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Dirkgreatness
03-26-2007, 05:11 PM
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Putting Kobe in perspective
By Jemele Hill
Page 2

Kobe Bryant is better than Michael Jordan.

Not more successful.

Hasn't had a bigger economic impact.

Hasn't won more MVPs.




Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images
Kobe Bryant did something Michael Jordan never
did -- score 50-plus in four consecutive games.Hasn't won more titles.

But he's a better player.

Kobe can do everything Michael did, and even a few things Michael couldn't do.

Kobe is just as good a defender. His killer instinct is just as pronounced. He can shoot, finish and explode. And just like Jordan, the more he's pissed off, the more unstoppable he is.

At the very least, Kobe's scoring spree over the last week should put to rest any lingering doubts that he's the best player in the NBA. Yes, better than Steve Nash, who is the best point guard, but not the lethal force that Kobe is. Yes, better than Dwyane Wade, who is certainly closer to the Kobe-Jordan level than LeBron James, but D-Wade's game is not as polished as Kobe's.

Kobe's streak of four straight 50-points-plus games is something none of those players can do, and it's something that hasn't been done since Wilt Chamberlain, who had an NBA-record seven straight 50-point games. Truthfully, Kobe should have tacked another 50 on Golden State on Sunday night.

Of course, the idea that Kobe is better than Jordan -- or even the best player in this league -- is as repugnant to some folks as a rectal exam. Even though Kobe has proven himself under pressure countless times, he gets the A-Rod treatment.

Kobe can't please anyone. And it doesn't help that most people suffer from revisionist history when it comes to Jordan, forgetting that he was just as poor a teammate and a ball hog and that he ran off coach Doug Collins like Kobe ran off Phil Jackson the first time.

In fact, you could argue that Jordan was even worse. Far as we know, Kobe hasn't jacked up any of his teammates the way Jordan punched out Steve Kerr and Will Perdue at practice.

Kobe will never be forgiven for Shaq's departure, but you're delusional if you think Jordan wouldn't have had any ego issues playing alongside a player with Shaq's star power.

The best-player argument shouldn't be determined by personal dislike. But if you want to take it there, fine. Jordan was hardly the ideal husband, but only the tabloids were brave enough to venture into his personal life. And what about those gambling issues? If Jordan's life had been covered like Kobe's, we would have an entirely different opinion of His Airness.

Besides a different level of media scrutiny, there was definitely a difference in the level of competition during Jordan's heyday compared to now.




AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
We ask you to step back and take an objective look. Isn't Kobe the best player in the NBA?Yesterday's NBA player certainly was more fundamentally sound, but there's no question that today's player is bigger, stronger and faster. When Jordan played, he was a singular force that could not be equaled. Jordan was guarded by the likes of John Starks and Joe Dumars, who were fine players but weren't nearly as skilled or physically imposing as LeBron, D-Wade, Tracy McGrady or even Vince Carter.

The NBA is tougher now.

Kobe, like Michael, is surrounded with mediocre to below-average talent, and Phoenix, Dallas and San Antonio are all better than the Utah, Portland and the Charles Barkley-led Phoenix team that Michael met in the NBA Finals.

Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson and Patrick Ewing will be among the best centers ever, but none of them affected the league the way Shaq and Tim Duncan have. There are two two-time MVPs in Kobe's own conference (Duncan, Nash), which is a problem Jordan never faced during his championship runs. Seven-footers weren't launching 3s back then. Magic Johnson and the Lakers were on a downward spiral, and the Pistons were on their last legs. It was Michael and everyone else. That's not the case for Kobe.

The shame of it is that Kobe might finish his career without a MVP, even though his ability can be compared only to that of Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. All this time we've been looking for a player who is better than Jordan, but most of us can't get beyond whether we like or dislike Kobe as a person to recognize his contributions to the game.

Ultimately the MVP award will go to either Nash or Dirk Nowitzki, who are deserving this season, but neither are as good as Kobe. Dallas and Phoenix are strong enough to make the playoffs without their stars. The Lakers, however, are a lottery team without Kobe.

Now that's a valuable player.

Jemele Hill, a Page 2 columnist and writer for ESPN The Magazine, can be reached at jemeleespn@gmail.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=hill/070326&sportCat=nba
----------------------


Great more Kobe ass kissing.

jleefilled
03-26-2007, 05:25 PM
Perhaps, after Kobe leads a team to at least one championship without Shaq, we could start talking about whether or not he's better than Jordan. Until then, it's, in the writer's own words, "as repugnant....as a rectal exam" to even consider it.

FINtastic
03-26-2007, 05:38 PM
Kobe is just as good a defender.

Wrong. Kobe is overrated defensively, while Jordan was consistently the best at his position.

FINtastic
03-26-2007, 05:44 PM
Ultimately the MVP award will go to either Nash or Dirk Nowitzki, who are deserving this season, but neither are as good as Kobe. Dallas and Phoenix are strong enough to make the playoffs without their stars. The Lakers, however, are a lottery team without Kobe.

They aren't that far from being one with Kobe either. Dirk on the other hand will likely finish 50 games over .500.

endrity
03-26-2007, 06:42 PM
it is so funny to see that no one really cares about the whole kobe v. mj thing on dallas-mavs, but it's the topic of the day in almost any other NBA forum around the net. Even in the spurs forum it's all people are talking about. I guess all we care about this season is those damn rings.

sike
03-26-2007, 06:45 PM
its not as unworthy a conversation as some might think....

but one thing MJ has going for him....he was never distracted by thoughts of raping chicks during a time out...

The Crippler
03-26-2007, 06:46 PM
once again, this article proves one thing...women should not be allowed to write about sports...

endrity
03-26-2007, 07:31 PM
once again, this article proves one thing...women should not be allowed to write about sports...
sexist....

FINtastic
03-26-2007, 07:47 PM
Well she did just set the whole "women writing about sports" movement behind about 5 years with this article alone.

endrity
03-26-2007, 07:50 PM
Well she did just set the whole "women writing about sports" movement behind about 5 years with this article alone.
the article was awful, i was just having some fun

LRB
03-26-2007, 08:05 PM
Kobe will never come close to equallying the stature of Jordan as a player. Hell he'd have to use a step ladder just to kiss Michael's ass. Jordan could have probably averaged 50 for a season if he didn't give a damn about his team winning a championship. Jordan figured out that just because you can score 50, doesn't mean it's what's best for your team. All Kobe's thinking about is where he can buy another mirror to admire himself in. You should have an IQ greater than the player's vertical in inches before you're allowed to write an article about them.

The Crippler
03-26-2007, 08:42 PM
sexist....

you are correct, sir.

nowhereman
03-26-2007, 10:17 PM
what an awful article. so poorly written. bad jokes, unwarranted arguments, smugness.

i hate this. such a shitty writer.

Rhylan
03-26-2007, 10:23 PM
sacrilege.

chumdawg
03-26-2007, 10:27 PM
its not as unworthy a conversation as some might think....

but one thing MJ has going for him....he was never distracted by thoughts of raping chicks during a time out...How can you be so sure?

Dtownsfinest
03-26-2007, 11:14 PM
Michael Jordan had plenty of skeletons in his closet. He was just smarter than Kobe when it came to hiding them.

That being said, no way in hell does Kobe compare to MJ. Kobe is the best player in the league currently. The best player to play since the best player retired. But Kobe has got to win a championship for me to even think about comparing the two. Hell just get his team to the finals. And yea its easier said then done with so many deep teams in the Western Conference and he does need a better supporting core but the comparisons don't start until Kobe sniff's the success MJ had.

chumdawg
03-26-2007, 11:18 PM
But Kobe has got to win a championship for me to even think about comparing the two. Hell just get his team to the finals. And yea its easier said then done with so many deep teams in the Western Conference and he does need a better supporting core but the comparisons don't start until Kobe sniff's the success MJ had.Hell, didn't he already win three in a row?

Tokey41
03-26-2007, 11:20 PM
It's not a bad debate, people get all over MJ's jock because he's universally known as the best player EVER (by non basketball fans, like Gretzky to hockey, Ali to boxing, Woods to golf, etc) but Kobe's not as far off as some people think he is, I can see the argument he is in fact the better player. You just have to consider the fact they both had amazing teams and forget their "career" success and focus on their individual play. Kobe this season has proven he can do anything and everything in order for his team to win much like MJ.

Edit: Kobe doesn't exactly have a supporting cast like the 72 W bulls though so to say that he needs to win a few titles as the man is a garbage argument. MJ was fortunate he had a sensible GM, the best coach of all time, amazing supporting cast players, and a complimentary sidekick. Does Kobe have any of those? He has the best coach of all time... I wouldn't say Odom is a Scottie Pippen, I wouldnt say the Lakers GM has put together a team like the 72 win Bulls had for Kobe. It's a team game so career success is hard to compare under any circumstances, so really the main thing to consider is how each can help their teams. In that regard, it's close imo because Kobe has proven he can alter his entire team by himself and be the catalyst to either make his teammates better or take over a game himself. It's what MJ did although I don't remember him making as much of a conscious effort to make his teammates better. Maybe MJ had the bigger ego, and thats the difference.

EricaLubarsky
03-26-2007, 11:25 PM
once again, this article proves one thing...women should not be allowed to write about sports...
not funny

kingmalaki
03-27-2007, 12:05 AM
That article was awful. Kobe > MJ??? Hell, is Kobe even in the top 10 yet? Most think that MJ sits at the top of the ladder (or is at least in the discussion), and there are plenty of rungs to pass before he gets to MJ.

Is Kobe even the best in his generation? So far he hasn't had a better career than Duncan, who LED his team to 3 titles (there is a difference between getting one as the main and as the sidekick).

When Kobe was winning titles was he even the best player on his own team (Shaq)?

If he doesn't lead his team to multiple titles then how do you take him over Magic, Russell Kareem, Bird, Wilt or Hakeem?

If he doesn't lead a team to at least one how do you take him over Moses Malone or Jerry West? What about the other players with great numbers that showed that they could win as the sidekick when they finally got help (O.Robertson, Drexler, Dr. J, Robinson).

Ya gotta crack the top without question before you can get to MJ....

LRB
03-27-2007, 01:04 AM
Hell, didn't he already win three in a row?

So did Luke Longley.

Thespiralgoeson
03-27-2007, 04:15 AM
Wrong. Kobe is overrated defensively, while Jordan was consistently the best at his position.

That's exactly what I thought when I read the article. Kobe is a fine perimeter defender, but not NEARLY as good as Jordan was.

Still, the debate isn't as one-sided as most people think. I think Jordan was a better player, but not by a wide margin. Kobe is definitely a better shooter than MJ was. MJ was a better slasher (which is just crazy, but it's true. MJ was just that damn good)

jleefilled
03-27-2007, 08:03 AM
On an absolute scale, yeah, I guess Kobe *might* be better than Jordan. But, on such a scale, Dampier *might* be better than Bill Russell, too. Is it time we start writing about how Dampier is better than Russell? Granted, Kobe isn't as far removed from Jordan, and thus, it makes his "accomplishment" more exceptional. But still an all, it's extremely underwhelming -- and ridiculously annoying -- to talk of a player being better than another who literally humiliated an entire generation of basketball when the former is arguably not even the best player in his generation. Jordan beat the league down into submission, took a break, came back, and beat it down again. One can only hope he has the bigger ego than Kobe.

mcsluggo
03-27-2007, 09:09 AM
Perhaps, after Kobe leads a team to at least one championship without Shaq, we could start talking about whether or not he's better than Jordan. Until then, it's, in the writer's own words, "as repugnant....as a rectal exam" to even consider it.

You know I hate Kobe. I think he IS in fact a rapist, and in general an unlikable person. I don't ever get the feeling that ANY of his team-mates have EVER harbored any warm feelings for him. This in spite of the fact that he is handsome as hell, and can really turn on the charm (when he feels like it), and quite frankly is one of the best basketball players EVER.

I just don't understand the "show me Kobe winning a championship without Shaq" argument...

Did Jordan ever win a championship without Pippin and at least one other real beast of a pteam-mate (Rodman or Grant)? No, he didn't. IN fact Jordan's Bulls always got destroyed inthe playoffs before pippin appeared, even though Jordan scored 40 or 50 points. While in fact Pippin led the Jordanless Bulls to one basket shy of the Eastern Conf finals, when the EAST was far and away the better conference.

Did Shaq ever win a championship without an accompanying superstar? hell no.


Right now Kobe is surrounded by ONE decent player (with a bunch of real skills, and also real flaws) and a bunch of players that would be the 8th player on most most teams.


Frankly, I remember the horror when analysts in the early-mid 90s had the gall to suggest that Jordan might be as good as Magic/Dr J/Bird/etc... the horror!!

mqywaaah
03-27-2007, 09:16 AM
Is there anyone or anything greater than God himself?

mcsluggo
03-27-2007, 09:16 AM
Kobe will never come close to equallying the stature of Jordan as a player. Hell he'd have to use a step ladder just to kiss Michael's ass. Jordan could have probably averaged 50 for a season if he didn't give a damn about his team winning a championship. Jordan figured out that just because you can score 50, doesn't mean it's what's best for your team. All Kobe's thinking about is where he can buy another mirror to admire himself in. You should have an IQ greater than the player's vertical in inches before you're allowed to write an article about them.

Actually I think the two players were very similar in terms of ego/vanity/self adulation etc.. Jordan tried to do it all when he was surrounded by a piss-poor team, and failed miserably, and Jordan played more of a "team game" when he was surrounded by a damn fine, well oiled-machine of a team (although he still had MANY primadonna impulses).

Kobe tries to it all now, when he is surrounded by a team of crap, and when he had a damn fine, well-oiled machine of a team he won championships (but he still had many primadonna impulses).


I pesonally don't see a huge gulf of difference.


EDIT:: Jordan also proved himself to be a damn piss-poor team-player again at the end of his career, on the Bullets, when he again found himself surrounded by mediocrity, at best.

mqywaaah
03-27-2007, 09:17 AM
The num 24 is better than the 23 literally speaking.

mcsluggo
03-27-2007, 09:27 AM
That's exactly what I thought when I read the article. Kobe is a fine perimeter defender, but not NEARLY as good as Jordan was.

Still, the debate isn't as one-sided as most people think. I think Jordan was a better player, but not by a wide margin. Kobe is definitely a better shooter than MJ was. MJ was a better slasher (which is just crazy, but it's true. MJ was just that damn good)

Jordan was always a good defender, with the potential to be great if that was ever his focus... but he was ALWAYS over-rated as a defender for his actual play. Pippin was a BEAST of a defender, and was ALWAYS put on the BEST player on the other team at either the 1, 2, 3 or even sometimes 4--- and he played his ASS off on defense for the ENTIRE game on that best player. Jordan,on the other hand was usually basically assigned the lowest offensive threat on the other team for most of the game, and was given the role (and free reign) to roam quite a bit and disrupt the passing lanes and go for the occasional pic-- this is all valuable, and all, but VERY much secondary to Pippin's role, and only possible because he had pippin locking down the biggest threat. THEN, at the end of games Jordan would also often lock down much more on the one-on-one D, and he still had the instincts to go for the home run passing lane pic occasionally.

Kobe is also given (or takes) a similar role on D for the Lakers... he roams a bit for most of the game, looking for pics and conserving strength for offense (like Jordan did) but Kobe sure as hell doesn't have a Pippin on his team locking down the primary threat, so overall the team D works a hell of a lot worse. Hell Kobe doesn't even have someone with the tenacity of Steve Kerr on D... which is saying a LOT.

mcsluggo
03-27-2007, 09:36 AM
The num 24 is better than the 23 literally speaking.

No sir, you are wrong.

the number 24 is greater than the number 23 in a mathamatical sense (or in a game of "war"). but in a numerology sense, 23 kicks ass. as a prime number that figures prominantly in three of the seven houses of Jupiter, 23 has far greater mystical powers than 24, even if you don't account for the ovious Casiopia angle. on AT LEAST 22 of the 24 days of the lunar calender 23 kicks the ass of 24... and don't even get me started on the Hindi significance...

kg_veteran
03-27-2007, 09:43 AM
mcsluggo - I understand your point about Kobe without Shaq, but let me ask you this:

Do you think that you could take Jordan off of those Bulls teams and put Kobe on them and see a 6 titles in 7 years run? I don't. Not even close. I'm not saying they wouldn't have won ANY titles, but IMO it would have been more like 1-2.

OTOH, if you put Jordan on those Laker teams and take Kobe off? To me, it's the same result. Titles every year, except that I think it'd have been more like 5 in a row (unless Jordan got thrown out for gambling or somesuch).

As to your comments about Jordan's defensive abilities, I think you'd agree with me that it's solid coaching not to ask your best player to score all the points AND do all the defending. You're suggesting that Pippen was on the best opposing scorer because Jordan wasn't capable of defending them. I think it was actually because they each had a role on the team.

mcsluggo
03-27-2007, 09:58 AM
mcsluggo - I understand your point about Kobe without Shaq, but let me ask you this:

Do you think that you could take Jordan off of those Bulls teams and put Kobe on them and see a 6 titles in 7 years run? I don't. Not even close. I'm not saying they wouldn't have won ANY titles, but IMO it would have been more like 1-2.

OTOH, if you put Jordan on those Laker teams and take Kobe off? To me, it's the same result. Titles every year, except that I think it'd have been more like 5 in a row (unless Jordan got thrown out for gambling or somesuch).

As to your comments about Jordan's defensive abilities, I think you'd agree with me that it's solid coaching not to ask your best player to score all the points AND do all the defending. You're suggesting that Pippen was on the best opposing scorer because Jordan wasn't capable of defending them. I think it was actually because they each had a role on the team.

for your first post, its kinda impossible to say, of course-- by definition. Also, that team grew and matured TOGETHER, and some of Jordan's veneer of superman invinciblity was FORMED during those runs--- it goes both ways, the bulls aren't invinvincible without Jordan during that great run, but Jordan also isn't Jordan with that invincible great run... its a feedback loop.

But to your actual question: I think the Bulls would've won at least MOST of those championships with Kobe replacing Jordan, in a marvel-parallel-universe-what-if scenario. ALL of them? who knows? I think that the Jazz SHOULD have beaten the Bulls -- they were a better team that had their best player (malone) shrink his cahones when it mattered the most-- and maybe without the Jordan mistique the Jazz don't choke... but KOBE wold've had a different mistique at the end of a 6 title run as well. Also the Sonics had a serious chance at knocking off the Bulls... who knows.


As to your second point (about Pippin/Jordan different roles on D) I agree COMPLETELY. It was a great recipe for success... great coaching/gameplan/tactics that clearly WORKED. But the pont is, that people remember that the Bulls played great D ( and the Lakers don't) and when being retrospective, people give Jordan MUCH more credit for that great team D than he probably deserved. He played a role in that team D, and when necessary he COULD play great individual D... but he usually wasn't called on to play a huge role on D, and he usually didn't... but thats not how most remember it.

mcsluggo
03-27-2007, 10:06 AM
Oh yeah, and if you put Jordan on with the Lakers and Shaq... frankly I think that team would've collapsed SOONER than it did. (at least if you put Jordan at the age of HIS title runs on that team)

Frankly, Shaq is AT LEAST half of the Kobe/Shaq problem. The big Aristotle/Kazzam/boogar headed moron/best player ever/whatever has a HUGE ego as well. He wasn't willing to share billing. He WAS the best player on the Lakers when the run started, AND he was ALWAYS top billing. But he also was an egotistical a-hole whose skills were already declining by the end of the run, and who would NEVER accepted having his role be anyhing other than prima-numero-uno on that team.

The only reason that the lakers held together as long as they did was because Kobe was so damn young that he HAD to be the "junior-partner", by definition, at first. He chaffed eventually, and neither of the a-holes could share primo billing and it all collapsed... but throw Jordan in his prime into THAT mix with Shakko, and the powder keg explodes earlier.

mqywaaah
03-27-2007, 10:13 AM
No sir, you are wrong.

the number 24 is greater than the number 23 in a mathamatical sense (or in a game of "war"). but in a numerology sense, 23 kicks ass. as a prime number that figures prominantly in three of the seven houses of Jupiter, 23 has far greater mystical powers than 24, even if you don't account for the ovious Casiopia angle. on AT LEAST 22 of the 24 days of the lunar calender 23 kicks the ass of 24... and don't even get me started on the Hindi significance...



Oh sh*t man! That's way too effn deep. Regardless, you are right. I applaude you.

kg_veteran
03-27-2007, 10:15 AM
Some very interesting points, mcsluggo. I love these "what if" debates, but I still don't envision any way that Kobe is in Jordan's league.

mcsluggo
03-27-2007, 10:19 AM
..... You're suggesting that Pippen was on the best opposing scorer because Jordan wasn't capable of defending them. I think it was actually because they each had a role on the team.

and I tried to never COME CLOSE to suggesting that Jordan wasn't cappable of defending. He COULD HAVE been one of the best defenders ever, and he was capable of turning it on somewhat at will...

but he is REMEMBERED for having actually played more consistant/greater overall D than his role on the team had him ACTUALLY play because the overall team D was sstill so good and he was CAPABLE of playing great D when called on to do so.

Kobe is also capable of playing some great D occasionally, but he is needed (either by the gameplanners or his own ego) so much on O that his D suffers... AND there is nobody to pick up the slack.

mcsluggo
03-27-2007, 10:31 AM
You know... I absolutely DESPISE Kobe. and I've argued kinda the complete opposite in the past occasionally (how important SHAQ was to those titles versus Kobe)... but I also clearly remember arguing strenuously that Jordan should be discussed in the same sentence as Magic/Bird, but THEY were the un assailable deities on the alter in 1993... and so it goes around and around.

I just think that there are top players that are damn good PERIOD. and that circumstances always differ from one to the nxt, and those circumstances play a much bigger role than most are willing to give credit to. AND people have a real tendency to OVER emphasise the relatively recent past over both the more distant past and the present. Right after Bird.Magic left, they were the UNQUESTIONED kings, forget big O and Wilt, etc... NOW Jordan is the UNQUESTIONED king (and big O and Magic, and Wilt and Byrd are all much more clustered)

Anyway, I don't know were Kobe fits. BUt I despise him and hate having to "defend him", but he is DAMN good, and in the right circumstances he could do real damage (on a HISTORIC scale) if he managed not to shit all over his bed and ruin the good circumstances that got him into that postion. THe same is true of all the other great players/egos. What would Dominique done with decent player around him...? Who knows!

jleefilled
03-27-2007, 01:54 PM
I just don't understand the "show me Kobe winning a championship without Shaq" argument...



What I mean by that is, "show me Kobe winning a championship without having arguably the Most Valuable Player in the entire league at the time". Is that more easily understood?

I know that might be a bit unfair, and maybe it is in part due to my bias against him. But, I don't think it's the most unreasonable request to ask of a guy who is supposedly "better than Jordan".

It's not that I don't think Kobe is a great player. I just would like to see more than his scoring a lot of points before I put him in the same category as Jordan.

nikeball
03-27-2007, 02:13 PM
air jordan shoes >>>>>> zoom kobe shoes

mcsluggo
03-27-2007, 02:17 PM
Oh sh*t man! That's way too effn deep. Regardless, you are right. I applaude you.

glad to have you defer to my entirely made-up numerology facts. ;) Fortunately, since ALL numerology facts are just basically made-up by sombody or another, mine are just as relevent and factual as anyone elses. I find the strategy of making up facts when convenient to be a real assent to my debating skills, in general. Those NON-made-up facts can be a real nuisance, in general... occasionally they even have the gall to not support my predetermined conclusion, so I try to avoid them whenever possible.

fluid.forty.one
03-27-2007, 02:24 PM
No way jose, MJ > Kobe in any universe.

Flacolaco
03-27-2007, 02:26 PM
air jordan shoes >>>>>> zoom kobe shoes

I think this is the heart of the matter

sike
03-27-2007, 03:08 PM
not funny
I don't think it meant it to be...

nikeball
03-27-2007, 03:31 PM
I think this is the heart of the matter

indeed haha q=)

kingmalaki
03-27-2007, 11:05 PM
Maybe MJ is regarded as a great defender because he has a DPOY award on his mantle (87/88 season, Pippen's rookie yr where he only got around 20 min off the bench). When the Bulls were winning titles Pippen was the main guy checking everyone, but that wasn't because MJ couldn't check folks. It made more sense to conserve his energy for offense.

DavidDaMonkey
03-27-2007, 11:10 PM
MJ balled with Bugs Bunny and subsequently saved Looney Toon Land by selflessly wagering away his own freedom to the head of Moron Mountain.

Kobe raped a chick.

</thread>

nikeball
03-29-2007, 01:15 PM
ESPN.com - True Hoop - Blog


ESPN.com presents True Hoop by Henry Abbott






Tex Winter Compares Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan

Roland Lazenby's Lakernoise blog has all kinds of interesting points to add to this debate, from Phil Jackson's longtime right-hand man (and current Laker consultant) Tex Winter. Winter has been around both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant for almost their entire careers. You should really read the whole thing, but here are some excerpts that Lazenby has generously let me cut and paste:

A few years back, the Lakers coaching staff concluded Bryant and Jordan were much alike, almost eerie, in fact, when it came to the alpha male qualities of their competitive natures.

Kobe and Michael were ruthless when it came to winning, everyone agreed.

And their skills were similar.

Except Michael's hands were larger.

The major difference between the two came with college experience. Jordan had played in a basketball system for Dean Smith at North Carolina, thus he was better prepared to play within a team concept.

Winter says they're both very much alike:

"They both display tremendous reaction, quickness and jumping ability. Both have a good shooting touch. Some people say Kobe is a better shooter, but Michael really developed as a shooter as he went along. I don't know if Kobe is a better shooter than Michael was at his best."

Observers like to point out that Jordan played on a Chicago Bulls team with no great center, but Winter always countered that Jordan was a great post-up player and in essence was the premier post weapon of his time.

Bryant himself came into the NBA with amazingly good post skills, but there was never room for him to play in the post with Shaquille O'Neal occupying the lane during their years together with the Lakers.

In a lot of ways, Bryant is Jordan's equal as a post player, Winter said, except for one critical element. "What's happened to Kobe and his post play - and he is a great post player - is that he's catching the ball just out of the lane and the defenders are forcing him out toward the wing."

As a result of getting pushed out of the post, Winter worries that Bryant may rely too heavily on three-pointers, which Bryant often shoots against intense pressure.

Winter also admits that Bryant abandons aspects of the triangle offense with some regularity. But that's not Winter's main complaint with the guard:

"I'd like to see him play better defense," Winter said, adding that he had addressed the issue recently with Bryant but didn't come away with the idea that Bryant was intent on changing his approach.

"You know Kobe," Winter said with a chuckle. "He has his game plan. I think he heard me. But he feels there's a certain way he's got to play the game. But it doesn't involve a lot of basically sound defense."

Because the Lakers need so much of his effort at the offensive end, Bryant has adopted a save-energy plan on the defensive end, Winter said. "He's basically playing a lot of one-man zone. He's doing a lot of switching, zoning up, trying to come up with the interception.

"The way Kobe plays defensively affects the team," Winter added. "Anybody that doesn't play consistently good defense hurts the team. That's not only Kobe. Our other guards tend to gamble and get beat. Another problem is that the screen and roll is not played correctly."

Winter never really says who's better. But to me, at this stage that's a victory for the legacy of Kobe Bryant. Winter is tough, honest, and as good an authority on this topic as we'll ever get. If he thinks it's a debate worth having, that's really something. Not all that long ago only die-hard Laker fans were seriously making the case that Bryant might be Jordan's equal.

Stranger
03-30-2007, 02:47 PM
Kobe may equal Michael as far as talent and skill level: those things are very difficult to accurately compare, and judgments about them tend to be subjective. However, when you compare the quantifiable data that tend to truly define a player's career—titles, statistics, records, etc.—it becomes pretty clear that Michael Jordan is miles ahead of Kobe. MJ won his first title when he was just about as old as Kobe is now, so who knows what will happen. But for now, the comparison is pretty one-sided.

Here are all the most significant career stats and data I could think of:

Titles:

Kobe: 3
MJ: 6

MVPs:

Kobe: 0
MJ: 5

Finals MVPs:

Kobe: 0
MJ: 6

Scoring Titles:

Kobe: 2 (including probable win this year)
Michael: 10 (all time record)

Best Season Scoring Average:

Kobe: 35.6
MJ: 37.1 (best all-time after Wilt)

Career Scoring Average:

Kobe: 24.5
MJ: 31.0 (all-time best)

Playoff Career Scoring Average:

Kobe: 22.9
MJ: 33.5 (all-time best)

Single Game Scoring High:

Kobe: 81 (second all-time to Wilt)
MJ: 69

LRB
03-30-2007, 06:59 PM
ESPN.com - True Hoop - Blog


ESPN.com presents True Hoop by Henry Abbott






Tex Winter Compares Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan

Roland Lazenby's Lakernoise blog has all kinds of interesting points to add to this debate, from Phil Jackson's longtime right-hand man (and current Laker consultant) Tex Winter. Winter has been around both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant for almost their entire careers. You should really read the whole thing, but here are some excerpts that Lazenby has generously let me cut and paste:

A few years back, the Lakers coaching staff concluded Bryant and Jordan were much alike, almost eerie, in fact, when it came to the alpha male qualities of their competitive natures.

...

Winter never really says who's better. But to me, at this stage that's a victory for the legacy of Kobe Bryant. Winter is tough, honest, and as good an authority on this topic as we'll ever get. If he thinks it's a debate worth having, that's really something. Not all that long ago only die-hard Laker fans were seriously making the case that Bryant might be Jordan's equal.

Until Winter is through coaching both and has no vested interest in one player over the other, his not name who's better is hard to take as anything more than diplomacy considering Kobe's overinflated and easily offended ego.

fluid.forty.one
03-30-2007, 07:56 PM
Kobe may equal Michael as far as talent and skill level: those things are very difficult to accurately compare, and judgments about them tend to be subjective. However, when you compare the quantifiable data that tend to truly define a player's career—titles, statistics, records, etc.—it becomes pretty clear that Michael Jordan is miles ahead of Kobe. MJ won his first title when he was just about as old as Kobe is now, so who knows what will happen. But for now, the comparison is pretty one-sided.

Here are all the most significant career stats and data I could think of:

Titles:

Kobe: 3
MJ: 6

MVPs:

Kobe: 0
MJ: 5

Finals MVPs:

Kobe: 0
MJ: 6

Scoring Titles:

Kobe: 2 (including probable win this year)
Michael: 10 (all time record)

Best Season Scoring Average:

Kobe: 35.6
MJ: 37.1 (best all-time after Wilt)

Career Scoring Average:

Kobe: 24.5
MJ: 31.0 (all-time best)

Playoff Career Scoring Average:

Kobe: 22.9
MJ: 33.5 (all-time best)

Single Game Scoring High:

Kobe: 81 (second all-time to Wilt)
MJ: 69

Game over.

pkdumas
03-31-2007, 12:18 AM
Kobe looks better than MJ tonite against Houston. Wow.

chumdawg
03-31-2007, 12:24 AM
Kobe looks better than MJ tonite against Houston. Wow.The guy does things no one else in the NBA can do. And he makes them look effortless. This is pretty damn impressive tonight.

Man, I think I smell playoff basketball in the air. I love it!!

dirno2000
03-31-2007, 12:30 AM
The amazing thing is that he was absolutly sucking for most of the 2nd half. Then, with about 5 minutes left he turns into superman.

twelli
03-31-2007, 01:45 AM
All the discussions about who is the best individual player are rather pointless in a team sport like basketball, because the goal of each team is to win as a team, not to crown an individual on a team.Two players who can score 30 a night are better than one who can score 60. Kobe is the best? Who gives a sheet?

If you want to see individual greatness, watch Tiger Woods or Roger Federer, they are alone out there, doing truly amazing things.

Thespiralgoeson
03-31-2007, 01:51 AM
All the discussions about who is the best individual player are rather pointless in a team sport like basketball, because the goal of each team is to win as a team, not to crown an individual on a team.Two players who can score 30 a night are better than one who can score 60. Kobe is the best? Who gives a sheet?

Apparently everyone else in the world but you. If individual greatness didn't matter, we wouldn't have MVP awards, or all-star games, or anything of the such.

twelli
03-31-2007, 02:09 AM
Apparently everyone else in the world but you. If individual greatness didn't matter, we wouldn't have MVP awards, or all-star games, or anything of the such.

If "Everyone else" means "Average fan" I agree, completely.

After following the NBA for quite some time now, I have come to the point where individual efforts fail to impress me.

If individual greatness means a player makes a tough shot with defenders all over him instead of passing to an open teammate, I think there is something wrong with the whole concept of individual greatness. If someone needs to score 50+ points to make his team win, there is something wrong with his team.

That doesn't mean, however, that I don't enjoy watching great players. I just don't care who of them is the best.

Lor20
03-31-2007, 03:01 AM
was his game against houston really that good? 44 FG attempts for 53 points and barely any defense (he didn't have a foul until OT) and a loss. He was something like 11-30 in the first three quarters.
Sure the 4th was great but kobe and the lakers seem to just play to give kobe the numbers these days and hope that is enough. any "great" player understands that he needs to get his team involved and atleast show some effort in defense in order to win consistently or in the playoffs for that matter. Kobe doesn't lead the team - he has the team play for him.
I can't see any established good player wanting to trade to the lakers as long as bryant is there because you are pretty much guaranteed to barely get to shoot the ball and to barely get any public interest ->good advertising contracts->good money. So until kobe learns to be a teammate or the lakers hit the jackpot in the lottery they will be out of contention for any titles.

nowhereman
03-31-2007, 03:31 AM
Scoring Titles:

Kobe: 2 (including probable win this year)
Michael: 10 (all time record)

Best Season Scoring Average:

Kobe: 35.6
MJ: 37.1 (best all-time after Wilt)

Career Scoring Average:

Kobe: 24.5
MJ: 31.0 (all-time best)

Playoff Career Scoring Average:

Kobe: 22.9
MJ: 33.5 (all-time best)

Single Game Scoring High:

Kobe: 81 (second all-time to Wilt)
MJ: 69

what a misleading and fallacy-laden post!

first, jordan had a 4 year pedigree at college. I did some math, and if you take out the first 4 years of Kobe's career in the statistical analysis, his career scoring average goes up to 28.9. If you change it to the years after Shaq left and Kobe became option 1 and 1a, his average has gone up to 31.66, more than Jordan's. There's too many down seasons (kobe's first 4 years, jordan's last 2 arguably) for this to be an even argument. Stat's like this are such an awful barometer, as are championship counts. Kobe is 28. Jordan was 35 when he won his last championship (although, he probably would have had at least one more if he hadn't retired those first 2 times). Jordan had a better team. I'm not saying player X is better than player Y. As ungratifying as it sounds, it's very difficult to use subjective criterion to determine this, and there is a lot of muddling information in all the objective criterion we have. Maybe we need to look up scheff #s, and rates, but even these can't really paint the picture.

Let's frame this whole thing in a different way. Look, here's why people are struggling so much to accept the idea of Kobe being better than Jordan. When jordan was in the NBA and winning 'ships, there was no one in his class of wingman. Hell, there wasn't anyone even close. Look at this roster (http://www.basketball-reference.com/allstar/NBA_1994.html). When you think of Kobe, now, there's a handful of players within striking distance of him in the public eye. Wade, Bron, T-Mac.. Kobe isn't as distanced from the pack as Jordan was, and thus cannot keep the same illusion that Jordan did. This probably just means a lot of kids grew up watching Jordan, or, taking out the causality, Jordan was just a generation ahead of the pack. This is why Jordan is considered and will always be considered the better player. The mystique of Jordan is impossible to defeat. No one was close to Jordan when he played, and by extension, defenses weren't as adept at containing an explosive wing.

spreedom
03-31-2007, 11:41 AM
No one was close to Jordan when he played, and by extension, defenses weren't as adept at containing an explosive wing.

Although they were certainly able to make more contact with the players back when Jordan was in his prime. I think adding at least 4 points to Jordan's season averages would be pretty realistic, considering how many free throws are shot today.

Dirkgreatness
03-31-2007, 02:03 PM
A few of you didn't agree with my Kobe column
By Jemele Hill
Page 2

What is so fascinating about the stir created by my "Kobe is better than Michael Jordan" column -- which generated more than 2,000 e-mails -- is that a couple months ago, I wrote a column on "The Hook Up" and no athlete generated more vitriol than His Airness.

A taste:




http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2007/0330/pg2_g_jordan_bryant_275.jpg
Do you suppose they were debating who's better at the 2003 All-Star Game?

"The ultimate Hook Up of all time is Michael Jordan. Not even close. America fell in love with him the moment word got out that he was cut from his basketball team in high school. His story is the American Dream. His attempt at baseball, gambling issues and marital problems did nothing to his Hook Up."

Disclosure: Dan is from Salt Lake City, but valid, valid points.

More:

Joe, a North Carolinian, wrote: "The man gambled a good bit of his money away, [allegedly] had a long-term affair with [had to be deleted for fear of a lawsuit], ran the Wizards into the ground, single-handedly destroyed Kwame Brown, and was overcompetitive to the point of violence. Despite all this, we love Michael Jordan. The man could get away with murder anywhere in North Carolina. I should know, I grew up in Durham."

Compare that to what reader Richard Kavalauskas wrote to me on Thursday, which summed up the overall sentiment toward my Jordan-Kobe column: "You are sick. The article you just wrote is blasphemy."

Based on the response, the only athlete who could possibly have generated such heated emotion is O.J. Simpson.

Kobe certainly has his defenders, but it is amazing how many people were more than willing to use Kobe's personal life as ammunition in a Jordan-Kobe basketball debate. People are aware of Jordan's personal lapses, but there is a state of denial there that is just startling.




http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2007/0330/pg2_g_jordan_bryant_195.jpg
About 75 percent of e-mailers believe that the fellow on the left is the better player.

Anyway, 75 percent of you disagreed with me, which is no surprise. But the responses were so overwhelming, it was worthy of sharing. But a couple quick explainers first:

(1) I do not believe the NBA is better now than it was then. It's my fault for not explaining this better. At least a third of you who e-mailed thought I was on crack -- and seriously at least 400-500 e-mails had, "Are you on crack?" in the subject line -- for even entertaining the possibility the NBA is a better product now.

No, it's not. That's not what I'm saying. I believe today's player is more athletic, stronger and has more raw ability than players in the '80s and early '90s. Clearly those players in the Magic, Bird and Isiah era were more polished, tougher and had unbelievable basketball acumen. It was a better game because the players were more skilled. Today, we see guys with extraordinary physical gifts and no fundamentals. So, to sum up: Today's player has more talent, but yesterday's player was a better basketball player.

(2) That being said, there are teams in the league right now that were better than at least three of the teams Jordan beat in the Finals. The Mavericks, Suns and Spurs are better than Clyde Drexler's Trail Blazers, Gary Payton's Sonics and Charles Barkley's Suns. The coaches: Avery Johnson, Mike D'Antoni and Gregg Popovich versus Rick Adelman, George Karl and Paul Westphal. Not even a debate there. Drexler was horribly overrated -- a slasher, terrific shot-blocker and rebounder for a 6-foot-7 guy, but he was a subpar shooter and mediocre ballhandler. You play the who-would-you-rather-have game with the rosters and you would favor most of the 2007 players. Nash or KJ? Duncan or Kemp? Stoudemire or Kemp? Shawn Marion or Buck Williams? The only untouchables are Payton and Barkley. And by the way, I'm not entirely convinced Jordan's Bulls could have beaten the Rockets in '94 or '95 when Hakeem Olajuwon was at the height of his filthiness (I mean that in a good way).

(3) I'm not totally certifiable. I know T-Mac or Vince Carter couldn't stop an 8-year-old on a PAL team. Dwyane Wade's defense also is suspect. My argument wasn't about their defense, but their offense. The evolution of size and skill from the '80s until now is obvious. This is a league filled with very tall, very big, athletic people who can shoot and do ridiculously dumb things above the rim. When Jordan played, some could match his athleticism, but not many. These days, 40-inch verticals are a dime a dozen. Jordan's killer instinct will always set him apart, but if he played today, his athleticism would not be the distinguishing factor it was before. I concede, though, he would have nearly 40 a game.

(4) I'll say it again: Kobe is just as good or better than MJ on the defensive end. Jordan was an unbelievable defender, but some of you seemed to forget he was playing alongside a defender who was just as capable -- Scottie Pippen. If you think that didn't help Jordan beef up his defensive stats, you are delusional. The reason I give Kobe even more credit is (A) he's the only player in the league even remotely interested in being a good defender and (B) he's been named to the All-Defensive first team four times during an age when every rule is geared to create more offense. Will Kobe ever win Defensive Player of the Year? Probably not. But then again, he probably won't win a lot of the awards Jordan received because people really, really hate Kobe. The wall of hate that Kobe faces is why he remains underappreciated. No matter how much surgery he performs on his image, most people always will view him as an egotistical ball hog who got away with a major sexual assault even though he was never convicted. Hey, people just prefer to show blind loyalty to a player some people believe is a degenerate, philandering gambler whose teammates would have killed him if they didn't fear prison.

(5) And yes, I still believe Kobe is a better player. This is an eyeball argument. Kobe will never be the best player who played the game. That achievement belongs to MJ alone. He'll never impact the world the way MJ did. But from a skill perspective, Kobe has MJ beat.

Now, a few e-mails:

Matthew Ivaliotes wrote: "Kobe Bryant is indeed comparable to a retired player. Dominique Wilkins. Both players were good enough to draw glory to themselves, alienating too many teammates, and selfish enough to make all but certain that they can't climb the mountain. Without Shaquille O'Neal, you never would have had the thought hit your head that Kobe Bryant is even an all time top-five player, much less No. 1."

Everybody needs help, even the great ones. How many titles did Jordan win without Pippen? I'll eat complete crow about this argument if Kobe gets a legitimate sidekick and doesn't do anything. So talk to me when his sidekick isn't Smush Parker.

From Steve Madison: Subject line: WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING?
"There is no way Kobe is/was better than Jordan. Jordan played in an era of Magic, Larry, Karl, Charles, etc. Jordan played in an era of team basketball and that's why he has six rings to Kobe's three. Better teammate, better defender and better player overall. Jordan could have put up 60 a night if he wanted to. Here's my list:
Better defender: Jordan
Better shooter: Jordan
Better passer: Jordan
Better teammate: Jordan
Better leader: Jordan
Better rapist: Kobe
The fact that the sexual-assault charge against Kobe was dropped was often overlooked by e-mailers.

And finally, my favorite e-mail, from Amsterdam:

"Hello, I'm Sharone Wright, a former top-six pick in the NBA. I was around Kobe my first and second year with the 76ers (Bryant worked out with the 76ers when he was in high school). Kobe would be the first to be at practice and he would be the last to leave. You want to talk about a will to win? This kid was amazing. He has a mad streak only the good ones have. When he wants to stop you, he will. When he wants 50, he'll give you 50. Simple as that. "I played a lot of games against Jordan, and truthfully Michael was the greatest I've ever seen, but Kobe has everything and even more to his game. The comparisons are so equal. So many critics let their displeasure for Kobe in his personal life blind them when it comes to his game and his place as one of the top-three players of all time. Kobe should be going on his fourth MVP, but they are so blinded by what their perception of Kobe is. Say what you want, but poll 20 NBA players right now, the ones that don't hold a grudge against Kobe, and they will tell you that it isn't even close to him and another player in the league. That's real talk for you."

Jemele Hill, a Page 2 columnist and writer for ESPN The Magazine, can be reached at jemeleespn@gmail.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=hill/070330&sportCat=nba

Stranger
03-31-2007, 02:44 PM
"Kobe should be going on his fourth MVP, but they are so blinded by what their perception of Kobe is. Say what you want, but poll 20 NBA players right now, the ones that don't hold a grudge against Kobe, and they will tell you that it isn't even close to him and another player in the league." [Sharone Wright]

If players "that hold a grudge against Kobe" constitute a statistically significant portion of the NBA, as this e-mail suggests they do, that should tell you something about Kobe's qualities as a leader and a teammate.

Stranger
03-31-2007, 02:53 PM
first, jordan had a 4 year pedigree at college. I did some math, and if you take out the first 4 years of Kobe's career in the statistical analysis, his career scoring average goes up to 28.9. If you change it to the years after Shaq left and Kobe became option 1 and 1a, his average has gone up to 31.66, more than Jordan's. There's too many down seasons (kobe's first 4 years, jordan's last 2 arguably) for this to be an even argument. Stat's like this are such an awful barometer, as are championship counts. Kobe is 28. Jordan was 35 when he won his last championship (although, he probably would have had at least one more if he hadn't retired those first 2 times). Jordan had a better team. I'm not saying player X is better than player Y. As ungratifying as it sounds, it's very difficult to use subjective criterion to determine this, and there is a lot of muddling information in all the objective criterion we have. Maybe we need to look up scheff #s, and rates, but even these can't really paint the picture.


Nowhereman, I take your point, but those statistics are not as misleading as you suggest. First of all, its completely cherry-picking stats to take out Kobe's first four years or just select his seasons without Shaq (when he was playing on a lottery or low-ranked playoff team and was the only first-rate scorer). If you take Jordan's best three scoring seasons, when he didn't have a top-notch supporting cast, his average will also jump about 4 points. Jordan also played until he was 41, and his later years dragged down his average as much as Kobe's teen years drag down his.

Furthermore, the point of the post is not to place total emphasis on Jordan better career scoring numbers. That's precisely the reason I quoted a full range of stats and accomplishments, including titles, awards, and single-season and single-game bests. Jordan tops Kobe in every category, except single-game record. Any one of those categories might be dismissed, but together I think they are pretty convincing.

In regards to titles and statistics not being a measure of a player, what would you suggest? You may be right in saying that there is no good way to compare two players in different situation, but nevertheless that's what sports fans, reporters, fellow players and coaches, and the Hall of Fame people do everyday. And their methods aren't that arcane: they tend to focus on statistical accomplishments, individual accolades (like MVP awards), and team success. All I was suggesting in that post is that Michael trumps Kobe in most of those categories that are the generally-accepted measurement of a player's career.

jleefilled
03-31-2007, 03:16 PM
NEVERMIND.. I think I'm having too much fun with this debate..

nowhereman
03-31-2007, 05:04 PM
my whole point is that this argument can be supremely muddled by looking at statistics. If the argument is which player was more skilled, the numbers indicate it was Jordan, getting his numbers and dominating against muck-it-up, lockdown defenses. But at the same time, players have become more adept at guarding wings, and teams have adjusted their strategy, which can be causally linked to what MJ did. There is no real objective criterion to evaluate this with. The debate is essentially - if Kobe was on MJ's Bulls, or if MJ was on these Lakers, which team would improve. The only stats we can look at are rate and efficiency stats, and even those can be mitigated.

So we need another line of thinking. Jordan is considered and always will be considered a better player because no one ever existed like him when he was playing. This is why Wilt will always be considered better than Hakeen or Shaq, even though it's probably a wash as far as talent goes.

nowhereman
03-31-2007, 07:55 PM
Furthermore, the point of the post is not to place total emphasis on Jordan better career scoring numbers. That's precisely the reason I quoted a full range of stats and accomplishments, including titles, awards, and single-season and single-game bests. Jordan tops Kobe in every category, except single-game record. Any one of those categories might be dismissed, but together I think they are pretty convincing.


agreed - as far as accolades go, at this point it is hard to conceive of Kobe catching up to MJ. But I would say that those all answer who had a better career, but not necessarily who was the better player.

but i'm right there with you. for everything MJ did, he is and will be considered the best wingman ever.

LRB
03-31-2007, 09:34 PM
what a misleading and fallacy-laden post!

first, jordan had a 4 year pedigree at college. I did some math, and if you take out the first 4 years of Kobe's career in the statistical analysis, his career scoring average goes up to 28.9. If you change it to the years after Shaq left and Kobe became option 1 and 1a, his average has gone up to 31.66, more than Jordan's. There's too many down seasons (kobe's first 4 years, jordan's last 2 arguably) for this to be an even argument. Stat's like this are such an awful barometer, as are championship counts. Kobe is 28. Jordan was 35 when he won his last championship (although, he probably would have had at least one more if he hadn't retired those first 2 times). Jordan had a better team. I'm not saying player X is better than player Y. As ungratifying as it sounds, it's very difficult to use subjective criterion to determine this, and there is a lot of muddling information in all the objective criterion we have. Maybe we need to look up scheff #s, and rates, but even these can't really paint the picture.

Let's frame this whole thing in a different way. Look, here's why people are struggling so much to accept the idea of Kobe being better than Jordan. When jordan was in the NBA and winning 'ships, there was no one in his class of wingman. Hell, there wasn't anyone even close. Look at this roster (http://www.basketball-reference.com/allstar/NBA_1994.html). When you think of Kobe, now, there's a handful of players within striking distance of him in the public eye. Wade, Bron, T-Mac.. Kobe isn't as distanced from the pack as Jordan was, and thus cannot keep the same illusion that Jordan did. This probably just means a lot of kids grew up watching Jordan, or, taking out the causality, Jordan was just a generation ahead of the pack. This is why Jordan is considered and will always be considered the better player. The mystique of Jordan is impossible to defeat. No one was close to Jordan when he played, and by extension, defenses weren't as adept at containing an explosive wing.

To clear up a couple of things:

1. Jordan played for NC 3 years only. He went pro after his junior year.
2. If Jordan was playing in today's NBA it's quite likely that ther would still be no one who was in his class as a wingman. Jordan was contemporaries with Dominque Wilkins and Clyde Drexler for most of his career. Jordan's career also overlapped Dr. J's, Kobe's, Grant Hill's, Vince Carter's, and TMac's to name a few. Jordan was also know for taking it to the rack against some of the best shot blockers of all time. The current shot blockers are an enemic shadow of what Jordan faced.

twelli
03-31-2007, 09:51 PM
Just a thought:

If Kobe took two years off to play softball, would he come back better than ever and accomplish a threepeat?

mary
03-31-2007, 09:52 PM
Did Michael Jordan ever do this to a two-time MVP? Huh? Did he? Somebody answer the question!

http://theassociation.blogs.com/the_association/KobeandNash_580x435.jpg

twelli
04-01-2007, 12:36 AM
What's so special about dunking on a stumbling 6 foot 1 point guard? I am sure MJ could have done that... Nate Robinson can do that for crying out loud.

I mean, at least show a picture of him dunking on Yao or someone a bit more imposing.

Also, it's kind of difficult to posterize an MVP if you are the MVP yourself all the time... ;)

nowhereman
04-01-2007, 04:59 AM
Did Michael Jordan ever do this to a two-time MVP? Huh? Did he? Somebody answer the question!

http://theassociation.blogs.com/the_association/KobeandNash_580x435.jpg

did michael jordan ever hold hands with a two time mvp? i don't know.

LRB
04-01-2007, 10:23 AM
Did Michael Jordan ever do this to a two-time MVP? Huh? Did he? Somebody answer the question!

http://theassociation.blogs.com/the_association/KobeandNash_580x435.jpg

To the best of my knowledge, MJ never dunked on a girl.

kingmalaki
04-01-2007, 04:51 PM
To clear up a couple of things:

1. Jordan played for NC 3 years only. He went pro after his junior year.
2. If Jordan was playing in today's NBA it's quite likely that ther would still be no one who was in his class as a wingman. Jordan was contemporaries with Dominque Wilkins and Clyde Drexler for most of his career. Jordan's career also overlapped Dr. J's, Kobe's, Grant Hill's, Vince Carter's, and TMac's to name a few. Jordan was also know for taking it to the rack against some of the best shot blockers of all time. The current shot blockers are an enemic shadow of what Jordan faced.

Very good post. The "MJ faced scrub wingmen" argument really makes me laugh. Folks seem to forget that he played the majority of his career in the 90's, not the 80's. Folks also seem to forget that these elite swingmen aren't the ones keeping Kobe or other swingmen from winning titles...it's the big-men. That's what made MJ so special. he packed a big mans efficiency in a guards body.

DarenG
04-02-2007, 10:54 AM
Man, I can't believe this is even a topic. Kobe is not even close to MJ. He is not even on the same planet. Kobe is a prolific scorer but MJ could do so much more then that. This doesn't even deserve to be a topic.