A Crushing Blow
Bryant was a huge fan of Jordan, as was pretty much anyone who ever got to see him play. While most people never got to be in the same room as Jordan, Bryant actually played against the living legend. When the two ballers faced off against each other in 2003, Jordan told Kobe that he might be able to wear his shoes, but he could “never fill them.” That was a crushing blow for Kobe, to hear his hero trash talk him this way.
Bryant didn’t take Jordan’s comments lightly. He dwelled on the words that Jordan spoke to him, and he refused to speak to his teammates after the game was over. Bryant continued giving his teammates the silent treatment for two weeks as Jordan’s words continued to ring in his ears.
Trying To Prove Him Wrong
The next time the Lakers played the Wizards Bryant made sure that Jordan took notice of him and tore up the court. The young Black Mamba scored 55 points in that game, which was just one of his many great games that year.
However, while Bryant won a total of five NBA championships, it’s hard to argue that he did manage to fill Jordan’s shoes. What Bryant did to over his career was prove he belonged on the same court as the legend, and he had his own shoes to wear anyway.