Don't look now, but there are just 25 games left in the legendary career of Kobe Bryant.
On Sunday, with the Los Angeles Lakers visiting Chicago, it was the opportune time to compare the Black Mamba's career to that of Michael Jordan, who led the Bulls to six NBA titles during the 1990s.
Bryant didn't shy away from the comparisons, either. And he shouldn't.
After all, it's pretty much common knowledge that Kobe always wanted to be like Mike. While Bryant might have dismissed the comparison earlier in his career, he's definitely embracing it during this, his 20th and final NBA season.
"No words can really do it justice," Bryant told ESPN about Jordan's influence on his career.
He even remembers his first game against MJ.
"Getting schooled for a baseline dunk the first time I matched up with him," Bryant told the Chicago Tribune. "That was the coolest thing."
While Kobe wouldn't dare say that he's better than the GOAT, he does think he pulled even with Jordan in one regard.
“What I take from that is our competitiveness is second to none," Bryant told Bleacher Report.
That's fair. Bryant did have a killer instinct on the court that could only be compared to Jordan's, winning five NBA titles — one shy of MJ's six.
And for what it's worth, Jordan has nothing but love and respect for Kobe's 20-year body of work.
"He goes out the way he wants to go out," Jordan told TNT about Bryant at the Black Mamba's final All-Star Game last weekend. "He brought a lot of joy to the game."
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(Photos from left: Zhong Zhi/Getty Images, Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)