The fifth episode of “The Last Dance” provided Los Angeles Lakers fans with a healthy dose of nostalgia after Kobe Bryant made his debut in the 10-part ESPN documentary.
The series featured a behind-the-scenes look at Bryant becoming the youngest All-Star Game starter in NBA history from Michael Jordan’s perspective. It was no secret among those ready to take part in the festivities that the budding, young superstar was anxious to take the torch from his idol.
Jordan’s comments regarding Bryant made it evident that the 19-year-old had made quite an impression on him up to that point. Of course, it would only be a matter of time before ‘that little Laker boy’ would essentially become a second coming of Jordan.
Trae Young even took to Twitter to express as much for his generation of superstars:
KOBE WAS MY MJ🙏🏽😢
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) May 4, 2020
It is safe to say that Young’s comments are shared by most fans that grew up watching after Jordan’s playing days were over. Getting an opportunity to witness the relationship between these two icons at different stages of their illustrious careers only helps to solidify this notion.
Bryant was adamant about making sure that fans gave credit where it was due for helping him to develop into the player he would eventually become. The Lakers legend may have simply been trying to expand his game by learning from the best, however, he would inadvertently became the closest thing to Jordan for an entire generation of fans that missed out on the opportunity to see his predecessor in action.
While his admiration for Jordan was well-documented, Bryant was eventually able to establish his own legacy outside of his mentor’s shadow as the greatest player player in Lakers history and a cultural icon off the court. Although he may be gone, it is clear that that the profound impact he left behind is poised to stand the test of time.