18 years ago: Kobe and Michael Jordan face off for the last time

18 years ago today (2003): Kobe and Michael Jordan face off for the last time. Kobe dropped 42 points, including 8 of 11 three-point attempts, in the FIRST half. He finished with 55 and a Lakers victory.


ack in 2003, during Michael Jordan’s final NBA season, his Wizards went into Staples Center to face Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and the three-time defending champion L.A. Lakers. It was the last time Jordan faced off with Bryant, whom he has long been compared to, and also O’Neal. All three are widely considered to be among the 10 best players in NBA history.B

It was also the final time Jordan played in a game featuring Phil Jackson. The game actually pitted Jackson against Doug Collins, another one of Jordan’s coaches in Chicago.

That night all sorts of storylines. Here is a look back through a modern day lens using GIFs and screenshots to illustrate the best moments…

Kobe vs. Jordan

Bryant and Jordan’s final meeting was clearly a major event at the time. Everyone knew Jordan was riding off into the sunset and everyone knew Bryant was well on his way to becoming a legend, already with three championships on his resume.


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