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As Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant prepares to surpass Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, a series of videos have been released showing their similarities and previous clashes.
Bryant is just 31 points shy of passing Jordan on the all-time scoring list where Jordan sits in third place with 32,292 points.
Only Karl Malone (36,298) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,287) have scored more than the pair and both Jordan and Bryant have undoubtedly secured their legacies in the game for the individual and collective accolades.
“It’s really not a big deal to say I passed him for something like that,” Bryant said. “It’s a great accomplishment, but the true beauty is in the journey.”
After years of comparisons and living in Jordan’s shadow, Bryant insists that he has done enough in his own career to escape that shadow. However, he has also revealed the close relationship the pair have as he described the Bulls legend as being “like a big brother” that he often asked advice from and wasn’t afraid to compete with.
Phil Jackson won 11 championships as an NBA head coach, six with Jordan during their time together in Chicago and five with Bryant in Los Angeles. If anyone is able to compare the two then it would be him, and he revealed along with the quotes below that Jordan himself conceded that Kobe is the only player who can be compared to him.
“Kobe was hell-bent on surpassing Jordan as the greatest player in the game. His obsession with Michael was striking. Not only had he mastered many of Jordan’s moves, but he affected many of M.J.’s mannerisms as well.
“When we played in Chicago that season, I orchestrated a meeting between the two stars, thinking that Michael might help shift Kobe’s attitude toward selfish teamwork. After they shook hands, the first words out of Kobe’s mouth were, ‘You know I can kick your ass one-on-one.'” — Phil Jackson in his 2013 book, “Eleven Rings”