One of the most popular debates among NBA fans is the comparisons between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. People would make all sorts of different arguments on who is a better player, but when these comments come from other NBA players, they bring an added value to these conversations. Scottie Pippen is one of these players that spoke about this topic during his interview with Thuzio and shared his thoughts on the whole subject.
Ever since Kobe came to the NBA as a teenager, he was extremely curious about every aspect of the game and would often ask different players on what they did in specific situations during the game. Kobe wanted to learn every detail because he knew those things would give him an edge against his competition. That is how Scottie remembers him by because they had the opportunity to play against each other, but also had multiple sessions where Kobe wanted to learn from Scottie.
“Kobe would call me and pick my brain. It was amazing to know that he did that to a lot of players. He did that to people in all parts of life, whether it was a movie producer or a best-selling author. Kobe was a very intelligent guy, and he believed in striving to be the best. I really hate that we didn’t tell him how great he really was.”Scottie Pippen, Via Thuzio
Pippen was also aware of the comparisons between Kobe and Jordan and said there were times when he actually thought Kobe was a better player. Their paths in the league were much different, and Michael came to the NBA as an established player who went through a great program led by the late great coach Dean Smith. On the other hand, Kobe came in as a teenager who had to prove himself and didn’t get much playing time in his first season. That was a major difference between him and Jordan, who had an immediate impact on the Chicago Bulls and the league.
“[Kobe] strived so hard to be Michael Jordan. When I go back, and I look at his videos, and I say to myself, ‘Damn he was better than Michael Jordan. He worked so hard. This kid came out of high-school. He didn’t go play for North Carolina under a Dean Smith.”Scottie Pippen, Via Thuzio
Kobe took an immediate interest in Jordan, his moves, demeanor, and the approach he takes when facing different defenders. He knew that if he wants to be the best, he has to learn from the best, and as Scottie mentioned if you followed Kobe carefully throughout his career, the similarities between the two were astonishing. Kobe developed the same type of intensity, mindset, and the desire to be the best player he could be by learning and observing what other all-time great players did in their careers.