Over the years, it had become quite clear that Hall of Famer Michael Jordan had a massive impact on shaping the career of former Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant. There was great mutual respect between the two that helped Bryant gain a mentor and a big brother figure in his life in Jordan throughout his two decades in the league. During ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary, the soon-to-be Hall of Famer gave Jordan all the credit for helping him win five NBA titles.
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan’s relationship
From the beginning, Bryant and Jordan quickly developed a strong bond on and off the court.
The Lakers star had quickly garnered a healthy level of respect from his idol quite early in his career. That saw Jordan graciously taken on the mentorship role to Bryant likely due to seeing that he had all the qualities that made him successful in the league, such as his work ethic, dedication, and passion for the game of basketball.
Their relationship became a guiding point for Bryant to find success in his career and excel behind the tutelage of his muse. The impact was evident as he had many of the moves and mannerism from Jordan, along with the talent that made him one of the game’s greatest players.
Bryant took that a step further in what turned out to be his last interview by shoveling a great deal of praise toward the Hall of Famer.
Kobe Bryant credits Michael Jordan for helping him win five NBA titles
In the first few years into retirement, Bryant was quite open about many aspects of his illustrious NBA career.
One of those areas is Jordan’s impact on the player he became in his two decades in the league. During his segment in episode five in “The Last Dance” documentary, Bryant voiced that without the Bulls star’s guidance he wouldn’t have won five NBA titles.
“At that point, Michael provided a lot of guidance for me. I had a question about shooting his turnaround shot, so I asked him about it. He gave me a great detailed answer, but on top of that he said ‘if you ever need anything give me a call.’ He’s like my big brother. I truly hate having discussions about who would win 1-on-1. You hear fans saying ‘hey Kobe, you would be Michael 1-on-1.’ What you get from me is from him. I don’t get five championships here without him because he guided me so much and gave me so much great advice.
Jordan was a guiding light for Bryant’s career as the words of advice further pounded home his belief in his ability and playing style. In many ways, the two were one and the same with how they approached the game, and that came from Bryant fully embracing the method of Jordan’s commitment to his craft.
With Bryant’s passing in late January, it makes these comments quite chilling, as it shows that there was an incredible level of respect and appreciation due to the invaluable teaching he received from his idol during his playing days.
Kobe Bryant’s legacy forever tied to Michael Jordan
Although Bryant put together an impressive NBA career that saw him set numerous NBA records and win five championships, it will always be tied to Jordan.
Many believe that he’s the closest to being what his idol was on the court, which has helped place him in the conversation of the greatest player in NBA history. Jordan’s impact on Bryant played a massive part in allowing him to maximize his ability on the floor.
Beyond, the legacy of these two players will always be intertwined.