Kobe Viewed Michael Jackson As Mentor

They were two men dedicated to their crafts in an obsessive way.

By Kurt Helin
|  Monday, Jun 29, 2009  |  Updated 10:30 AM PDT
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Kobe Viewed Michael Jackson As Mentor

Would Kobe have gotten that trophy without Michael Jackson?

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A young, brash Kobe Bryant pissed off a lot of his veteran teammates because he was single-minded, focused and wanted to be the best. He was driven, on a team dominated by Shaq’s youthful and playful personality.

So where did Kobe turn to get validation? Michael Jackson, of course.

Bryant said he and Jackson had numerous conversations both by phone and in person, each speaking about the work ethic and dedication necessary to be on top of their respective crafts.

"He was extremely inspirational for me on a personal level because he helped me to understand it was OK to be different," Bryant said. "When I say different, I mean different in the sense of being obsessed with your craft, paying attention to the details, and working your tail off day in and day out and being consumed with what you do. He made me feel it was OK to be that way and helped mentor me in that department."


Laker fans everywhere wish Jackson was still around to have that same conversation with Lamar Odom. Then again, they would probably be talking about candy by the end of it.
 

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