Hall of Fame Basketballer Compares Kobe Bryant to Phil Mickelson Following PGA Championship Win

Published 05/25/2021, 9:22 AM EDT
May 23, 2021; Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA; Phil Mickelson gives a thumbs up to the fans on the 18th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


United States pro golfer Phil Mickelson will turn 51 in a few weeks. After his triumph at the 2013 Open Championship, he went five years without a win. He had two wins in 2018 and 2019, but it looked like he didn’t have a Major win left in the tank.

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Despite battling a few retirement rumors on the way, Mickelson made history as he won the PGA Championship on Sunday. He became the oldest golfer to win a Major and also broke a few other records. Following this win, Hall of Fame basketball player Reggie Miller compared Mickelson to another basketball icon in Kobe Bryant.

“When Kobe had 60 points in his last game at 38, it was equivalent to what I saw yesterday,” Miller said on the Dan Patrick Show. “Because you looked in Kobe’s eyes and he had that 19-year-old Kobe Bryant look. Phil had that 25-year-old look in his eyes on each hole. He had that walk we were accustomed to seeing.”

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The late Bryant is also an all-time great of his sport like Mickelson. Just like him, age didn’t deter Bryant. In his final game before retirement, he gave fans a spectacle to watch as he dropped 60 points. Miller compares what he saw then, to what he saw in Mickelson. And that is why there was no stopping the 50-year-old.

Reggie Miller believes Phil Mickelson may not repeat this performance

The previous record holder for the oldest win at a Major was Julius Boros. He won the 1968 PGA Championship as a 48-year-old and Mickelson smashed his record at the age 50. But Miller believes we may not see a repeat of this performance from Mickelson once again. He hinted that there may not be another Major win for Lefty before he retires.

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“When Kobe was getting 60, we knew we were never going to see it again,” Miller said. “Phil’s going to continue to play golf but I don’t know if he’ll ever recapture that look and that walk.”

May 23, 2021; Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA; Phil Mickelson raises the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Mickelson had an eight-year barren run without a Major when no one believed he could win one. So he will be keen to prove all his critics wrong and perhaps win another Major before he eventually retires.

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Aaron Mathew

1629 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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