Kobe Bryant is a name that will forever be etched in the annals of basketball history. Known as one of the greatest players to ever grace the NBA, Bryant’s career is full of highlights, records, and iconic moments. But perhaps one of the most interesting things about Bryant was his unwavering belief in his own abilities, to the point where he even claimed to be better than his idol, Michael Jordan.
It’s no secret that Bryant was heavily influenced by Jordan. From his playing style to his demeanor on the court, it’s clear that Jordan was a huge inspiration to the young Bryant. But as he developed his own skills and became a star in his own right, Bryant began to see himself as more than just a follower of Jordan’s legacy. He saw himself as someone who could surpass his idol and make a name for himself in the basketball world.
“I am Better Than Michael Jordan”
This belief was not just a private conviction for Bryant, as former teammate Lamar Odom revealed. According to Odom, Bryant once claimed to him that he was better than Jordan. While this might come as a surprise to some, it’s actually quite in line with Bryant’s overall mentality. He was a fierce competitor who always believed he could win, no matter what the odds were against him.
Of course, Bryant’s belief in his own abilities was not just talk. He backed it up on the court with his incredible skills and performances. His five championships and numerous awards and accolades speak for themselves, and cement his status as one of the all-time greats.
Kobe’s Jersey Was A Dig At MJ
But perhaps the most telling indication of Bryant’s belief in himself can be seen in his choice of jersey number. While many players choose to wear the number of their idols or other famous players, Bryant opted for a number that was one step above Jordan’s iconic #23. He chose #24 as a “sign to everybody” that he was better than Jordan, according to Kevin Garnett.
This might seem like a small thing, but it speaks volumes about Bryant’s mentality and approach to the game. He wasn’t content to just follow in Jordan’s footsteps and be a great player in his own right. He wanted to surpass his idol and become the best, and he was willing to put his own stamp on the game by choosing a number that symbolized his belief in his own abilities.
Ultimately, Bryant’s belief in himself and his abilities is what made him such a special player. He was never content to just be good or even great. He always wanted to be the best, and he worked tirelessly to achieve that goal. While some might see his claim of being better than Jordan as arrogant or disrespectful, it’s really just a reflection of his unshakable confidence and drive to be the best.
In the end, whether or not Bryant was actually better than Jordan is up for debate. But what’s undeniable is that he believed he was, and that belief is what drove him to become one of the greatest players in NBA history.