“You’re Always Starting Something” – Four-Time NBA Champion Reveals He Used to Tease Michael Jordan by Saying Kobe Bryant Was Better Than Him
Michael Jordan is called the NBA GOAT. Throughout his 15-year career, he was famous for being very competitive and taking criticism personally. Although he has gotten more comfortable since retiring in 2003, he still dislikes those who challenge his greatness, including former teammates.
In 2020, John Salley talked about a time when he teased Michael Jordan. Salley told Jordan that Kobe Bryant was better than him. This happened around 2005 or 2006 when Bryant was about 27 years old and at the peak of his career. Jordan didn’t like hearing that because he was a famous player for the Chicago Bulls.
John Salley on teasing Michael Jordan
“You know, Michael and I have always had a great relationship and I always said (when asked), ‘Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan, whose the best?’ I was like, ‘Man, Kobe Bryant. I would say that,’” Salley said.
John Salley also shared a funny story about how he would tell Jordan that Bryant was superior. Salley jokingly said that if they had played in the same time, Bryant would have scored 70 points against Jordan.
“When he was 27, he was killing it, dog. ‘He would have given you 70 (points).’ You know, just because I’m talking to the greatest,” he said.
Salley was then asked how Jordan reacted when he said Bryant was better. Salley said that Jordan told him he was always trying to stir up trouble. However, it was just friendly teasing between them.
“‘Oh Sal, here you go with this. You’re always starting something.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know, man, you can’t go left. The kid can go left. He can do this; his jump shot is better.’ You know, just to mess with Michael,” Salley said.
Salley also stated that, despite his criticism of Jordan, he feels Bryant would not have become the outstanding player he was without Jordan’s impact.
“I would hate to see them both at 27 years old, but we couldn’t have because Kobe would not have become Kobe without a 27-year-old Michael Jordan. So, you can’t go back in time (because of the) butterfly effect. You go back in time, you destroy everything,” he further added.