Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan had some epic battles on the court over the years.
The two NBA legends combined to win 11 championships, six MVP awards and 12 scoring titles. They were two of the best scorers the game has ever seen, and both used a killer instinct to wreak havoc on their opponents.
Bryant possessed that killer instinct even when he was a rookie, apparently, but may have channeled it a bit too often. He recently appeared on the Holding Court with Geno Auriemma podcast, and shared a funny piece of information. Bryant revealed that during his rookie season, when he was only 18 years old, he planned to “destroy” Jordan on the court when the two squared off for the first time — but ended up getting dunked on by MJ instead.
“I was thinking in my mind, I didn’t care,” Bryant said. “I’m going to destroy this guy. I don’t care if I’m 18, I’m coming for blood. And the first thing he did, they ran a fifth-down sequence in the triangle. He caught the ball in the corner and he made his little pirouette spin that he does and sneaks baseline. I fell for it, and he went by me and dunked it.”
Bryant then explained how he felt after getting dunked on:
“I remember just laughing to myself all the way up the court,” he said. “I’ve seen that move thousands of times and I can’t believe I just fell for it. And then after that, it was like, ‘OK, let’s get to work.’ Every time I faced him I wanted to see how he was going to respond to his same moves.”
It appears as if the GOAT taught Bryant a lesson early in his career that really stuck with him. Now that they’re retired, though, it’s easy to picture the two sitting down together having a laugh about it.