Ahmad Rashad and Kobe Bryant chatted in a special interview last night, and the footage garnered more than a few bits of seemingly new information about Vino. The parallels between his game and Michael Jordan‘s have been explored ad nauseam, but footage of him jawing with MJ during the 2003 All-Star Game was also revealed and it’s worth a look.
An inexorable amount of copy and chatter has been made and consumed about Jordan and Bryant, so it almost always feels like we’ve heard it before. But we can’t remember ever seeing this.
Bean’s obvious adoration for His Airness comes through nicely in HD, but he does a good job masking it with slight verbal jabs at the 40-year-old in a Wizards jersey. Still, in our eyes Mamba will always be the Young Caine to MJ’s Master Po.
Here’s Kobe’s voiceover spliced together with footage from the game. It’s as macho and self-important as you’d guess, but not surprising.
“I grew up watching him, and I grew up having that same type of edge and competitiveness…Michael and I both know certain players we can intimidate. Certain players that are afraid. But every now and then you run into a player who has the same DNA as you do and the same compeitive spirit that you do. You quickly realize that the bullying and the trash talking is not going to work with this person.”
The 2003 All-Star footage includes Kobe giving MJ a hard time about getting a shot up faster and MJ references going for Kobe’s ribs. At this point in their lives, Bryant is very close to his prime and Jordan is a shell of his former self in Washington (though we did get to see him drop 44 on the Jazz live).
Despite his advanced age, you can tell Jordan doesn’t like the fact he’s in the midst of going 9-of-27 from the field that day – even though he hits what should have been the game-winning fadeaway over Shawn Marion before the East fell in double OT.