Kobe Bryant always had big confidence in himself and his capacity to make whatever he wanted on the basketball court. This man went straight out of high school to play in the NBA, where he became one of the greatest to ever do it.
The young Mamba was always trying to find challenges and get inspired by all the things around him, including his basketball idol, Michael Jordan. From a very young age, Bryant was predicting what he was going to do when he made it to the league and when he landed in the association, he didn't disappoint. One of the biggest histories about Kobe was how he claimed he would have beaten Jordan at a young age.
Back in 2014, a former high school teammate revealed how Kobe really felt about facing Jordan one-on-one and how he would be unable to stop the teenager in a pickup game.
Per the LA Daily News (via Slam Online):
“I remember Kobe saying, ‘Michael Jordan can’t stop me,’” said David Lasman, one of Bryant’s former teammates at Lower Merion, a suburban high school outside Philadelphia. “‘I’m not saying I can stop him. But he can’t stop me.’”
Lasman would tell the 17-year-old Bryant he’s “crazy” for saying something so brash. After all, Jordan would win six NBA championships, six Finals MVPs and five regular-season MVPs. But Bryant would eventually enter the NBA out of high school, win five NBA championships with the Lakers and spark never-ending comparisons to Jordan.
Bryant could also surpass Jordan for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list when the Lakers (6-16) visit San Antonio (15-6) on Friday at AT&T Center. Bryant only needs 31 points to surpass Jordan’s 32,292 career points. Bryant conceded his upcoming milestone will mark “a great accomplishment,” trailing only Karl Malone (36,928) and former Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) on the scoring list. But Bryant argued “the true beauty in it comes in the journey.”
Jordan and Kobe didn't have as many duels as we would have liked, but whenever they went at it, you know it was a good show. They starred in several good moments throughout NBA history, even calling each other out during games to go one on one and make points or draw fouls.
They ended up having a great relationship, becoming brothers and sharing a big passion for the game. Kobe modeled his game after MJ and he was always proud to see how great his pupil was. However, not everybody is convinced that Kobe would have beaten Jordan in a one-on-one game.