Kobe Bryant was a basketball superstar who has arguably changed the game of basketball as we know it. He is one of the greatest scorers, passers and defenders in history, but his career also had some interesting chapters off court.

Kobe Bryant is considered one of the greatest basketball players ever. He is best known for his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he led them to five championships. His game was so successful that it has been compared to Michael Jordan’s. Read more in detail here: kobe bryant highlights.

In the post-Jordan era, Kobe Bryant became Michael Jordan’s spitting image, which is appropriate given MJ’s big brother-little brother mentoring with the Black Mamba. While Bryant modeled his game after Mike, he also looked to fellow Los Angeles Lakers star Elgin Baylor for inspiration.

Baylor, probably more than any other player, changed the game with his athleticism and flare, while being ignored in the annals of NBA history. Elgin’s effect on wing players spans decades, with Bryant among others who have modeled themselves after him.

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have a lot of things in common.

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Kobe Bryant was the closest player to Michael Jordan in terms of on-court growth, intangibles, and ultra-competitive attitude. Since Kobe’s retirement in 2016, no one has been able to capture MJ’s soul.

Jordan burst into the NBA like a whirling whirlwind, displaying his extraordinary athleticism right away on his way to become one of the league’s top scorers. Similarly, early in his career, “Frobe” excelled mostly due to his exceptional athletic ability.

However, both guys evolved with time. His Airness perfected one of the most lethal post-up games and fadeaway jumpers ever devised. With a mature MJ sharing that information on a youthful Kobe in one of the NBA’s most memorable pictures, Bryant became every bit as dangerous with the fadeaway and post technique.

Work ethic and a desire to win are two areas where the two are comparable. Jordan and Bryant were two of the most competitive basketball players in history. As a consequence, they’re two of the most illustrious NBA champions.

Kobe, on the other hand, received knowledge and craftsmanship from a variety of sources. He said once that he dusted up the old black-and-white recordings to research another Laker legend.

Bryant admitted to ripping off “so many” moves from Elgin Baylor.

L-R: Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant gestures during Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals; NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor speaks during the Sports Spectacular Gala in 2013

L-R: Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant gestures during Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals; NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor speaks during the Sports Spectacular Gala in 2013 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images and Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Sports Spectacular | Kobe Bryant (L) and Elgin Baylor (R) | Left to Right: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images and Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Sports Spectacular

Who knows why it took so long for the Lakers to honor Elgin Baylor with a monument.

One of the first genuine stars of the Minneapolis-LA franchise, the 11-time All-Star and 10-time All-NBA player was one of the club’s first true stars. Despite this, he did not get a monument until 2018, a year after Shaquille O’Neal’s likeness was built by the Lakers.

Baylor deserves to be recognized as a very exceptional athlete. Kobe Bryant expressed it best in a single line.

During the unveiling of Baylor’s monument outside of the then-Staples Center (now Crypto.com Arena) in 2018, Bryant spoke a few words. He praised the Hall of Fame forward as one of the most influential people in transforming the sport, including Bryant’s skills (h/t The Athletic).

“I’ve stolen so many of your movements that it’s ridiculous.”

–In 2018, Kobe Bryant signed a contract with Elgin Baylor.

Through the air, Baylor altered the game. He possessed a natural instinct for the basket and was one of the first players to perfect the reverse layup. Bryant often used reverses and spins around the hoop, which was not by chance.

Bryant’s statements subtly instruct young fans about Baylor’s role in NBA history, in addition to the remarks regarding Baylor’s style.

Baylor had a huge impact both on and off the field.

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Elgin Baylor’s efforts off the court, in addition to his domination on the court, might be credited to Kobe Bryant and a slew of other players.

After Black Lakers players were refused service at various hotels in Cincinnati, Baylor became the first player to boycott an NBA game in 1959. He was essential in the formation of the National Basketball Players Association, which is today known as the NBPA. When he laced on the shoes, the 1958-59 Rookie of the Year was just as productive. Baylor’s scoring average (27.4) is third all-time, while their rebounding average is tenth (13.5).

He had the terrible distinction of playing in the same era as Bill Russell and the powerful Boston Celtics, as well as Wilt Chamberlain, despite his exceptional prowess as a rather small “big” in that age. As a consequence, despite appearing in the NBA Finals eight times, Baylor never won a title. He, too, never achieved the same degree of celebrity as Chamberlain.

Nonetheless, Baylor’s impact on the sport and people like Bryant is undeniable. That truth was confirmed by Kobe himself.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Did Kobe Bryant break any of Michael Jordans records?

A: Yes, Kobe Bryant broke six of Michael Jordans records.
The most career scoring titles, the highest field goals made in a season with 572 and second-highest free throws made with 1660.

Was Kobe better than Jordan at anything?

A: Kobe Bryant was, in fact, the best NBA player of all time.

How are Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan similar?

A: Kobe Bryant is the youngest of five children and was named after basketball legend, Kobe A.D. (his initials). Michael Jordan, on the other hand, had three brothers with whom he grew up playing football together in North Carolina before ultimately deciding to play for his high school team as an underclassman during his junior year.

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