2-4 Tuesday- When your idols become your rivals… (Video)

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December 17th, 1997,

A 34 year old Michael Jordan against an 19 year old Kobe Bryant. The Greatest of all time, still in his prime, against the brash youngster who has too much confidence for his own good. The first two meetings between these two were gravely one-sided as Jordan burned the Lakers for 30 and 27 Points respectively, while Kobe did little damage to the stat sheet (5 Points in both games). Fast-forward exactly 1 year from their first meeting and boy did we have a good one.The Bulls were in the midst of their second 3peat run while the upstart Lakers were trying to figure out how to assimilate all of their talent. By this third meeting, it was clear and plain to see that “The Kid” was here to stay. His confidence unwavering and never one to back down from a challenge, Kobe would answer each Jordan lesson. Kobe’s progression and promise would be enough for the Lakers to ship fan-favorites Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones out of town to give Bryant more playing time. By December 17th, 1997, Kobe Bryant’s IDOL, had turned into a RIVAL. Even the biggest Jordan fans, who banished the very notion of any “mere mortal” challenging their basketball god, had to give it up for Bean.

18 Years after their first meeting, Kobe’s career trajectory almost follow’s MJ’s to precision. Although Kobe won a title very early on, his middle years without Shaq seem to follow the 7 long years Jordan waited before he could hoist that coveted Larry O’Brien trophy. Of all the Air-Apparent’s before/after him, Kobe is the one who stands alone outside the gates of basketball fiefdom. No other player, however scrutinized he may be, can ultimately say they followed in Michael Jeffrey Jordan’s footsteps and walked away untarnished and praised for being a little too like the man that the masses revere. In retrospect, Kobe Bean Bryant must be praised for his bravery, his bravado, his unwavering confidence. It takes big you know what’s to take a shot at the King, and live…

Even 2-3 gotta love how I do me… 

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