Kobe Bryant only had confidence in himself and his skills. There was no way you could have predicted that the 17-year-old scumbag who was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick in 1996 would not be able to accomplish what Michael Jordan did.
Jordan had been the subject of Bryant’s obsessive scrutiny since Jordan was too young to operate a vehicle or enjoy a drink with friends. Even after becoming a superstar, studying continued.
And because Kobe based his style of play on the legendary Bulls player, he would only accept a version of him who was capable of defeating him face-to-face. Additionally, read Shaquille O’Neal’s response to Kobe Bryant’s argument that he is out of shape about his three-time Finals MVP award.
Who could beat Kobe Bryant 1v1? Only a version of Michael Jordan!
You have to be one of the biggest names in basketball to share a phrase with Michael Jordan. Only a select few enjoy that opportunity, and one of them is the famed 6′ 6″ shooting guard from Los Angeles, whose 20-year NBA career came as near to Michael Jordan’s as possible.
Bryant may not have had as many scoring championships as Jordan, but he did make the All-Defensive First Team nine times, which should be enough to demonstrate his skill at preventing some of the greatest guards from scoring.
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The man was confident that nobody else in the whole history of basketball could defeat him in a one-on-one matchup other than Mike at his peak.
When Kobe Bryant Disclosed the Most Valuable Lesson He Acquired From 20 Years in the NBA
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How good was MJ 1v1?
According to the timeline, it should have been Stephen Jackson, a former player for Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets, who was destroyed in practice by a 45–50-year-old Jordan who averaged 21 points per game.
There is also another Jackson-authored tale in which an elderly Jordan played for the Hornets’ second squad and defeated the first team by making a dunk. Just consider what it would be like if he truly played with the generation after the one he did.