Just about anyone who watched early Kobe Bryant had a pretty good idea where his moves were coming from. In a piece by Bleacher Report’s Howard (What up?!) Beck, that speculation was confirmed by the imitator, himself.
It was almost odd how much Kobe tried to mimic His Airness. Mannerisms, check. Basketball ideology, check. Ruthlessness, double and triple check.
For whatever reason, though, if the topic came up, Kobe would allude to various players he might’ve taken aspects of his game from as if no one had eyes or ears.
The comparisons never stopped throughout Kobe’s career, yet as soon as he retired, that chatter went with him. Oddly, as soon as Kobe came just close enough to draw legitimate comparison, said comparisons ended.
Beck wrote extensively of how devoid the NBA currently is of the next Jordan, but the most recent next Jordan copped to trying to being the next Jordan. I swear that makes sense in my head.
Here’s how Kobe put it, after seeing a DeMar DeRozan game-winner.
"It was a carbon copy of my stop-pivot-turn-fade, which I learned from Michael," Bryant tells B/R Mag. "I mean, it was just amazing to see that."
The truth can now be told: Yes, Kobe Bryant says, he did copy Jordan—"Damn near 100 percent of the technique," he says. "Damn near 100 percent.”
So there you have it, as if you hadn’t before. The likeness was alway eerie; now we just know exactly why.