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Tim Legler On Kobe Bryant's Similarity To Michael Jordan: "I Think In The Beginning People Had A Hard Time Trying To Identify Kobe Bryant Because They're Like, 'I Don't Know Who This Guy Is, He Tryna Be Someone Else.'"

Tim Legler On Kobe Bryant's Similarity To Michael Jordan: "I Think In The Beginning People Had A Hard Time Trying To Identify Kobe Bryant Because They're Like, 'I Don't Know Who This Guy Is, He Tryna Be Someone Else.'"

Kobe Bryant came into the league with one of his major goals being to surpass his idol Michael Jordan. An absolute beast on both ends of the floor, the Lakers legend came as close to reaching MJ as any other player has since MJ retired. He didn't think MJ could beat him one-on-one either. Kobe's mentality and focus were legendary, and his work ethic has inspired several of today's superstars, especially those that had a chance to be on his team. 

The similarities between Bryant and Jordan are too many to count, and NBA analyst Tim Legler has gone on to say that Kobe was as close to a replica of MJ as the league has seen. Speaking on The Old Man and The Three with JJ Redick, Legler went in-depth into this comparison, even saying that Kobe being so similar to Michael initially confused NBA fans when it came to how they perceived him. 

(starts at 58:00)

JJ Redick: "Was his mindset the closest to Jordan's mindset?"

Tim Legler: "Definitely, 100%. Mindset and skillset. That's the closest thing. That's the closest replica you'll ever get to Michael Jordan, without a doubt. He wanted to be him. Even his mannerisms, and the way he spoke. The way he did interviews, everything, on the court, during dead balls, it was Michael Jordan.

"I think in the beginning people had a hard time identifying with Kobe Bryant because they're like, 'I don't know who this guy is, he's tryna be somebody else.' I really think that hurt his connection to the fans, to the media. They didn't know how to take this guy."

By the time he retired, Bryant had become a legend in his own right, with 5 championships, an MVP, and two Finals MVPs to his name. While the game has shifted from the way it was during Jordan's time, and even Kobe's, the way they approached it is something players will always have to emulate if they wish to reach the level of success that those two players did.