Skip to main content

Michael Jordan gave Kobe Bryant a reality check after the 2008 NBA finals loss: "You’ve got all the tools"

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant's bond went beyond the basketball court. After the 2008 NBA Finals loss, MJ challenged Kobe to figure things out on his own and not look for alternatives.
Michael Jordan gave Kobe Bryant a reality check after 2008 NBA finals loss: You’ve got all the tools!

In 2008, in what could be Bryant's lowest point of his career, he asked MJ for advice, to which Jordan responded in the most Jordanesque way.

Kobe Bryant idolized Michael Jordan so much that he even patterned his game following what he saw Jordan did on a nightly basis. But as his career progressed, Kobe carved up his own legend and became a man of his own. But in 2008, in what could be Bryant's lowest point of his career, he asked MJ for advice, to which Jordan responded in the most Jordanesque way.

You've got all the tools!

The L.A. Lakers and the Boston Celtics met in the 2008 NBA Finals. It was the first time that the Celtics' Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce made it all the way, and for The Black Mamba, their star power was just too much. The Lakers lost that series, 4-2. At that time, it seemed the Celtics would be major contenders in the NBA for a long time. They had a good coach, solid bench players, and a three-headed monster. Considering that it could repeat in the following years, Kobe did the unthinkable.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The competitive side of Bryant was evident and as a proud Laker, losing to archrivals left a bitter taste in his mouth. To rinse it off, he called his idol for comfort, but he received more than that. Instead, MJ challenged him to figure things out on his own.

"You got all the tools… You gotta figure it out. There's no other alternative."

Instead of saying he should try again next year or recruiting All-Stars, the 6-time NBA champion challenged the Lakers star to solve the problem and not look for shortcuts or alternatives. And that's what Kobe Bryant did. The Lakers won the title over the Orlando Magic in 2009, and Kobe got his revenge two years later after his side demolished the Celtics in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

Real recognize real

By 2008, Kobe had already won three NBA rings. However, that didn't stop him from asking for advice from his idol. That means he was humble enough to admit he still needed to improve. On the other hand, Mike certainly appreciated Kobe's gesture. The two remained close over the years, with Jordan calling Kobe his "little brother."

MJ and Kobe were two of the most competitive players you'll ever face on the basketball court. But that's just a testament to their hard work to become greater. Pride is nothing if someone wants to achieve the next level. So without MJ giving him a reality check, it would have been a different story for Kobe and the Lakers. 

Jeanie Buss admits missing Kobe Bryant: Honestly, he was the greatest Laker ever

Jeanie Buss admits missing Kobe Bryant: "Honestly, he was the greatest Laker ever"

As rumors swirl about Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving suiting up for the L.A. Lakers, owner Jeanie Buss remembers Kobe Bryant's loyalty to the team.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony shares the Notorious B.I.G. rap verse that he lives by

Carmelo Anthony crawled his way out of the rough Baltimore streets. He knows that not everyone was as fortunate as him.

Kyrie Irving is to blame for the Brooklyn Nets' collapse

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant proved why they're not leaders

No matter how you feel about Durant as a person, there's one thing no one can deny, and that's his love for the game of basketball -- something Kyrie Irving was never able to match.

Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan

A business mogul breaks down Michael Jordan's earnings per shoe from Nike

5% seems measly, but once you get into the numbers, it's the secret behind the most successful shoe deal in sports history.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, guard Stephen Curry and forward Kevin Durant

Reports say Warriors superstars are willing to welcome Kevin Durant back to Golden State

But Warriors management isn't willing to cross the bridge for Kevin Durant again.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter Freedom attacks NBA, Adam Silver once again — “One of the most hypocritical organization and commissioner out there”

The former Boston Celtic center thinks the NBA is not doing enough to help detained WNBA star Brittney Griner.