Kobe Bryant’s father recalls INCREDIBLE story of son meeting Michael Jordan for the first time and showing no fear

Kobe Bryant meets LeBron James: A fearless encounter that marked the start of a legendary basketball journey.


Kobe Bryant’s father recalls INCREDIBLE story of son meeting Michael Jordan for the first time and showing no fear

Although retired, Joe Bryant still went and watched his team, the Philadelphia 76ers, at the Spectrum. On March 8th, 1992 Joe and his son Kobe attended a Bulls game against the Sixers where they got a chance to meet Michael Jordan.

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At age thirteen, Kobe had probably been frightened, stunned, or thrilled to meet Michael Jordan. However, Jordan offered young Bryant a bracelet, as author Mike Sielski eloquently detailed in  “The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality,” Jordan gave young Kobe Bryant a wristband, but none of the above was evident in the youngster’s reaction.

Sielski wrote,

There is no lasting indication that Kobe was nervous or stuttering or in any regard intimidated by Jordan. That was merely the entirety of their conversation. Jordan had nothing else to say. Neither did Kobe, who introduced himself to Bulls forward Horace Grant.

While fans may have loved the drama, fans may or may not have liked what was the reality of their famous initial meeting with each other. Things were different, however, between the two players’ initial encounter on the biggest stage in hoops. Young Kobe showed why he belonged and Jordan showed why he was the best in their initial encounter. NBA fans started to realize that the future was bright.

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Kobe Bryant’s journey: From rookie to basketball icon

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant ( via Sports Illustrated)

During the debut season of his NBA career, Bryant did not have an opportunity to meet Jordan because he played limited minutes as a team rookie. However, in his sophomore year, he ensured that “His Airness” received a battle which he would never forget. On December 17, 1997, Kobe proved that he was indeed a good matchup for Jordan when at nineteen years old, he scored thirty-three points and overpowered the Bulls. Of course, Michael Jordan was not going to let a teenager do that to him. He managed to score a game-high 36 points as they beat the Lakers 104 – 83.

Bryant openly and carelessly tried to emulate Jordans’ moves. Therefore, by the end of his life, the world could not have gotten a replacement who was closer to the real Michael Jackson. However, Kobe wanted to supersede being a replica of Jordan. He concentrated on overtaking every single NBA star. Eventually, people realized and accepted it though they were identical in all respects as players, Kobe had made his own story.

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