In the eyes of many, the only player that can be compared to the great Michael Jordan is Kobe Bryant.
The Los Angeles Lakers legend looked up to MJ and wanted to emulate his idol with his style of play on the court.
Some would even go as far as to say he surpassed Jordan as the greatest player of all time with what he achieved in his 20 years in the league.
Before he retired, the Black Mamba managed to overtake the G.O.A.T in the NBA's all-time scoring list as he sits in third with 33,643 points to his name, one place ahead of the Hall of Famer.
Bryant was fortunate enough to play against the six-time champion when he first entered the league and vividly remembers his first encounter with him.
In an appearance on the Holding Court podcast with Geno Auriemma, Kobe recently opened up about his mindset going into that matchup with the game's greatest ever player and the man he had looked up to as a kid.
He was an 18-year-old rookie who had only played 18 games until that point but he explained that there was only one thing he wanted to do.
“I was thinking in my mind, I didn’t care. I’m going to destroy this guy. I don’t care if I’m 18, I’m coming for blood," he told Auriemma.
"And the first thing he did, they ran a fifth-down sequence in the triangle. He caught the ball in the corner and he made his little pirouette spin that he does and sneaks baseline. I fell for it, and he went by me and dunked it.
"I remember just laughing to myself all the way up the court. I’ve seen that move thousands of times and I can’t believe I just fell for it. And then after that, it was like, ‘OK, let’s get to work.’ Every time I faced him I wanted to see how he was going to respond to his same moves.”
Jordan's Chicago Bulls won the game and he scored 30 points while Bryant only played 10 minutes and posted five points.
But it was this fearlessness and competitive spirit that allowed Kobe to become so great. This matchup was a reminder to him of the level he wanted to reach and he certainly did that as he won five championships in Los Angeles and countless individual awards.
He is regarded as the closest thing to MJ with so many similarities between them on the court.
The former shooting guard will definitely be sitting alongside him in the Hall of Fame sooner rather than later.