Kobe Bryant’s respect for Michael Jordan was forged after he went scoreless in 25 straight games and nearly quit basketball. In a new interview with GQ, the Black Mamba explained how MJ’s resilience during a career-defining slump made him appreciate his own success even more.
Kobe Bryant’s Respect for Michael Jordan Was ‘Forged’ After He Went Scoreless in 25 Straight Games and Nearly Quit Basketball. Read more in detail here: where was kobe bryant born.
Kobe Bryant couldn’t score a long time ago (apparently in a galaxy far, far away). In fact, he didn’t score for the whole summer, accumulating 0 points in 25 games. He considered giving up basketball entirely. Then he discovered a fascinating fact about Michael Jordan.
This was well before his championship days with the Los Angeles Lakers and Shaquille O’Neal. It had been a long time since he had played in the NBA. Nonetheless, Kobe’s scoring slump enraged him.
He was 12 years old at the time.
However, Bryant discovered that even MJ had failed as a young player. He reasoned that if failure could motivate Jordan, it might motivate him as well.
At the 1991 Sonny Hill tournament, Kobe Bryant did not score a single point.
According to Jeff Pearlman’s book Three Ring Cirus, Kobe’s father, Joe, enrolled him in the Sonny Hill Community Development League just before he turned thirteen. In the Philadelphia region, the Sonny Hill tournament is well-known for producing young basketball stars.
Joe completed the most of the registration papers before handing it over to Kobe to finish the last few lines. Bryant had put “NBA” under “future career goal.”
He was questioned, “Are you serious?” Just a nod from the eventual Hall of Famer.
Over the next 25 games, he proceeded to miss every single shot he took.
Bryant started to imitate Jordan by motivating himself via failure.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and the Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan converse on the floor | VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images
In an article for the Player’s Tribune in 2014, The Black Mamba told the same tale. When he overtook Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring chart, he was reminded of it:
“Zero. That was the total amount of points I scored in the Sonny Hill Future League in Philadelphia when I was 12 years old. I didn’t get any points. A free throw, an unintentional layup, or even a fortunate toss-the-ball-up-oops-it-went-in basket will not suffice.
“I contemplated giving up basketball and concentrating only on soccer.” This is when I gained my respect and adoration for Michael Jackson. I heard that as a freshman, he was cut from his high school team; I learned that he understood what it was like to be humiliated, to feel like a failure. But he didn’t stop because he utilized those feelings to feed him and make him stronger. As a result, I chose to approach my issue in the same manner he did. My failure would be used as fuel to keep my competitive fire burning.”
Kobe Bryant on Michael Jordan’s failures and how he learned from them
Bryant said that demonstrating to everyone that he could excel on the basketball floor became “obsessed” with him. During the 18-time all-career, star’s that fixation irritated a lot of people. However, it seems to have worked.
Bryant used what he had learnt from Jordan.
As a freshman at Lower Merion High School, the future MVP was playing on the varsity team only two years after failing to score a single point. He was drafted in the first round six years later.
Bryant went scoreless for 25 consecutive games as a youngster, yet in his professional career, he scored 33,643 points. Jordan, Wilt, and Shaq were all passed by him. He was a two-time NBA scoring champion. In one game, he scored 81 points.
There are many tales about what Kobe learnt from Michael Jordan and how he imitated the six-time champion. But it was failure that earned him respect and provided the fire that propelled him to the NBA. Jordan’s did, too.
Basketball Reference provided all statistics.
‘I Tell You, It’s Hard to Shoot After Bird,’ Michael Jordan said of everyone who had to compete with Larry Bird in the 1988 3-point contest.
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