Skip to main content

Kobe Bryant Thought He Would Embarrass Michael Jordan In Their First Ever Matchup


When it comes to comparisons, many others don't come closer than the ones between Kobe Bryant and the undisputed GOAT Michael Jordan.

Kobe made a living imitating and learning from Jordan's mindset and various moves, turning him into one of the deadliest scorers the game has ever seen.

But heading into their first-ever face-off between the two shooting guards, Bryant was predicting he was going to demolish Jordan during the game.

Scroll to Continue


The Black Mamba joined UConn coach Geno Auriemma’s podcast, Holding Court with Geno Auriemma to discuss -- among other things -- his mindset before matching up against the game's greatest as an 18-year-old kid with only 18 career games under his belt.

“I was thinking in my mind, I didn’t care. 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.

I remember just laughing to myself all the way up the court. 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.”

Jordan ended up performing his usual tricks, finishing the game with 30 points as his Bulls went on a 33-15 run in the fourth quarter to force OT, eventually winning the game 129-123. Meanwhile, Kobe only played 10 minutes, and finished with 5 points next to his name in the box score.