Mar 13, 2011, 5:00 PM EDT
Phil Jackson has been there, he has played golf with Michael Jordan. He has had dinners with Kobe Bryant. He has coached them both. He has won championships with both. His perspective on comparing the greatest player of his generation (if not all time) and his heir apparent may have the most insight.
And he wants us to stop comparing the two.
Really, we need to stop comparing anyone to Jordan, he told T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times.
“Kobe has patterned himself after Michael, and there are a lot of identical things there, but it’s one thing to hope to be like him, it’s another thing to be like him….
“I’m with [ESPN's] Bill Simmons on this,” he says. “We have to take Michael Jordan out of the equation. Stop comparing anyone to Michael Jordan. It’s just not fair. He was remarkable. Kobe’s in his own sphere.
“He doesn’t shoot the same percentage [.455] as Michael [.497]. He has the same characteristics as Michael, but he’s not the same player. It takes nothing away from him — he’s a great player in his own right.”
Not sure there is much to add there. Kobe is a great player. Maybe the second best wing player ever. But he is not at the top of the list.