Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were very close during their time together in the league. When one looks at the footage of Bryant and Jordan playing, the similarities in their game become visible. Kobe and MJ were cut from the same cloth, not just in terms of their talent, but their execution and their mentality. Jordan served as the mentor for Kobe, who learned a lot from 'His Airness'.
One of the things that Michael Jordan wishes he hadn't taught Kobe Bryant but appreciates about him is the turnaround fadeaway shot. The shot was Jordan's signature shot in the NBA, and after Kobe learned it from MJ, he began using it as his signature shot too. Jordan had immense respect for Kobe and how he used the shot in difficult situations (24:22 onwards).
Michael Jordan: I would lay in my bed after talking to him and say, “Man, man, I mean, that’s pretty cool.” But yet, I don’t know if I could have ever done that where I’m bleeding information from someone. At times, I thought, “Why am I giving away all this information that he’s going to use right against me?” No matter how I’d start the conversation, he knew the answer. It wasn’t like I was telling him anything that he didn’t know. I think I was more or less confirming it.
The one thing that I did give him that I felt like I regretted—but then again, I appreciated—was his turnaround fadeaway. He learned my move. He learned that to a point where he would use it—relentlessly, especially when you know you’re getting double-teamed. … I took great pride in seeing him utilize that, even though he didn’t do it against me that much.
Jordan and Kobe became very close with each other, especially after Jordan retired. Bryant would go to MJ for advice, especially when it came to his game. Jordan initially found Kobe irritating, but eventually warmed up to him. All the conversations they shared brought them closer together. Jordan has admitted that Kobe was like a little brother to him, someone he cared for deeply and always wanted to try and help.
After Kobe's unfortunate passing, Jordan was devastated. He spoke at Kobe's memorial about the special bond the two shared. And last year, prior to Kobe's hall of fame induction, Jordan revealed that he still can't bring himself to delete the texts he shared with Kobe from his phone, as it is too difficult.