Living NBA legend Kobe Bryant is wrapping up his final season on the basketball court before his retirement, so it makes sense that he'd stop by big LA Lakers fan Jimmy Kimmel's Live! ABC late night talk show to share stories and more. Reflecting on his first season in the sport, Bryant explained to the audience that it wasn't another athlete that he looked to for inspiration, but the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. It turns out that Jackson's career in the music industry influenced how Bryant played and grew in his own career.
Considering Jackson's tremendous success and how he'll be forever remembered as a cultural icon, looking up to the pop singer is not a bad idea for anyone, really. Obviously the spotlight of professional basketball is certainly relatable to what Jackson experienced, so Bryant felt that his real inspiration should be the "Thriller" icon.
"He really showed me his process and how he sold 50 million albums," the retiring basketball star told Kimmel this week, according to Dime Magazine. "He walked me step by step through things that he learned from [his influences] and how it made him a better entertainer. How he studied the Beatles, how he broke down every single note and felt like there was a certain emotional connection with each chord. It was just fascinating stuff. I thought I was working hard until I met him."
Perhaps Jackson's dissection of the Beatles was mimicked by Bryant's studying of Michael Jordan? Everyone gets compared to the Beatles in the music world, and the same can be said about Jordan in the basketball world, so we can see yet another similarity between Bryant and Jackson.
Check out this interview segment right here: