Kobe Bryant will enter his 20th season in the NBA in October and the end of his Hall of Fame-caliber career appears to be drawing near. Even after two decades in the league and on the verge of turning 37, the comparisons to Michael Jordan continue to follow Bryant as well as high praise from the six-time NBA champion.
In a recent Q&A session, Jordan was asked about Kobe and what advice he’d give him at this stage in his career. Jordan didn’t exactly answer the question, but gave an interesting response, via Patrick Dorsey of ESPN:
Actually, Kobe and I are good friends. I like Kobe, we talk a lot, I hope he comes back healthy. I think he’s one of the great players of the game, I think he’s done a lot for the game, and he has a true love for the game of basketball. I absolutely have high regard for Kobe Bryant.
“Even though he stole all my moves, but that’s OK. I still love him like a brother.”
Regardless of how Kobe’s career in the NBA comes to an end, the comparisons to Jordan will never stop. There’s never been two elite players, both in the conversation for being the greatest to ever play the game, with such similar styles of play.
Bryant is a product of the Jordan era with the Lakers superstar molding his game to be nearly identical to that of NBA legend. Although Bryant supposedly “stole” his moves, Jordan clearly has nothing but respect for the player that has come closest to matching his incredible legacy.
Jordan was also asked about LeBron James and whether he would’ve been able to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers star one-on-one in his prime years. Jordan, in classic form, answered by simply saying:
There’s no doubt that in the foreseeable future Bryant will be asked the same kind of questions about players coming up in the league today or stars that will emerge in the years to come. The answer will likely be exactly the same.[H/T to Youssef Hannoun for MJ/Kobe Video] [divide]