In honor of MJ’s 50th I would like to put to rest the silly, uneducated, ignorant argument that Kobe Bryant is better, or even on the same page as Michael Jordan. I have wasted my breath (or fingers) on this argument a couple times in the chat rooms of basketball connect. It really is just plain stupid to say Bryant is better, I get agitated when people even say they are on the same level. For the Bryant lovers, name me one aspect of the game in which he trumps MJ. Let’s just start with the numbers. Jordan leads Bryant in all the major statistical categories: points (30.1—greatest of all time), assists (5.3), rebounds (6.2), steals (2.35), and blocks (.80).
Five times, MJ was the league MVP. He led the league in scoring 10 times. It would have been 12 or 13 consecutive (that’s right consecutive) scoring titles if it wasn’t for his "fake retirement", which I will comment on later. Jordan ranks second all-time in steals, fourth all-time in total points scored in double digits in 842 consecutive games, and was a nine-time member of the NBA all-defensive team. When it comes to playoffs, MJ is on another level. His career playoff ppg stands at 33.4, the best all time. In the 1993 Finals, Jordan averaged 41 ppg, a number that will never been touched again. Every time Jordan went to the Finals, the Bulls won the title.
Bryant has already lost in the Finals twice. Remember when Bryant blew it in the Finals against the Pistons? He was completely shut down by Tayshaun Prince, and the Lakers were swept. Then in 2008 against the Celtics, the "greatest player on the planet" when 6-19 from the field for only 17 points when his team was faced with elimination. When the Lakers did actually win, I would say Shaq played Jordan’s role and Bryant plays Scottie Pippen’s role. Think about it—in the Lakers three championships, who won MVP? Shaq—all three times. The only reason Bryant even has titles is because he played with the most dominant center of all time. Even in 2010 he had an amazing cast and the greatest coach of all time in Phil Jackson. For those of you that say Jordan couldn’t do it without Pippen, remember 1998—Pippen had a back injury throughout the playoffs and MJ still got the job done. Let’s face it—Kobe is NOT CLUTCH. And he is a ballhog.
We will never see as clutch a player as Michael Jordan ever again. He had 25 game-winning shots! If it wasn’t for Jordan’s fake retirement, his numbers would be even more unbelievable. He would have had at least 12 straight scoring titles. He would have won nine straight NBA finals MVPs. And you ask why he retired in his prime?
He didn’t. Jordan, "wanting" to play baseball was used as an excuse for his retirement. The NBA could not "SUSPEND" a hero and main role model for excessive gambling. So Reinsdorf had him sign a baseball contract with a team he owned so he could take a break from basketball and let all the gambling talk cool down.
Now, I will hit you with some little known facts about Jordan, just to put some extra icing on his 50th birthday cake: In the '87-88 season Jordan averaged 5.5 rebounds, 3.16 steals, 1.60 blocks, along with 35 points per game. That year he led the league in points, field goals, minutes, steals, free throws, and was in the top 10 in blocks. He was also the defensive player of the year. Somehow in '88-89 his numbers improved: 8.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 2.89 steals, .80 blocks, 32.5 points per game. Against Portland in '89 he had 17 assists in one game. Twice he had 18 rebounds in one game. In '88, he had 10 steals against the Nets in one game. Once he had six blocks in a game. His best single-game scoring performance was 69 in 1990. Everyone needs to quiet down with this comparisons—Jordan will be the greatest of all time. As far as a one-on-one game, MJ answered this question himself. I would love to hear the Bryant-lovers argument against this. Bring it. We can talk about it in Basketball Connect. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/basketball-connect/id489269753?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4