Bryant grew up idolizing Jordan and copied a lot of his moves as well as his demeanor on the court. They were both assassins who relished the big moments and loved to silence opposing crowds.
While Jordan would end his career with an impressive 6 NBA titles, Kobe looked set to perhaps even eclipse MJ after he won 3 titles fairly early on during his time with the LA Lakers.
After Shaquille O'Neal was traded away from the team in 2004, however, the Lakers' fortunes took a turn for the worse. But things got better once they managed to trade for Pau Gasol.
They made it back to the Finals in 2008 with Kobe and Pau leading the way, but the Boston Celtics and their Big 3 of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett proved to be too
much to overcome in the end. After that loss, Bryant reached out to Jordan and even complained a bit about how stacked the Celtics were.
MJ’s advice to Kobe was,
“You got all the tools… You gotta figure it out. There’s no other alternative.”
Jordan gave him some honest advice right there by stating that Kobe just had to figure it out as he had all the tools at his disposal and he sure did.
Bryant and the Lakers would return to the Finals the following year and they defeated the Orlando Magic in 5 games.
Revenge against the Celtics would come the following year, as the Lakers prevailed in 7 games over them in the 2010 Finals to earn Kobe his 5th and final ring.
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