Kobe Bryant was one of the most fiercely competitive athletes of all time.
The only player to really rival his spirit also just happened to be the only player he really strived to be like – Michael Jordan.
During a recent VladTV appearance, Gilbert Arenas revealed an interesting anecdote about Jordan and Bryant.
Specifically, he divulged a comment that the former made to the latter that resulted in the latter not speaking to anyone for two weeks.
“I guess during that time Kobe didn’t say anything to anybody,” Arenas said. “So for like two weeks, they said, ‘Kobe was just mute.’ Like he didn’t talk to his players, didn’t talk to his teammates, just he was like in focus mode. It was straight like practice was just so intense.
“The players are like, ‘Yo is he mad at us? Did we do something to him?’ And then Phil was like ‘No no no no, Jordan told him, when we played him, you could wear the shoes but can never fill them… And that’s the game where Kobe had like 55 points.”
That’s certainly one way to dress to a Miami Heat game. https://t.co/hc5B0pztRq
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 29, 2021
Jordan and Bryant had a very close relationship. Not long ago, Jordan revealed his last text message exchange with Bryant. It really spoke to their bond. He was also never shy to give his honest thoughts on who he perceived to be better between Bryant and LeBron James.
Clearly Jordan had an immense impact on Bryant’s development and trajectory as a player. And given the important role Bryant played in basketball lore – all NBA fans should be thankful for Jordan’s influence on him.
Related: Karl Malone Settles Michael Jordan vs Scottie Pippen Once And For All