Episode 5 of “The Last Dance,” ESPN’s docuseries on the 1990s Chicago Bulls, gave a ton of insight into the relationship between Michael Jordan and late great Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
It’s no secret that Bryant idolized Jordan and wanted to be just like him, whether that be as a leader off the floor, or copying his moves on the floor.
What many fans didn’t know though is just how close the two stars were during their playing days. In addition to “The Last Dance,” Jordan’s speech at Bryant’s memorial service gave some insight into that as well as he explained how the latter would text him at all hours of the night asking questions and advice, forming a big brother-little brother relationship.
One person who worked with both players and is aware of how they ticked is personal trainer Tim Grover. In an interview with Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Grover explained how they were different in their workouts:
“Kobe needed to know everything,” Grover said. “He wanted to know why we did this exercise? Why this many reps? Why this? Why that? Kobe, he was always, ‘Why, why, why?’ Because he was a student. He was learning. Michael was just like, ‘I hired you to do a job. Just get me the end result. I don’t need to know why I’m doing this, what’s going on. But when I do ask, you better have the answer.’”
“Michael knew when enough was enough. “Like, ‘OK, I got to shut my body down. I need to relax.’ With Kobe, it was the complete opposite. If he couldn’t sleep, Kobe was like, ‘My time is being wasted. I need to go to the gym and get some shots up.'”
Laker fans are well-aware of how obsessed Bryant was with being great during his playing days. That led him to win five NBA championships in his career, which he said in the documentary that he could not have done without the guidance from Jordan.
While Jordan is widely known to be the greatest basketball player of all-time, Bryant is the closest thing to him and will certainly have his seat at the table when discussing all-time greats when all is said and done.