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Thursday , Nov , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: I was mentored by Michael Jackson, not Michael Jordan

“It sounds weird, I guess, but it’s true: I was really mentored by the preparation of Michael Jackson.

We would always talk about how he prepared to make his music, how he prepared for concerts…He would teach me what he did: How to make a ‘Thriller’ album, a ‘Bad’ album, all the details that went into it. It was all the validation that I needed – to know that I had to focus on my craft and never waver. Because what he did – and how he did it – was psychotic. He helped me get to a level where I was able to win three titles playing with Shaq because of my preparation, my study. And it’s only all grown.

“That’s the mentality that I have – it’s not an athletic one. It’s not from [Michael] Jordan. It’s not from other athletes. It’s from Michael Jackson.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant was inspired by MJ. Not that MJ, though.

Turns out the great Los Angeles Lakers two-guard drew inspiration from his relationship with the late Michael Jackson.

These two would chat. These two found common ground. And these two became friends.

This shouldn’t surprise because ‘Black Mamba’ and ‘The King of Pop’ had much in common.

For instance, both were child prodigies. Bryant was a high school sensation in Lower Merion, Philadelphia and as a prep-to-pro lottery pick in 1995. Jackson was a singing and hit-making sensation with his brothers.

(Fair or not, both have been embroiled in controversy. Bryant was engaged in a nasty sex scandal in Colorado, while Jackson went to trial on child molestation charges.)

Both are exceptional talents. Bryant is the best player of his generation and an all-time great. Jackson was a trend-setter. Thriller was a monster; his dance moves and singing is replicated by today’s pop stars.

Fortunately forever Bryant, he seems destined for a better ending than MJ.

Oly Sandor.

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