Apart from the similarities in their playing style and pure basketball skill, one of the things that made Michael Jordan and the late great Kobe Bryant almost the same was their pure competitive nature. Their competitiveness was mostly evident in games when they faced different players and teams, but there were numerous occasions when they had bets with other people on certain things. Sometimes these contests seemed trivial to most people, but in their minds, it was a challenge to showcase how good they were.
One of the stories that depict that perfectly is when former NBA correspondent Elie Seckbach challenged Kobe to make a half-court shot with his left hand. Kobe never backed down from a challenge in his life, and even though there wasn’t much on the line, like in a real game, he would indulge himself in having some fun. In the first instance, the bet was that if Kobe makes the shot, Seckbach needs to do 200 push-ups. Kobe made the shot, but because Seckbach didn’t see it, they raised the bet in which if Kobe had ten tries with his left hand from half-court. The stakes were higher this time because Seckbach had to do 400 push-ups, but in case Kobe missed his shots, he was off the hook.
It seems after they agreed on the bet, Kobe activated his ‘Mamba Mentality’, and it didn’t take him long to make that shot. That initiated a lot of trash-talking from Kobe, and Seckbach had to start warming up because he had a long way to go to make those 400 push-ups.
That is just one story that shows how competitive Kobe was but also, on the other hand, the amount of talent and finesse his game had. Even though he was right-handed, hitting a half-court shot with a left hand is no easy task, but for Kobe, it seemed like just another day in the office.