ON THIS DAY: Kobe Bryant Makes His Arrival in NBA Known to Michael Jordan

Published 12/17/2020, 3:42 PM EST


Michael Jordan is a name every basketball player or fan knows. What he did for NBA, what he did for his team is beyond measurable. His gaming style was different. He was a perfect cumulation of defense, offense, strength and flexibility. No one could model his game, except for one late NBA legend: Kobe Bryant. Kobe took onto MJ not just as a rival, but as somebody who wanted to learn everything that MJ knew about the game of basketball.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He was the closest anyone ever got to Michael Jordan in terms of playing style. Moreover, Kobe did have an amazing NBA career just like his idol MJ.

On this day in 1997, it Kobe and MJ went to head to head in an epic duel. Kobe was only a 19-year-old at the time, but he gave Jordan a run for his money.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In 1996, the two had faced each other for the first time, but Kobe was still far from being a star player. On that occasion, it wasn’t even a close battle between the two greats.

23 years down the line, both Kobe and Jordan are in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but unfortunately Kobe is longer among us. However, he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest players of all-time. Also, the closest anyone has ever been to Michael Jordan’s style of play.

Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan – More than rivals

During the National Anthem Lakers Kobe Bryant points to upward honoring Lakers owner Jerry Buss at the Staples Center Wednesday. Dr. Jerry Buss, died Monday of cancer at age 80. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

For two players, who were known for their lethal trash talking and killer mentalities, MJ and Kobe respected each other a lot. Kobe was pretty open about his respect for Jordan in ESPN’s “The Last Dance” docuseries. Kobe said:

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

What you get from me is from him. I wouldn’t get five championships here without him because he guided me so much and gave me such great advice.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Jordan treated Kobe as his little brother and one cannot even imagine the pain he must have gone through when Kobe passed away. Jordan even cried during a ceremony held for Kobe by the LA Lakers in memory of their franchise legend. At the end of the day, we might never find two legends similar to Kobe and MJ.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aikansh Chaudhary

771 articles

Aikansh Chaudhary is an NBA columnist for Essentially Sports. Previously, he helped rank various websites using the latest SEO techniques, and wrote over 2000 articles during his stint as a freelance writer. A die hard Lakers fan, Aikansh will forever uphold LeBron James as the GOAT.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT