Known for his legendary trashtalking, Michael Jordan killed the competition with fadeaways and stinging punchlines. In the middle of the Farewell tour in Washington, the GOAT decided to attack Kobe Bryant during a harmless regular season game. It was a big mistake for MJ to tickle the Black Mamba’s (overinflated) ego.
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan have always had a special relationship. Indeed, MJ has always been an inspiration in the game and in the mentality for Kobe. The similarities between the two backs are obvious and numerous. After a second retirement in 1998, Michael Jordan decided to put on his sneakers again and score again. The 2002-2003 season was his last and everyone in the league knew it, making every game special. Since 1998, Kobe Bryant had evolved and become a reference at his position. During a meeting at the MCI Center, the #23 did not hesitate to remind Kobe who is and will remain the best. Free of his shoe contract with Adidas, the three-time champion often wore Jordan in game and Mike dropped a punchline worthy of himself. Rookie during this season, Gilbert Arenas tells this anecdote on his podcast No Chill :
In Washington, Jordan had won. At the end of the game, Jordan slapped his butt and said, ‘You can wear my shoes, but they’ll never fit.’
Ouch! It hurts a lot for a player as proud as Kobe. Jordan wanted to remind him of the hierarchy and that the Angelinos back will never reach his level. According to Gilbert Arenas, Kobe had not spoken to his teammates for 2 weeks. That’s how much his ego had been affected. A few months later, Jordan’s sentence was still echoing in the head of the Mamba for this second confrontation between the Wizards and the Lakers. This game was also the last duel between Jordan and Kobe. To get revenge, the young guard scored 55 points (including 42 points in the first half, a franchise record at the time) to the nose of the GOAT. He needed it, he had to. Kobe took his revenge in the best way: on the floor. At an unattainable level, Jordan and his Wizards logically lost to the Lakers of a Kobe on a mission. This game was the last opposition between the two best backs in history and the transfer of power between Kobe and his idol.
“Kobe Bryant was a f**king psycho”
Gilbert Arenas tells us the story of what led to @KobeBryant scoring 55 against MJ and the Wizards that night 😳 Mamba was a sicko. More stories 👇🏽
(FULL EPISODE): https://t.co/2E42bQnNVh https://t.co/RnvfN5NCwt pic.twitter.com/mF4FybxueB
— Ball Don't Stop (@balldontstop) September 2, 2019
Kobe drops 55 on his teacher’s head. pic.twitter.com/iwvRMC9KI1
— ThrowbackHoops (@ThrowbackHoops) September 1, 2019