Not many people can say they’ve had the chance to play with Magic, Michael and Kobe. Sam Perkins is one of the very few. Last night during his interview on H2G Radio, he shares his perspective on the differences between Kobe, Michael and Magic.
Quick shout out to the pair of jeans Michael is wearing in the above pic. Why Mike? Why?
Here are a few highlights from his interview:
Kobe or MJ
Sam Perkins: The only comparison I have between those two is, they hate to lose. I think Michael didn’t have to go out and shoot as early as a Kobe, or like some of these other guys. He was still in sync because he was just that confident in his game- Kobe as well- and that’s the comparison. But when you’re in the barber shop or talking on the radio about who’s better- I have to give it to Michael. I’m a big fan of Kobe but I have to give it to Michael because he took over games. He never scored 80 points in one game but he damn near came close a couple of times. At the same time, Michael is a bigger athlete- people were afraid of him! Now, people challenge Kobe. Back then nobody wanted to challenge Michael except Mad Max- he’s the only one who stepped up to him a little bit.
On Kobe’s attitude
Sam Perkins: You have to remember, when Kobe came into the league, Kobe had this arrogance about him. He was this kid out of high school and he could do this and that; but then he got knocked around a couple a few times. He lost a couple of games, he thought he was better than he was and until he started learning how to play on the court…he turned a lot of people off. Kobe felt like “I can do anything”. The reason why these guys are saying these things is because it’s somewhat true. If all four of us went out [I’m being Kobe], I would want to go out on my own. Kobe thought that he was so much different than them…That was his mentality for a long time…Now he’s come to realize, “look. I’m a leader now, I have to socialize with my teammates.”
You see him now…James Harden, Lebron…this summer at the Olympics, they were all getting along. So back then, he didn’t get along with anybody and it hurt his stance with a lot of fans.
On Michael Jordan’s attitude
Sam Perkins: Oh yea, Michael got after them…he punched Steve Kerr in the locker room…He got at them too. But he had a reason. I mean, Michael had an arrogance about him, too. They didn’t like Michael at all, that much. If you remember when Kobe came into the league, he started emulating Michael- from his walk and everything. Everyone was saying that; how he talked in interviews, he was trying to copy Michael with the way he answered questions, and you could just SEE it. People were like “man, he’s trying to be just like Mike, and it was just TOO much”…it was crazy. If you knew the two, you could see it…that’s how Mike was too, but he had a reason, he wanted to win…
On Playing with Magic
Sam Perkins: You had to play on his level…when he was amped, you had to be just as amped and on his level to play. When you weren’t amped, he could tell that you weren’t ready and you had to sit down. He was pretty much the coach! He would sub himself in, sub himself out…he would see you lagging or slacking and then he would say “Hey, let’s pick it up…it’s the Lake Show!” or something like that, and then everybody would get in to it and believe in that.
He was the man, I mean, he was THE guy that I played with that just took control of the game and you had to play on his level. I think Michael and Kobe tried to do the same thing, but Magic did it the best. Even after games- he threw parties all the time! So, I mean, we went out as a whole- he made sure of that. He was a leader. Any time we did something off the court, it wasn’t just one or two of us, he made sure it was the whole team.