He was fouled and got two free throws. At that moment, Kobe Bryant, a hero of this story, knew: he will pass his Airness, the GOAT himself, Michael Jordan. It was on this day in 2014; the Lakers were playing an away game against Minnesota Timberwolves.
After sinking the first one, Kobe turned around and gathered his thoughts for the second one. Nothing but net for the second one and 32,293 points. Jordan was finally behind him in the All-time scoring list. The game was stopped as all of the Lakers and Wolves players gathered to congratulate him. Kobe took the ball, shooked some hands, and went back into the game as nothing happened. He was being Kobe. But he acknowledged how much that meant to him even though it took him more years, more games, and more minutes.
“Nineteen years is a long time to be playing, and I’ve had a different career path than Michael. It has been a hell of a marathon. I’m really proudest of that.” said Kobe to Bleacher report before passing Michael.Kobe Bryant, Bleacher Report
Still, there wouldn’t be Kobe Bryant if there wasn’t Michael Jordan. Even Kobe said that. A lot of people would agree that Kobe was the closest to Jordan that we’ll ever see. After the milestone, Kobe revealed why Jordan’s game was unique.
“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…”Kobe Bryant, Bleacher Report
In 2017, Bryant told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck that he stole “damn near 100 percent of the technique” from Jordan. Michael spoke about their relationship at Bryant’s memorial in February, saying his little brother was gone.
“Kobe used to call me, text me, 11:30, 2:30, 3 o’clock in the morning, talking about post-up moves, footwork, and sometimes, the triangle.”Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant’s memorial
You can tell that ever since Bryant came into the league, there were similarities. The pull up jumper, post-up game, style of play, mentality. It wouldn’t be right to say that Kobe’s game wasn’t authentic, but Jordan heavily inspired him.