Blog Entry

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

Posted on: June 23, 2010 12:12 am
If you're a sports enthusiast like me, you are probably sick and tired of hearing all the sports radio talk comparing Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. It feels like I'm driving down the road and seeing a bunch of sports radio hosts holding "please help me" signs. We're enering into a dry area of sports talk and it's quite obvious they're desperate for a controversial topic which isn't even controversial at all. Michael Jordan is the best player of all time (well, for all the old timers, I'll put it as he's the best guard of all time) and there is no question about it. After reading this, I'm certain you will agree with me.
The biggest argument Bryant supporters have is that he is creeping up on Jordan's title total and that is it. It's also a lame argument because if we want to compare the Bulls best player during their championship run to the Lakers best player their first three, well, Kobe isn't even in the argument. We would be comparing Jordan to Shaquille O'Neal. People want to compare Jordan's partner in crime, Scottie Pippen, to Kobe's partner in crime, Shaquille O'Neal, when in fact, it was the other way around. Kobe was "Robin" to O'Neal who was "Batman". Really, we should be comparing Jordan to O'Neal as to who was the better player for their team for the first three titles for each team. O'Neal did a good job matching Jordan with three title MVP's. Bryant had zero. So did Scottie Pippen.
If we want to blindly include the first three titles into the equation and pretend Bryant was the primary player, than the argument turns to another point. When Scottie Pippen didn't have Jordan, he didn't win any titles at all. He had one deep run with the Blazers, but besides that didn't do much at all. He played six seasons post-Jordan and almost two seasons without Jordan in between the Bulls two three-peats. The Bulls only played ten playoff games and even though Pippen had higher than average season totals, his playoff totals dropped dramatically. He couldn't handle the pressure without Jordan and his self-benching during the final seconds of a playoff game exemplified the fact that Pippen wasn't good enough to lead the Bulls anywhere. O'Neal went to Miami and won a title with Dwayne Wade.
Let's put the titles to the side for now and discuss the raw data, the statistics. Michael Jordan in every important stat kept in basketball is better than Kobe Bryant and he was always the Bulls focal point while Bryant had one of the best centers to ever play the game as the focal point for the Lakers. Michael Jordan was 50% shooter as a guard and as the main player on his team. That is a truly amazing number that nobody appreciates enough. Kobe Bryant can make his next 1,500 shots in a row and still would not have a better shooting percentage than Michael Jordan. Yes, Jordan wasn't the greatest three point shooter ever, but he didn't have to because his presence allowed his teammates to get open shots. According to stats, Jordan was also a better passer and team player since he averaged more assists per game tha Kobe. Yes, it's a small margin, but yet another better stat as well.
Who pounded the boards better? Oh, that would be Jordan too. Again, a slight margin, but still better. Turnovers can win games and Jordan was not only better at stealing the ball, but also turned over the ball less. Remember, Jordan was the Bulls focal point his entire career while Bryant was a second option for the majority of his first seven years of his career.
People want to agrue that Kobe was a young kid his first two years so they shouldn't really count. With that, we would have to discount Jordan of his final two years with the Washington Wizards and even without the Jordan discount, his numbers are still better. That also opens up the LeBron James argument as James without any doubt started his career with far less talent than Bryant ever did and put up phenomenal numbers.
Let's talk playoffs now. Let me put it in a different perspective for you. Bryant has played 19 MORE playoff games than Jordan (198-179) and he has 125 less rebounds, 67 less assists, 98 less steals, and all the while Jordan outscores Bryant by almost eight points per game.
Those were all statistical differences which were close in comparison to the intangible differences that Jordan humiliates Bryant in. Jordan was the best leader I've ever seen on the basketball court. I was never at any practice, but there many reports of Jordan being harsh on his teammates when he thought they weren't practicing hard enough. There were reports that he slapped his teammates. Mike Greenberg form "Mike & Mike" on ESPN in the morning can attest to this. Jordan's demand for excellence can probably attribute to the fact that no player left the Bulls and put up better numbers than he did with Jordan. I can't say Bryant doesn't do this, but I can say with the media being more and more involved with sports teams, no report even close to Jordan types have been reported since his retirement.
People can question Jordan's first retirement, but no other player in any sport in Jordan's stature had to endure what he did with his father's horrific murder. It was very sad to see Jordan retire, but I couldn't blame him. Jordan reached the pinnacle of his life while his father was alive so what was there to accomplish after his death? I could only imagine the pride Jordan's father had for him. It is the ultimate dream of any father to see his son be the best and Jordan did just that three years in a row. He didn't quit, he took a break to reflect on life. People respected his decision and rightfully so. When Jordan realized that basketball (and sports in general) was the ultimate release from the pain inside, he proved again he was the best player in the best league on the planet. Bryant, on the other hand, essentially quit on his team. He asked to be traded publicly. Something a true leader would never do, speak out to the media about team issues. Name a time when Jordan ever did that. Again, Bryant quit, and was never traded because the team never traded him. It wasn't because he had second thoughts, it was because they wouldn't trade him.
This past NBA season/NBA Finals, could be easily compared to the baseball movie "Mr. Destiny" for Kobe Bryant. If the Lakers lost to the Celtics, which went to a very close game seven, Bryant would have been one of the biggest choke artists of all time. He had a John Starks like performance in game seven. In all honesty, an inexcusable performance. Remember, Jordan never went to a game seven.

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2010 9:37 am

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

saboteur, it is tough to sell me the Celtics as a better defensive team than the Utah Jazz. Ray Allen is way overrated and usually gives up big games to star players. Utah was known for their defense more than their pick-and-roll offense. Let's not forget the fact that the NBA now allows the zone defense which is a guards dream. Look at the other key stats like when Jordan scores over 30, the Bulls win. Kobe scored 38 and the Lakers lost. Some of the posters on here made a great point, the Lakers won in spite of Kobe. The Bulls never had to do that. Kobe is a solid defender, but not like Jordan, who shut down everybody he played. Jordan wouldn't have allowed Allen to go off in any game in the Finals. Again, Kobe would have been the biggest choke artist if the Lakers lost game seven at home with his miserable performance. One of the worst performances by a great player in the history of the NBA. Pippen shot 7 shots because the Bulls didn't need him to shoot.
To the guy who claims Jordan is a bad guy for gambling, who cares what Jordan bets? You're seriously going to compare gambling to rape? Wow. The child labor is all a bunch of garbage. You go over there and tell the families that depend on their kids to earn a living that they should stop doing it. You will never be seen again if you do. Why would it be up to Jordan to start being mister political hero? If you really think it is a big problem that China has children working, than you better pack your bags and move to another country. America's economy depends on China. That's why we're indebted to them after begging for help.

Since: Jun 29, 2010
Posted on: June 29, 2010 5:30 am

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

No, he is a sellout of justice for not having an opinion on the Rodney King beating, everyone else in this country did. He was so concerned with losing his endorsements that he lost his soul. His mother had to beg his wife not to destory him after she had a private investigator follow him for 2 years and had enough dirt on him to take 90% of his assets as allowed under Illinois state law. Oh yeah, what about the convicted felon Chicago racketeer who had several $1,000 checks Jordan wrote to payoff gambling debts while playing golf. But you Jordan heads are all brain washed by his Nike ads. Keep on buying Air Jordans and supporting slave labor in the countries where they are made. Priceless no Soul-less, you wanna be like mike, right?

Since: Jun 29, 2010
Posted on: June 29, 2010 5:11 am

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

No, he is a complete sellout to justice for not having an opinion on the Rodney King beating. He was so concerned about losing his endorsements that he lost his sole. What the Chicago racketeer who had dozens of $1,000 checks he won off Jordan while playing golf? Also, his mother begged his wife not to destroy after she had a private eye follow him for 2 years and had enough dirt on his ass to take 90% of his assets allowed under Illinois state law. But all of you Jordan-heads are just brain washed by all of his ads on TV. Keep on buying Air Jordans while supporting slave labor in the countries where they are made!

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2010 6:53 pm

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

first, in response to your Kobe argument. yes he is great and playing with a broken finger in his shooting hand is sheer lunacy (in a good way) and amazing. however, his team needed him to score in game seven. his team always needs him to score. he's the shooting guard for christ sakes. i realize that is just an arbitrary title for the position but the Lakers did not win game seven because of Kobe, they won in spite of Kobe. He definitely did other things to pick up his shooting slack but thats what all great players do. they're not one dimensional. if you want to believe that all michael did was score, don't read the rest of this reply because it will be wasted on you.

im not saying michael didn't have off nights, everyone does. just the nature of sports. but please do not justify kobe's performance during game 7. he sucked. plain and simple. im sure michael had sucky games also. but michael also was better in every measure as mentioned by the original blog post in the regular season and playoffs. just cold hard facts. (michael also didnt have the benefit of the no-touching rules [see the following link if you do not know what that is.


second, you do realize that besides the 11x NBA Champion category, MJ outdoes Russell in all of those "stats." And I don't think you realize the connotations of the word stats. Statistics in sports are meant to relay information of in-game performances and be an objective, numbers-based measure. All of those above were AWARDS (besides the championships) based on subjective judgements and opinions. None of those things up there are "stats," as most people recognize it.

Bill Russell is amazing. there is no doubt is he amazing. i do believe that one should at least win championships if be garnering attention in the pantheon of greats of the NBA. there should be some intangibles to sports and guts, clutch play, leadership, and such should all be considered when talking about the value of a player. however, championship counts are a reflection of the team. it's beyond ridiculous to bring up championships as the sole reason for saying that Bill Russell was greater than Michael. i would also like to point out that, as you have clearly illustrated above, even those in his era considered Bill to be only worthy of second team All NBA for 3/4 of his career. Why is that? Seriously? Please do tell.

Bill Russell is certainly in the pantheon of greats. but please do not even think about mentioning him in the same breath as Michael unless you decide to bring in some actual objective information and real statistics. i'm actually getting angrier as i write this and am going to stop because its becoming beyond mind-boggling that this has to be brought up.

Since: Jun 15, 2010
Posted on: June 25, 2010 11:48 pm

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

MJ is better, dont get me wrong,
but im gonna post stats instead of nonsense like people on this thread are doing.
MJ stats for his last 3 playoff runs:
1996:30.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.1 asts,.459Fg% .403 3pt, .818FT%
1997:31.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 4.8 asts,.456Fg% .194 3pt, .831Ft%
1998:32.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.5 asts,.462FG% .302 3pt, .812FT%
Now Kobes last 3 playoff runs:
2008: 30.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.6 asts,.478FG% .302 3pt, .809FT%
2009: 30.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.5 asts,.457FG% .349 3pt, .883FT%
2010: 29.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.5 asts,.458FG% .374 3pf, .842FT%

Now the obvious differences in this is that MJ won all three, and Kobe lost in 08.
But this is where ppls ideas get in the way of reality. MJ avgd more shots per game than Kobe, and kobe avgd more asts than MJ in EVERY PLAYOFF RUN HERE. But Kobes a ballhog and MJ passes and makes his teammates better?
Secondly In the bostin celtics, Kobe played a tougher defensive team than ANY TEAM MJ PLAYED IN ANY SERIES. Their defensive efficiency is better than the bad boy pistons,Knicks, or any other team you wanna bring up that MJ faced, Yet he put up similar numbers than MJ, better overall FG, more asts, and better 3pt shooting than MJ did.Then factor in Kobe not having a HOF sidekick,(Gasol is no pippen) no great perimeter shooters like MJ did(Kerr,paxson) and the fact that he did this with a bad back, 2 broken fingers, sprained ankle,and a knee that requires another surgery and needed to be drained. That in itsself speaks to Kobes greatness. Mj was GOAT, but he was not invinicible. And he still was a ballhog.He avgd 42% shooting in that last Utah series. Yet he went 15-35in game 6 with only 1 ast and PIP was 4-7 with 11 asts.In his last series vs UTAH. A lock for HOF getting 7 shots, and hes shooting over 50%? While I agree Mj is goat(for now) we tend to look at MJ with rose colored glasses on. put down the air jordans and wheaties boxes and look at it OBJECTIVELY. Not as a some delusional fan. smoke on that. Thank you.

Since: Apr 17, 2009
Posted on: June 25, 2010 4:28 pm

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

oh...and another thing...jordan is a lot of things,but rapist isnt one of them

Since: May 1, 2007
Posted on: June 25, 2010 2:52 pm

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

Couldn't have said it better myself.
The only thing I would add is that after Shaq left the Lakers, Kobe was unable to win another Championship UNTIL the Lakers surrounded him with talent AND another inside presence (Gasol/Bynum).
Saying Kobe is as good or better than MJ because of the number of championships is absolutely nonsense.
If that was the case, then I guess Robert Horry is better than both of them with his 7 championships!?!?

Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2010 9:09 pm

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

Bill Russell is the greatest basketball player of all time.

Bill Russell also won 2 NBA titles as a player coach. 
Bill Russell is also an immensely respected and gracious man.

I hate the Kobe vs Jordan agruement.  It's Jordan all the way.

But Bill Russell is the greatest basketball player of all time.

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2010 6:05 pm

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

Parkerboys, you need to do some homework. What, were you born in 2005? You forget the Lakers were 16 games under .500 in the 2004-05 season? 33-49 ring a bell?
Then you spew more lies with the highest rated game ever. You must not be able to read and comprehend since it said the Lakers-Celtics 2010 game seven was the highest rated game SINCE the Lakers-Sixers in 2001. The ratings for the game seven last week was 18. Bulls series averaged 18. The Bulls-Jazz game six received a record 22 rating.
Also note how I didn't bring in the subjective MVP award, yet, you did because you're desperate to make some kind of point. I couldn't care less about Jordan's MVP records.
You claim Kobe should be in the mix with Jordan and then go on to say Lebron isn't in the same boat as Kobe. You do realize that Lebron has erased every record Kobe set when he was younger? Lebron is a better player at his age than Kobe was and there is no question about that. He has never played with a player like Shaq or even a Gausol. We'll see if Lebron teams up with Wade or Bosh next season.
I really should delete your comments since they're filled with false information, but I'll keep it and hopefully you will learn to do some research before you embarrass yourself again on a blog.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2010 3:37 pm

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

To me it comes down to when both are at the prime.  With Jordan he was never going to let you beat him 4 out of 7.  You might get 2 and maybe 3 but if it got to the 7th game Jordan would just take over and not let you win.  He was the greates competitor i have ever seen with the greatest will to win.  Dont get me wrong Kobe is a great player and I would love to have him on the 76ers (my favorite team) but I just dont think he has that same attitude that Jordan had.

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