John Salley claims Kobe Bryant skipped college so he could play against Michael Jordan
Four-time NBA champion John Salley recently dropped a bomb on the whole Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan debate. According to the retired 55-year-old — who now plies his trade as a talk show host — the only reason why Kobe decided to skip college and go straight to the NBA was in order for him to match up against Jordan before the latter finally called it a career.
— LAKERSWORLD (@LakersWorld_16) September 15, 2019
Interestingly, Salley started his narrative off with Kobe’s infamous 55-point game back in 2003 against Jordan and his Washington Wizards. Michael allegedly lit a fire under Kobe by talking smack towards him during an early-season matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the the Wizards, to which Bryant responded months later with a scoring onslaught against Jordan.
Salley went on to say that it was Bryant himself who told him first-hand that his primary motivation in jumping to the NBA straight out of high school was in order to play against Jordan for a few more years. Kobe was drafted by the Lakers in 1996, which was during Jordan’s famous second three-peat with the Chicago Bulls.
Michael retired the following season (for a second time), but came back to play to more seasons with the Wizards three years later. All in All, Kobe was able to face Jordan on the court for four full seasons, with two of them still during (arguably) Jordan’s prime.
It is no secret that Bryant considers Jordan as one of his idols, so this bit of news does not come as a surprise.
If this is all true, then it definitely was a great decision by Kobe in hind sight.