There may be no greater mentor/mentee relationship than that of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. As Mike was closing out his historic career, a young Bryant was just starting his basketball journey.
What started out as Kobe harassing Jordan with questions turned into a beautiful and mutual bond that continued well beyond both players had ended their basketball careers.
And though Bryant isn't alive today to talk about this relationship, stories are continuing to emerge including about the time MJ's trainer helped solve Kobe's notorious knee troubles.
In a recent chat with GQ, Tim Grover revealed the details:
“In 2007 (Kobe) actually called Michael and said, ‘Hey listen, my knees are absolutely killing me. You think you can help me out?’ I said, ‘I don’t think I can help you out, I know I can help you out’.”
He also went explained the source of Kobe's knee issues.
“The problem with his knees was he was basically doing too much,” Grover said. “This is a common problem that’s happening now, You have so many experts involved. Trainer, massage therapist, muscle activation guy. Everybody’s pulling everybody in different directions because everybody wants the credit for the client. Basketball is a team sport and just like that getting an individual healthy is a team sport.”
Eventually, he used his expertise to help Bryant adjust how he was playing the game.
“With Kobe everything was acceleration, he had a Ferrari and Lamborghini acceleration and he had a sub car performance brakes in it. He had a major imbalance between the muscles that accelerated and the muscles that decelerated and that was causing the issues on his knees.”
Kobe would also go on to get stem cell injections in his knee, and that (combined with the advice from Grover) helped ensure longevity for Bryant.
In the end, it's clear that the relationship between Kobe and Michael wasn't just a formality. It was something real and practical for both sides.