I think this video is pretty neat yet wholly unsurprising.
In it, Kobe Bryant is shown as a mirror of Michael Jordan–his moves, his fade-away, his strut, even his taunting, all imitate Jordan in uncanny likeness.
And this is no surprise.
The two were similar athletically, of course that plays into this–someone like me couldn’t imitate Jordan well because I lack the athleticism and build to do so. But when one considers more than just the jumpshots–the finger waggles and head shakes and the like–it is clear that Kobe grew up watching Michael Jordan, and then watching and watching and watching some more. He grew up longing “to be like Mike” and practicing driveway moves in arenas of the mind packed to the rafters with imaginary fans.
Kobe Bryant imitated Michael Jordan.
And I only bring this up because I believe, despite our dogged determination for individualism, that we are all imitators. We follow the actions of the beloved grandfather we had growing up, or those of our favorite celebrity. In so many things we stride in footsteps already made, like a child following her father through the snow.
Sometimes this following is subtle and sometimes–like basketball players trying to emulate Jordan–it is not; but I am not sure if this is even debatable. We are all imitators.
So the question becomes who are you imitating? Who do you follow? If the video of your life was interposed with videos of one who came before you, who would share that screen with you?