Kobe Bryant’s Secret Cigar Room Meeting With Michael Jordan Took Hilarious Turn, Recalls Emotional Ex-Coach

Published 02/08/2024, 7:21 PM EST

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One thing about Kobe Bryant that was undeniable was his belief in himself. Whether it was on or off the court, there was no stopping Kobe. Even against his idol, that bravado was unflinching. That is how a secret meeting with Michael Jordan took a sideways turn, according to the common denominator between the two, Coach Phil Jackson.

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So, I arranged and we have a little meeting in the cigar room…Michael and I were sitting there, and Kobe walked in after his shower and the press and whatnot and he said, ‘Michael, I can take you one on one,'” Jackson, who led both MJ and the Black Mamba to multiple championships, recalled during his speech at Kobe’s statue unveiling ceremony.

As the entire crowd exploded into laughter, the reaction wasn’t a huge surprise for the people. After all, the legend of the Los Angeles Lakers precedes him. However, rather than argue, Jordan was willing to hear him out and even conceded to him. “Michael said, ‘Well, I think you might. I’m 37, you’re 22.”

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However, Coach Jackson wasn’t the only one who came with a boatload of memories about the 5x NBA Champion. While most spoke about his basketball talent and contributions, his teammates knew what mattered the most to the Black Mamba.

Watch This Story: Ex-Lakers Star Regrets Rejecting Kobe Bryant’s Last Game Request: “I Wish I Would’ve…”

Both Derek Fisher and Shaquille O’Neal kept the perspective of the family at the forefront when talking on an emotional night.

Kobe Bryant – the Family Man

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To Bean, nothing was as important as his role as a father in the lives of his daughters. It is why his profile on every platform reads “Girl Dad”. So longtime teammate Derek Fisher wasted no time in speaking directly to his daughters present at the event.

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Speaking about his role as a father and the lengths he would go for them, Fish would reveal how his fatherhood qualities are what left him in awe of Kobe. Shaq, on his part, would echo what everyone was somewhere thinking. Moreover, he would also give a warm shower of love to Bryant’s family.

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On an emotional night, these stories and anecdotes were a perfect reminder of the kind of man Bryant was. Moreover, of the impact he had on the lives that he touched.

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Written by:

Priyanshu

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My earliest memories of a connection to basketball was through its popularity in my school. Eventually, that gave way to a genuine passion for the sport and the rest, is history. Whether it be gameplay, the tactics, the narratives, or the sheer art on display, the game speaks to me in a way few other things can.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth

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