The recently released Episode 5 of The Last Dance focuses on the Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant relationship throughout the years. The episodes start with the 1998 All-Star Game and include Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant's interviews as they discuss their relationship. Bryant focused on learning from Jordan while growing up, while Jordan talked about Bryant's passion for the game.
The episode starts with the words 'In loving memory of Kobe Bryant' appearing on the screen before they transition into the 1998 All-Star Game. Footage of the game plays as both Jordan and Kobe Bryant talk. Bryant, who finished talking to the interviewer a few days before his tragic death in January, explained how he grew up watching Michael Jordan play and had the chance to go face-to-face with him.
MJ's guidance helped Kobe turn into a 5-time champion 🐍 pic.twitter.com/ttnyi3TdoP— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 4, 2020
Bryant talks about getting to play against Jordan so he could experience his strength, quickness and speed. The Los Angeles Lakers recalled asking Jordan about turnaround shots, who always gave a 'great detailed answer'. He referred to Jordan and his big brother who he could call anytime. Kobe Bryant even discussed people talking about them playing one-on-one, a discussion he hated having. He added that he would never have won the Lakers their 5 championships without Michael Jordan's advice and guidance.
During the All-Star game, Jordan is seen talking about Bryant's game. At the time, Jordan said that 'the Laker boy' was going to take everybody one-on-one. As per Jordan, Bryant was someone who got out there and took the game, and he would not pass him the ball if he wanted it back again. \
Bryant even added that if Kobe Bryant was his teammate, he would not pass him the ball if he ever wanted it back. Jordan said that if someone wanted the ball again, they 'better rebound'. After the All-Star Game, both NBA legends met on the court briefly where Jordan promised Bryant that they would see each other 'down the road'.
Jordan was reportedly down with the flu during the game and might not have played. He scored 23 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds while also winning his third and last NBA All-Star MVP award. Bryant scored a team-high 18 points and sat out the final quarter. At the end of the game, Jordan revealed that he liked Bryant's game and called it fun and said he liked his 'attitude'.
The Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant relationship only grew after the game, as the two NBA legends came to respect each other. While neither openly spoke about their relationship, Jordan was one of the few people who delivered a speech at the Kobe Bryant memorial at the Staples Center in February.