Kobe Bryant has modeled his entire career off Michael Jordan’s, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that Kobe (through his own admission) hasn’t studied Jordan’s tapes in years.
“Wow, it’s been a while. Probably not since 1999. I used to watch a bunch, but that was a long time ago…for me the comparisons didn’t work because our situations were totally different. I came straight out of high school and played with a dominant big in Shaquille. Man, I was so young when I got to the NBA. What was I, like, 17? I mean, 17! The more you think about it, my situation was completely different than MJ’s, so the comparisons were just, you know, I stopped paying attention to them.”
I guess now it’s safe to say that the Kobe/MJ comparisons and obsession have been of our own doing, and not necessarily through Kobe’s. It’s hard to come into your prime directly after the GOAT retires, so of course discussions of Kobe trying to emulate MJ were raised.
This is yet another example of why players should not be held in the same mold as their predecessors let’s allow every player past, present and future to come into their own and thrive. At least, that’s something that Kobe seems to be striving for.