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Mickael Pietrus’ plan on stopping Kobe Bryant: Play with Michael Jordan shoes

Mickael Pietrus wore Jordan sneakers against Kobe Bryant in the 2009 NBA Finals. Kobe responded with 32 points and helped the Lakers win the title in five games.
Mickael Pietrus’ plan on stopping Kobe Bryant: Play with Michael Jordan shoes

Pietrus knew he had to do something he had never done before to achieve something he had not achieved before: limit Kobe's production

Mickael Pietrus has long admired Kobe Bryant as a basketball player, but when the two met on the opposite side of the 2009 NBA finals, the French forward knew he had to devise a plan to stop the Black Mamba at all cost.

Playing with Michael Jordan's shoes

In the regular season, Mickael used Nike Hyperdunk sneakers which Bryant endorsed. But the Finals were a different beast, and Pietrus knew he had to do something he had never done before to achieve something he had not achieved before: limit Kobe's production. So, he decided to swap his Nike Hyperdunk for Jordan sneakers.

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"I have [Kobe shoes] at my house, but I'm going to play with Michael Jordan shoes."

The L.A. Lakers legend averaged 32.4 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.6 rebounds in five games in that series. So, it's safe to say that Pietru's plan didn't go as he had hoped. However, despite Kobe demolishing the Orlando Magic, Mickael had only good things to say to his on-court nemesis. The Black Mamba gifted Pietrus' son with autographed game-worn sneakers after their game in January 2009.

Why Kobe was very strict with his shoes

If you want to wear Kobe Bryant's shoes, you must match his intensity on the court. Otherwise, he treated it as a form of disrespect. Kobe allegedly got mad at DeMar DeRozan for wearing Jordan sneakers in their game. The two shared a close bond, and DeRozan had been rocking Kobe's shoes since then.

When Pietrus wore Jordan's against the Lakers, it could have ignited Kobe's competitive spirit. Seeing that his defender chose his idol's sneakers against him probably switched the kill mode in Bryant. But off the court, the Black Mamba was a genuine person who would reach out to fans and show his appreciation for them. Bryant might have beaten the hell out of Mickael Pietrus in that Finals series, but at least he shared a special moment with his son. At the end of the day, that mattered more to Pietrus as a loving father. 

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