Kobe Bryant’s Letter to Michael Jordan
What’s up old timer? I see you managed to pull away from the golf course and casino long enough to talk. That’s great. I’m happy to see that you’re still as cocky as you ever was. That’s the MJ we’ve all come to know and love. The GOAT, Superman and in the words of Larry Bird, “God playing basketball”. It’s an honor to even be mentioned as the successor to your throne; and you’re right, I have spent years learning your style. In fact, I think I’ve mastered a few of your moves. However, to set the record straight, I never said I would be better than you. As you said in your letter, we’re very different people. We have different swag, different personalities and completely different teams. You will always go down as the greatest to ever lace em up. However, you never really had to be. You simply wanted to be. That’s what makes you MJ, and me Kobe.
First thing you have to understand is that I had to be great. There was no way around it. Even when Shaq was in LA, he couldn’t do it all alone. True, he was the first option most of the time. However, who was the guy that did all the perimeter shooting? Who hit the game winners when Robert Horry and Derek Fisher wan’t there? It was me. I had to be that guy. You had it a little easier MJ. While you were the one hitting the clutch shots, you had options a lot of times. Remember the “shot” over Craig Elho? Remember how difficult it was to hit that shot while moving against the grind, with an outstretched Elho hand in your face? If you take a look at the picture, notice how Larry Nance is in stride to double team. That would’ve left someone opened. Not good enough? How about the historic “booty tap” against Utah. You worked a lot for that shot, only to have a hot Scotttie Pippen just lurking, waiting for the past. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you’re a ball hog. I’m just saying you had options.
As for me, I had no choice but to score. When Shaq left, who did I really have? Robert Horry sucks during regular season, and Derek Fisher has no driving game. Remember that 81 point game I put up against Toronto? Even today people get on me about how much of a ball hog I was that season. Need they remember that during that preseason everyone abandoned me in LA to either go to south beach, or to the yoga mat (Phil). The next best scorer on the team was a guy named Smush Parker. One thing I’ve learned growing up in the NBA; never trust a guy names Smush.
Speaking of growing up, I spent much of my growing up in the NBA. Never going to college, I came to the NBA right out of high school. Hell, I took Brandy to prom. People looked forward to seeing if I was truly as good as all the hype ensued. Imagine,a young high school kid going straight to the NBA. It didn’t happen a lot back then. You served two years in college, as well as an appearance in the olympics before you stepped on a NBA court. Thing is, you said that you never really watched NBA basketball before coming to the pros. I grew up around the NBA. My dad played here before we went to Italy. MJ, NBA is simply in my blood.
I could go on and on about exactly how different we are. There’s the fact that I developed a fade away jumper before you. While you may be the best jumper between us, my lanky frame allows me to squeeze in between defenders that you can’t. However, none of our differences says that I’m better than you. Based on skill, who’s to say you’re better than me. Unless we took you back in time and played during both of our primes, the world will never truly know. On an achievement standpoint, you have had the better career. However, never forget that when it comes to being the G.O.A.T, I’m still lurking in the shadows, patiently biding my time. One day I will uphend you old timer. Be prepared MJ to crown the new king of basketball.
The Black Mamba