MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – “There are only 450 of those guys in the world,” said former Chicago Bull Jason Caffey. “The brotherhood is tight.”
The NBA is a global brand, comprised of the best basketball players in the world. And on Sunday, they lost one of their brothers.
“I saw it on Facebook. I thought it couldn’t be true. First thing I did was call Scottie Pippen in L.A. He answered the phone and before I could even ask what’s going on, he said – It’s true,” said Caffey.
Rarely in life does something or someone exceed expectations. Drafted out of Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, there were high expectations for Kobe, and he exceeded them all.
“To watch him come in, they said this was the next Michael Jordan, and we all thought yeah sure. Then year after year you see this young man go higher and higher to another level. He then starts winning championships and he’s putting up numbers like Jordan, so the comparison became real. It was great to see somebody come in that could somewhat match the intensity that a Michael Jordan could put out,” said Caffey, a teammate of Jordan’s with the Bulls.
“A lot of people thought Kobe wanted to be the next Michael Jordan, Kobe never wanted to be the next Michael Jordan, he wanted to be the first Kobe Bryant,” Caffey continued.
He retired as one of the leading scorers in NBA history, and cemented his place as a Lakers legend winning five NBA championships. Fans will long debate what player is the best in NBA history, but between Michael and Kobe there was certainly shared respect.
“Michael (Jordan) always said if there’s anyone who could beat me in one-on-one it would be Kobe Bryant. I’d say – How is that so? He’d say heck he stole all my moves,” said Caffey with a smile.