To be a player like Kobe Bryant requires a certain mindset. Some call it competitiveness, others call it insanity. Whatever it was, Bryant had it and it helped him become one of the greatest players to ever play basketball. So what happened when he went up against who many have called the greatest of all time?

Bryant went on "Holding the Court with Geno Auriemma" podcast and discussed the first time he went up against Michael Jordan. The answer he gave was exactly what someone would expect Bryant in particular to say. There was no fear or concern of being schooled by him. Only confidence.

"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. 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. The best way I could figure out how to defend him was to see how he would defend himself if I hold a mirror up." 

h/t Lakers Nation

Of course Bryant thought he was going to destroy Jordan. He thought he was going to destroy anybody he ever played against. Kobe's comment about how the best way to defend Jordan was to defend him the way he would defend himself is an interesting one. Bryant emulated much of his game after Jordan so going up against him as a rookie must have been like playing a better, more skilled version of his shadow.

It sounds like, despite Bryant's enthusiasm, he wasn't quite ready to take on Jordan yet at that age. As most rookies would be. However, his response is pretty great. He sounded excited to go at Jordan again and try to figure out the puzzle of defending him.