Wherever Michael Jordan went, he always drew a lot of attention. He was and still is worshipped by a lot of people, not only NBA fans but players and media members. His Airness is one of the greatest athletes of all time and everybody pays respect to him wherever he goes.
Among his many nicknames, 'Black Jesus' was one of the most famous. A lot of people used to call Mike that, but not everybody was cool with it. In fact, Kobe Bryant was confused when he learned that people actually called Jordan 'Black Jesus.'
During an old interview, Kobe talked about his 1-on-1 duels with No. 23, revealing that he couldn't believe that people didn't call the Chicago Bulls legend 'Michael' or 'Mike.'
"I used to work out with the 76ers, I used to ask them, what's it like to guard Mike? They were like, 'Mike? You mean 'Black Jesus?' I'm like, 'what the f--k? Black who?' 'We call him Black Jesus or you can call him Black Cat. 'I'm gonna call him f--king Mike. That's his f--king name.' So the level of fear that he inspired in others was insane. And I would tell him, I said when I face him, we're gonna go at it. 'Sure, you don't want to do that.' I'm like, 'what? Man, you don't know me, man."
Kobe was fearless, regardless of who was in front of him. He never backed down from a challenge and even though the odds weren't always in his favor, the Black Mamba was always ready to face his opponents.
He had many stories challenging Jordan, they had some back and forths, with Kobe reminding Mike that he was talking to a killer too, while MJ tried to compare them in their primes, saying he would have destroyed the best version of Kobe.
They had a close relationship, and Jordan vowed to help Bryant with whatever he needed. They had brotherhood and Jordan always reminds people of how special Kobe was to him. Their competitiveness was unmatched, but even on the court, they were incredibly good friends.