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Michael Jordan: Kobe Bryant was ‘maybe even tougher than I was’

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls (L) eyes the basket as he is guarded by Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers during their 01 February game in Los Angeles, CA. Jordan will appear in his 12th NBA All-Star game 08 February while Bryant will make his first All-Star appearance. The Lakers won the game 112-87. AFP PHOTO/Vince BUCCI (Photo by VINCE BUCCI / AFP) (Photo credit should read VINCE BUCCI/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Michael Jordan was a highly skilled basketball player. But perhaps his best trait was his competitive resolve. No matter what challenge he faced, Jordan seemingly always rose to the challenge.

Jordan, proud of his own legacy, is also slow to directly and deeply compliment other players.

But for Kobe Bryant, Jordan makes an exception.

Jordan, via Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

“He was a mentally tough kid, maybe even tougher than I was,” Jordan says. “Remember, the people who followed me, my fans, didn’t like that he was trying to copy what I had done.”

Bryant was incredibly mentally tough. But to hear Jordan put it like that is really something. As a fellow all-time great and Bryant’s idol, Jordan has a unique perspective on his late friend.

I’m now even more eager to watch Jordan present Bryant at the Hall of Fame enshrinement.