15 July 2012
Last time I went over the Jordan vs. LeBron dilemma, you can read that here.
But now, I think it's time that I tackle this very subject at hand. Many have said that Jordan is better than Kobe and then you have some people that say Kobe is better than Jordan.
Jordan wins this battle. Just because Kobe has the higher single game scoring output doesn't make him the better overall scorer. Kobe entered the league as an unfinished product out of high school. So his scoring average should be higher than it is. His scoring average throughout his 16 year career is 25.4 points per game. While Jordan's career points per game average is 30.1. Kobe's points per game average will most likely drop a little bit as he begins to decline even more in his playing ability.
Jordan wins this comparison. Kobe just wasn't as good of a rebounding guard as Mike was. Granted Kobe is sitting on 5.3 rebounds per game, but Jordan retired with 6.2 rebounds per game. Kobe's average would be expected to drop below 5 maybe. Jordan's average may have been higher if he didn't have players like, Oakley, Grant, Cartwright, Pippen, and Rodman on the Bulls' dynasty teams in the 90's.
3) Ball Handling/Passing:
Jordan wins this, but it was a close call. Both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played under Phil Jackson for a big chunk of their separate careers in the NBA. Therefore they both ran the famous triangle offense under Phil and Tex Winter, the creator of the triangle offense. Both players have average assist totals. While Kobe is still going in the game and Mike is retired Jordan still holds a higher average. Not by much though, Jordan averaged 4.9 assists per contest while Kobe is just 0.2 below that mark. Yet again for Kobe's case, that should drop, not by a lot, but just a little bit.
Jordan wins this category as well. Mike averaged 2.3 steals a night while Kobe is at a modest 1.5 steals per game. Jordan had three seasons with two or more steals a game, Kobe only has one. Bryant's season high for steals per game is 2.2. Jordan once averaged an amazing 3.2 steals per contest. He should have been arrested for stealing the ball that much!
Jordan will win this as well. Notice the trend? Now let me say this, Kobe is right behind Mike on most of these. So it's not like “His Airiness” is blowing out the “Black Mamba” for that matter. Jordan is the better shot blocker here though. His career average for blocks per game is 0.8, Kobe's average is 0.5. That number should drop some more.
Jordan wins the pure offensive battle. If these two greats went toe-to-toe in a one on one, it would be fun to watch the two battle it out. Jordan would win the game, but not by much. Bryant has the best footwork in the current day and age of the NBA and the second best in history in my books. Jordan being the best at using his footwork. The two players can both drive to the lane, split defenders, dunk, lay it in, and then some. They both have amazing jumpers from mid-range. Not the best three-point shooters, but that is the one area that Bryant has on M.J.. Both players have a great post game. This is where the footwork and basketball I.Q. comes into play. Bryant is the only man in today's game to have similar footwork in the post compared to Jordan himself. Jordan's footwork and spin around jay was almost impossible to guard. Once Jordan retired he passed that onto Kobe Bryant in a sense.
Jordan wins yet again. Both guys in their own primes were and are great defenders. Jordan just had this “it” factor about him on the defensive side of the ball. Maybe because of the back yard battles with his brother Larry? That may be so, but Jordan wins by a small margin. Jordan's hand speed and foot quickness, as well his unparalleled athleticism, was just too much for almost anyone Jordan played against. To put it like this, once you get either one of them mad on the hardwood, they will come at your throat like a bulldog that just got off of it's chain. They both can be relentless once in the zone. That zone is also impossible to break for either one of them.
Jordan changed the entire NBA landscape. Kobe has had some effect as well. Not as big as Mike's though. That will be something that almost nobody will be able to top for a long while. Jordan helped David Stern and the NBA out by globalizing the NBA as a global icon in Europe, Africa, and even parts of Asia. It is a sport that allows everyone to play a simple and yet challenging game to the best of their will power and ability. Many European players today said that the Dream Team of 1992, led mainly by Michael himself, was their own inspiration to get better at basketball and become some of the world's best. Kobe on the other hand, has some ties with countries overseas. He loves football, or soccer for the American term, and watches a lot of soccer matches. He too has given hope to some up and coming Euro-League players. Jordan just is many levels above Bryant though.
All-in-all Jordan wins it. Kobe Bryant put up a fight, a very good fight if I might add, and came in second place.
No player should really be compared to Jordan. It just isn't fair to that player or Jordan. Kobe is the only one that comes to mind that plays like Mike. It's just not as good as the real Mike.
T.J. Watson is a 16-year-old sports writer from Illinois. Watson, a huge Bulls fan, is an aspiring NBA coach or GM. T.J. is very well versed in the game of hoops and has sound knowledge.
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