Last weekend’s Last Dance episodes showed how brutally tough Michael Jordan can be on his teammates, so when Jeremy Lin recently told a Kobe Bryant story from 2015, it showed another similarity between Jordan and Bryant.
“I just came to say bye to some of you bums that are going to get traded tomorrow,” Bryant said to his Lakers’ teammates before the 2015 trade deadline.
Bryant was rehabbing an injury and spent little time around the team before he surprisingly showed up and called them bums. The Lakers went 21-61 in 2014-15, which was Bryant’s penultimate season.
Reading the quote, it sounds just like something Jordan would have said. Add that to the fadeaway jumper, the will to win, the love for Phil Jackson and the three-peat success. The Bryant and Jordan relationship with its similarities is one of the greatest in sports.
Bryant called Jordan his big brother when he appeared on The Last Dance. The similarities make you think that, literally.
Jordan and Bryant have often told the stories about how Bryant steals all of his moves. How when other kids were enamored with the fancy dunks and flashy layups, Bryant would set his attention on Jordan’s footwork, spacing, timing and fundamentals.
The passing of the torch from Jordan to Bryant was seamless. Watching Bryant play was as close to Jordan’s skillset as we have seen.
With Lin’s latest story, apparently Bryant was driven by Jordan’s practice methods too, but is that really surprising? Bryant always went to the extreme with his preparation, and this is the latest example.
Former Astros All-Star, coach and World Series-winning general manger Bob Watson passed away Thursday night at the age of 74.
“This is a very sad day for the Astros and for all of baseball,” the team said in a statement. “Bob Watson enjoyed a unique and remarkable career in Major League Baseball that spanned six decades, reaching success at many different levels, including as a player, coach, general manager and MLB executive.”
With the Yankees in 1996, Watson was the first African American general manager to win a World Series. He was also a general manager for the Astros, where he became the second African American general manager in MLB history.
As a player, Watson spent parts of 14 seasons with the Astros and became a two-time All-Star. He also spent time with the Red Sox, Yankees, and Braves, playing first base and left field. He later became a hitting coach with the Athletics, and a general manager for the Astros and Yankees before retiring after the 1997 season.
Watson’s imprints were on Major League Baseball for more than six decades. Even after retiring as the Yankees GM, he couldn’t stay away from the game. He continued to play a role by being the MLB’s vice president for discipline and on-field operations.
Watson also played in the 1977 film, Bad News Bears, where he had the famous line, “let the kids play.”