Jordan's infamous trash talk didn't lighten up even when he was playing out his last years on the Wizards. According to Arenas, during the 2002-03 season, Jordan told Bryant—who was Jordan's biggest fan/emulator—that he could wear a pair of Air Jordans but he'd never "fill" his shoes as a player.
"In Washington, Jordan gets that win," Arenas explained. "Jordan hits (Bryant) on the butt and says, ‘But you’ll never fill them.’ You’re never gonna fill these shoes—that’s basically what he was telling Kobe."
This slick remark lit a fire inside Bryant. Arenas claimed that Kobe was so mad about Jordan's comment that he didn't talk to his teammates for close to two weeks. Kobe ended up dropping 55 points on them—42 in the first half—when Jordan's Wizards came to Los Angeles.
"Like, he just went silent, but he was on one million.... He didn't even have to tell his teammates," Arenas continued. "They said they knew what would happen when Jordan came to LA.... It was what (Jordan) told him (that drove him).... He's a psycho."