Kobe Bryant Gets Shocking Michael Jordan Comparison from ESPN Writer

One of the most exciting NBA All Star Games was the 2001 NBA All Star Game.

Played at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., home of the Washington Wizards, Kobe Bryant led all West scorers with 19 points. The Eastern Conference ended up with a 111-110 win after Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury helped sparked an Eastern Conference comeback.

Iverson was named the game’s MVP.

On the Scoop B Radio Podcast, I checked in with ESPN’s Robert “Scoop” Jackson who covered that game and discussed Kobe Bryant and the West dropping that lead. He also discussed Michael Jordan.

Check out a snippet from our Q&A Below:

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Scoop B Radio podcast on the line with ESPN’s Robert “Scoop” Jackson talking everything NBA…thank you for staying on so long. A couple more questions. The 2001 NBA All-Star Game was in Washington D.C. and I remember watching you on camera just vividly talking about the Eastern Conference’s improbable 111-110 comeback victory over the West and for those who don’t remember the NBA’s Eastern Conference team trailed 95-74 with nine minutes left. After the West dominated the first 39 minutes behind with pure size, but Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury took over that game. Iverson scored 15 of his 25 points in the final 9 minutes and Stephon Marbury helped the East by hitting two 3-pointers in the final 53 seconds. One with 28 seconds left…Kobe Bryant….go ahead

Robert “Scoop” Jackson: That’s the Allen Iverson I saw at the Kenner League! That takeover? That’s the Allen Iverson I saw that made me want to call SLAM magazine like this dude is the FUTURE. But go ahead, I’m sorry

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: No you’re fine. You’re giving content. You’re taking me back. I remember recording that whole video and I watched it at my parent’s house. A full year after because it was such a great game.

Robert “Scoop” Jackson: Yeah And Mutombo!!! That was the big thing because right after that, Philly got smart and said we need this dude [laughter]

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: In your lifetime, if not the 2001 NBA All-Star game as one of the greatest games they actually played, in your years covering the NBA what’s a close second?

Robert “Scoop” Jackson: Just the game itself? Game itself, game itself, game itself. Wow…game itself. And I was actually at that game not TV stuff, I was actually at that game?

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Take your pick [laughs] Take your pick

Robert “Scoop” Jackson: Alright I’ll give it to you. I literally has to be and not that the game was that close but because there was drama, was the flu game. I happen to be at the flu-game at Utah. Because we were members of the media and I was being from Chicago and still having that close connection with the team, I was privileged to see how sick Mike really was. So that wasn’t any show, no Curt Schilling blood in the sock type thing, that was FOR REAL. Like there was no way that dude should be playing and for him to put out that performance, it kind of took over before…just being at that game. That’s the best way I can put it. Just being at that game. I don’t know if the game was that enthralling but it was a NBA Finals game and it was Utah and it was kind of close but that performance, it trumps being at that All-Star game. That’s the best way I could put it. Being in that space and knowing that this is something you’re never going to see, and this is Mike man. No disrespect to AI, no disrespect to Stephon Marbury and like you said Kobe, Kobe was about to win the MVP of that game right?

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: He had 19 points for the West and the West led it by as much as 21 points. He led the West in scoring in that game.

Robert “Scoop” Jackson: And this is no disrespect to Kobe either but this is Mike and you would think that when you’re at a certain stature in your career, when you’re at that Michael Jackson apex, when you’re at that apex, when you are there, when you are THAT person there’s nothing else for you to do, there’s no more ascension. That’s it. This is Michael Jordan as Michael Jordan. There’s no coming out, this is MIKE. So to watch this dude elevate and do something higher than you ever expected him to do and he’s already at the pinnacle? I know no disrespect to you know AI, Steph and Kobe but that trumps a great performance and a compelling game in a comeback in an All-Star game because this is Mike in the Finals like on I don’t want to sound dramatic but on his death bed, but you know in a Finals I shouldn’t be playing, I shouldn’t be out here and I’m still giving it to these dudes. At my worst I’m still giving it to these dudes.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Yeah and I’m looking at the box score for the Eastern Conference scored 41 points in the 4th quarter to the West’s 21.

Robert “Scoop” Jackson: Man they put it on them. I never forget I was sitting baseline with Carla Romanelli who was the head of NBA photography at the time man and we were like two kids. Like they tell you we’ve been around this for a long time. So you know when you get a media credential, you’re not supposed to clap, you’re supposed to act a certain way, decorum is supposed to set in and you’re supposed to be unbiased…..maaaaaaannnnn look, Carmen Romanelli and I were down there like, literally ground level sitting on the floor like kids. You understand? Like kids! Like kids! It was really, really fun.