February 1998, Teacher Vs. Student. It was about Michael vs. Kobe, it was about the past vs. future and the East vs. the West. Kobe Bryant faced Michael Jordan in a Bulls jersey for the last time. NBC’s Ahmad Rashad interviewing Chris Rock at courtside. Play by play man Bob Costas, the Great Western Forum. It was clearly an ending for the 90s era.
Jordan was the reigning king of the court but he was playing against his heir apparent, a 19-year-old Philadelphian kid. Lakers surprisingly beat Bulls in a 112-87 victory. Kobe was pressing early but settled down in the second half and made some spectacular plays. “In the first half, I was playing with my emotions and I was pressing too hard because I wanted to win so badly, I stepped back in the second half and let the game come to me.” He finished with 20 points.
“Kobe is the star of the future. You see similarities in his game as well as my game. If he maintains a certain mental approach, he can become a great professional basketball player.” said Michael Jordan in the pre-game interview.
Shaq was amazed at how Kobe played, “We match up pretty good with this team. They have Jordan, the greatest player in the world. But we have Kobe. Once we develop that killer instinct as they have, we’ll be fine. Now we don’t have that. We still have a lot of work to do.”