Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have been linked to each other throughout their time in the NBA. When Kobe entered the league in 1996, few would have expected him to reach the heights that he did. But that is exactly what he did. Playing as a shooting guard like MJ, Kobe showed glaring similarities to Jordan’s style of play.
But the factor that really drove up the comparisons between the two was their mentalities. Both had a ‘win at all costs’ mentality every time they took to the court. The two players had no room in their minds to accept a loss under any circumstances. This is why the two also found great success in the NBA.
After Jordan finally walked away from the game, Kobe took on the mantle. Bryant was so similar to Jordan in almost every conceivable way. The two formed a close relationship during their brief shared time in the league.
And Bryant would often call and text Michael asking him for advice and just having conversations with him. Despite having a brotherly relationship with each other, the two have an intense competitive streak that reared its head when they met.
And that is exactly what happened according to Kobe. During an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Kobe spoke about a dinner that the two had. During that dinner, Jordan kept saying that his 1991 version would easily defeat Kobe’s peak version.
Bryant responded hilariously, telling him to focus on his food, and reminding him that there is no way that would happen.
« (The) last time we had dinner he was talking about ‘My year in 1991 vs your peak year, I would’ve kicked your a**’. I said ‘Mike, come on now, enjoy the salad. We both know that’s not gonna happen. »
Bryant himself has spoken in the past about how he wanted to face the 1991 version of Michael Jordan, one that many consider his best. But Kobe was way too young to have played against him. The brief flashes we saw of them playing together showed how incredible a battle between the two would have been.