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Michael Jordan vs Kobe Bryant, Let The Comparisons Begin


Growing up in Illinois, I was fortunate enough to watch Michael Jordan’s career. It was truly amazing, and I was in awe most times I saw him play. It seemed that many times, he would pull of some incredible athletic move, or make some amazing circus shot that many others and I didn’t think was possible. I remember many times saying to friends or thinking quietly to myself, “He’ll never be able to top that.” It also seemed that many times, he would turn around the next night and pull off some other amazingly ridiculous move or shot, which topped what he had done the night before. I remember hearing Michael Jordan comparisons a million times, and I can’t even count how many times I heard others say about some rookie coming into the NBA, “He’s the next Michael Jordan.”

I want to make one thing very clear here. There is only one Michael Jordan and there will never be another. I think that there have been players in the NBA since that have had Jordan like moves, Jordan like games here and there, and a few who could and can dunk like Jordan, but there is only one Michael Jordan to be sure. I’ve never been in the Michael Jordan comparison business, but if there was one player in the NBA that I would compare to Michael Jordan, it would have to be Kobe Bryant.

First of all, you have to understand that living in Illinois, its almost considered taboo to make Michael Jordan comparisons, and because of the Chicago bias, you may not get many people in agreement with you. And you might get some people around here that will get outright hostile with you for even mentioning something like that. With all of that being said though, this whole Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant conversation came up on my facebook page, shortly after Bryant and the Lakers won their latest championship, which was Kobe Bryant’s fifth.

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I had a friend of mine post how angered he was that people were starting to compare Kobe Bryant to Michael Jordan, and I thought long and hard about that, and then I ended up siding with the ones who are making these comparisons. The first point my friend made as we were heatedly discussing this was, Bryant had Shaquille O’Neal as a teammate for three of his championships. I replied that that Jordan had Scottie Pippen for all six of his, and had Dennis Rodman as a teammate for three of them. Both Pippen and Rodman were named by their peers, as two of the fifty greatest players who ever played the game. Michael Jordan also had Horace Grant on many of those early championship teams. Jordan played with very serviceable NBA players as well, like Bill Cartwright, and also had a 454 lifetime three point shooter in Steve Kerr on a few of those championship teams.

I guess that Ron artest can kind of be compared with Dennis Rodman, and Derrick Fischer has hit many big shots, so I guess people can say that Fischer is Bryant’s Steve Kerr, but that’s where the comparisons stop. Who would anyone consider to be a top fifty greatest NBA player of all time on the Lakers besides Bryant? Andrew Bynum? Pau Gasol? I don’t think so.

Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA and won six championships, this will be Bryant’s 15th season and he has won five.

Jordan averaged 30.1 points a game for his career, Bryant is averaging 25.3 a game for his.

Jordan’s scoring average in the playoffs is a ridiculous 33.4 a game, but Kobe has a very respectable lifetime playoff scoring average himself, of 25.2 a game.

Michael Jordan’s highest scoring individual performance in an NBA game was 69 points; Kobe Bryant has scored 81 in a game before.

Kobe Bryant also holds the NBA record for three pointers in a game with 12.

I don’t think that Michael Jordan should be compared with every other schmuck who walks onto an NBA court, but in this case, I’m ok with the comparisons being made.



By: Pete Monstwillo
ProBasketball-Fans Staff Writer


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