It's not a secret that Kobe Bryant idolized Michael Jordan and he modeled his game after the Chicago Bulls legend. Kobe had credited Jordan more than once about his success, explaining there wouldn't have been a Kobe Bryant without Jordan and all the things he did on the court.
The Los Angeles Lakers legend always drew comparisons with His Airness but he was more talented than his teacher and became a complete unknown for defenders around the league, who didn't know how to stop Kobe.
The Black Mamba didn't have a pattern and that was tricky for people guarding him. Former Nets player Kerry Kittles recently shared his favorite story about Kobe, revealing that he and his team went against the two best players in the league in 2002.
The Nets and the Lakers faced in the biggest series of all, with the Lakers completing their three-peat in front of Kittle and co. The former player revealed that in his eyes, Kobe was more unpredictable than Jordan because not even Kobe knew what he was going to do when attacking the rim.
Via Basketball News:
“Playing against Kobe in the 2002 NBA Finals, he and Shaq that year were No. 1 and No. 2 in the whole league. We had the best player in the league and the second-best player in the league coming at us, taking all of the shots. Occasionally, they’d pass the ball to Rick Fox or Robert Horry or Derek Fisher every now and then, but those two guys were just as dominant as could be. And Kobe, to me, was just so hard to guard because he didn't have any weakness. With most players back then, you could key in on certain tendencies, but he didn’t have tendencies! He had countermoves and then he had more countermoves! Kobe was more skilled than Jordan, but Jordan was more effective than Kobe. Jordan would hit you with pump fakes and drive by you; he was a little bit more predictable. With Kobe, you didn't know what he was going to do because he didn’t know what he was going to do. That's the most dangerous player, when you think about it. As far as trying to guard him one-on-one, you didn’t know what he was going to do. At least with Mike, you had a little bit of an idea what he wanted to do. Kobe was the toughest match-up for me and the hardest to guard."
Bryant won five championships during his career, one less than Jordan, in seven trips to the Finals. They were very good friends and developed a very good relationship. As soon as he met Jordan, Kobe let him know he was going to be a problem. KB24 told Jordan 'I could kick your a**' the first time they met and that's how he knew he had something special in front of him.
Now Jordan will have the chance to reveal more incredible stories about Bryant when he introduces the Lakers icon to the Hall of Fame.