Kobe Bryant Once Told Michael Jordan "I Could Kick Your A**," Says Phil Jackson

Matthew SchmidtFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2014

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We all know Kobe Bryant is confident. Make that very confident, but is he confident enough to say that he could kick Michael Jordan's behind in one-on-one?

Well, according to Phil Jackson, who coached both Bryant and Jordan, yes.

In an interview with FOX Sports Live, Jackson says that in the year after Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls (the second time; not that time he went to try and play baseball), Bryant told Jordan he could do just that.

Jackson wanted Jordan to "talk to Kobe a little bit" after a game.

"First thing Kobe says is, 'I could kick your a** one-on-one,'" said Jackson, describing the meeting between the two. 

21 Nov 2001:   Guard Kobe Bryant #8 and head coach Phil Jackson discuss the play preceding the end of the first half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.    DIGITAL IMAGE    NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agr
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I can only imagine the reaction from Michael when Kobe uttered those words.

Better yet, picture the reaction from Jackson (who was coaching Bryant at the time). I can just see Jackson's eyes getting ready to bulge out from behind his glasses.

Seriously, though, this comes as no surprise.

Bryant is a fierce competitor, and he probably believes that a prime version of himself could top a prime version of Jordan in a one-on-one series.

Hey, why shouldn't he be allowed to think that? Kobe is an outstanding one-on-one player, and remember this video?

Jordan talks about playing guys like LeBron James and Bryant in one-on-one, and he essentially says that Bryant would have a shot...only because Kobe steals MJ's moves.

We hear the comparisons constantly, and many do feel that Bryant is the closest thing to Jordan in terms of skillset and style of play.

However, where they may actually be most similar is in their competitive nature.

It's always fun to hear things like this, and I'm sure even Jordan, somehow, some way, enjoyed the fact that Bryant said he could beat him.

You know, in an "I taught these kids well" kind of way.