and things like that.”

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“Seriously, I don’t think people really understand the amount of impact that he’s had on me as a player and as a leader.” Jordan and Kobe certainly shared a pretty special bond. His idol inducting him to the Hall of Fame is probably the best way to pay tribute to the late ‘Black Mamba‘.

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Aditya Mohapatra

1029 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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