At some point in the next few weeks Kobe Bryant is going to pass Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list.
More than any other high-profile player in the last 20 years, Kobe modelled his game off of Jordan’s. Jordan once joked that Kobe stole all his moves, and there’s a lengthy YouTube compilation of Kobe mimicking M.J.’s mannerisms on the court.
In an interview with Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, Kobe spoke about his relationship with MJ.
When asked to Jordan’s “key attribute,” Kobe had this to say:
“Aggression. It’s not one game or one play, in particular; it’s just his aggressiveness. It takes a lot of work, a lot of conditioning, skill and thought to be that aggressive and that assertive. He was relentless, man. He just kept coming after you.
“He just kept attacking, attacking, attacking — and attacking in different ways, from different spots on the floor, with different forms of footwork. Posting, perimeter, versatility…”
For both players, “aggression” manifested itself in taking an incredible number of shots. Earlier this year he broke the record for most missed field goals. In 1997, Jordan recited this famous quote about the virtue of missing shots in a Nike commercial:
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over, and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
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