If they spent only a few seasons together on the floor, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have regularly been compared to each other over the years. However, there were still differences between them. A close associate of both men recently revealed which one was the most important.
When you watch videos of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant playing, it’s hard not to draw a parallel between them. Both backs, both big scorers with indefensible jumpshot, both fierce competitors … the similarities are numerous, which is not so surprising, given that the Mamba was largely inspired by the former Bull to perfect his game.
Another thing that both men were very picky about was their training and work ethic. What differed here, however, was the way they did things. Tim Grover, who worked with MJ and then Kobe for a long time, knows that. Invited on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast, the personal coach explained that the ex-Laker was much more radical in his approach:
The biggest difference between the two was that I had to teach Kobe and work with him on how to stop. Not only how to stop from a training standpoint, but also how to teach his muscles to stop to ensure that his career lasts longer. With him, it was never enough.
This is typical of the five-time NBA champion, who was a workaholic and didn’t like it when his teammates didn’t have the same mentality. According to Grover, Jordan acted in a very different way, having surrounded himself with a very closed circle of specialists to manage his physical condition:
Michael’s team was very tight. It was a small group, everybody knew their role, everybody knew what they were supposed to do and they did it. He trusted very few people. When you said to Michael, « Enough, that’s it for today, » he literally said, « I hired you to do this job, I trust you.
To say that one method works better than the other is a step that no one will take. We must realize that these two players had a level of self-demand rarely seen in the history of sport. This is what helped them to become such great athletes and to be revered throughout the NBA community.