By Brandon Eastman Posted April 18, 2012
The best way to compare two very similar people is to look strictly at the numbers. However, when you are going to compare possibly the two greatest basketball players to ever step foot on a court, it is so much more than that. The Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant debate has been going on ever since they came into the league, but I am going to put an end to the pointless argument.
We are going to start off by taking a look at the numbers; just to see how they stack up against one another. Jordan owns six NBA Championships (which is a great accomplishment considering he spent only 15 seasons in the league). Bryant has managed five NBA Championships during his career, which coincidentally has also been 15 seasons up to this point. In addition to his six championships, Jordan has also collected five MVP awards, whereas Bryant has won the award just once. This should tell the story right there. A player [Bryant] who prides himself on being the best individual (as opposed to team) player has won the ‘individual statistics’ award just once.
If we are going to look at career statistics, Jordan also holds the edge in those numbers. Jordan averaged 30.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, and 2.35 SPG. Bryant averaged 25.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.7 APG, and 1.5 SPG.
Argument over. It’s not even close, but I’m not quite done explaining why Michael Jordan is head-and-shoulders above Kobe Bryant.
Jordan was a player who would do whatever was going to benefit his team. If that meant he was going to rebound the ball and set up his teammates for success, then that is what he would do. If it meant he had to score 40, that’s what he would do. He did things for the good of the team. He was a competitor.
Bryant, the same sort of competitor as Jordan, was (and still is) a different type of player. He goes into each game with the mindset that he has to win the game on his own. He is going to do what he does, whether it benefits the team or not. He is so intent on filling up his section of the box score that he will sacrifice the name on the front of the jersey for the name on the back of the jersey. That is something you would never have seen from Jordan. He was more worried about what the scoreboard said than the box score.
I think I have made my point. If you are reading this and have any problems with the argument (although, was it really an argument?) I have presented, please feel free to approach me and try to persuade me why Kobe should even be mentioned in the same sentence as Michael Jordan as of right now. He may eventually get there, but he’s still got quite a ways to go before then.