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Jordan thinks Kobe is the only one who deserves comparison

Jan 17, 2012, 8:55 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan

Let’s just get this out of the way up front — Kobe Bryant is not as good as Michael Jordan. That may frustrate a handful of the Kobe apologists out there, but the fact is he is not, and that is not about ring count. Jordan was superior on the court.

But if you can compare anyone, it is Kobe. Just ask MJ.

Roland Lazenby is one of the better basketball book writers out there. His book “The Show” is maybe the best thing on the history of the Lakers, and his Jerry West biography is a brilliant study of the man. He wrote “Mad Game” about Kobe and numerous other books. He’s a friend of Tex Winter with great insight.

And he’s working on a Michael Jordan book now and has spoken to the man. Which led to this interesting couple of tweets from Lazenby recently.

Kobe’s ultimate competition is MJ. That’s why MJ watches him. MJ made people think what he was doing wasn’t human. Ditto the Kobester.

I never said Kobe was better than MJ. MJ just told me Kobe’s the only one to have done the work, to deserve comparison.

MJ gets it. There have been far too many “the next Jordan” guys to come through the league, an unfair burden put on a lot of players. Kobe is the only guy with the will and the skill to even come close. Kobe and Jordan are cut from the same cloth, both driven to compete, to win, to do whatever it takes to get there. Their will and drive stood out in the ultra-competitive NBA. There will not be many more like them.

Sometimes, we should sit back and enjoy what we have. Savor it. Enjoy watching Kobe for being Kobe, not argue about what he is or is not.

  1. mjbulls45 - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    pay no attention to the handle , “mjbulls45″ is a reference to MJ yes, but it is also a reference to the brief time he wore the #45 , its an ode to an era, mid 90′s , 90′s kinda kid, I’m 24 now, but still like to rep for the people in my age bracket and the era of the NBA we grew up in…

    that being said,

    ABSOLUTELY.

    YES.

    kobe is the only one that you can mention in the same breathe (aside from Bird/Magic).

    people used to ask me, “oh dude, your rooting for the Lakers”, and I would say, “well I love MJ, there is no more MJ, and this guy Kobe is the CLOSEST thing we got to MJ”

    style of play, skill, size, position, coach (P.Jackson), close stats, #s of rings, attitude, leadership, anger, desire, fade away , post game, etc.

    Kobe was this era’s Jordan, if your like me, you were lucky enough to watch both.

    I like Lebron James, but the truth is, he is more athletic then both Kobe/MJ, but nowhere near the same skill set or attitude, to put it short, MJ and Kobe can shoot the basketball, Lebron James can not. Which is always why I say let Lebron create his own path and be his own player, he is NOT like those 2, he is great in his own way, but not at that plateau , different styles of play and mentality. STOP THE COMPARISON! – and when scotte pippen says what he said last year, I get confused… like really? Lebron better then MJ… really?

    • adnan604 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      ok I only got one bone to pick with that whole statement, how in the heeelll do you put Kobe and MJ above LBJ when it comes to overall skillset JUST because they shoot the ball better than LeBron ??
      Shooting the ball better does not mean they’re more skilled than another player…

      The opinion of the civilized basketball world knows that LeBron is already pretty much the most “skilled” basketball player to ever live but NOT the best, just the most skilled… I can go into a whole argument with it but there’s no need, I mean you got the ridiculous facts of him being only the second player (Big O first) in history to average 25/7/7 for his career, if you can’t understand that then I’m sure you can understand he’s a Magic Johnson who can score pretty much when he wants, think about what that means for a second because Magic was THE guy before Jordan established himself….

      Now with that said, the thing I can’t stand about LeBron is he’s still got the mentality of a kid, he has all the tools there to become the greatest ever but so far doesn’t have the mental fortitude and obviously not the will to push himself over the hill to the promised land….

      and that’s the problem with todays players when you wanna make comparisons with players of old… players nowadays are kids, you catch these guys playing video games hangin out goofin around whatever, while back then Malone, Barkley, Jordan, they were too busy doing manly stuff 24/7..
      I’m 29 so not that old and fall in the range of age of todays stars but I still prefer the basketball players of the 80′s and 90′s, I wanna see men play one another, not a bunch of kids and buddies no matter HOW skilled they are

      • blackcattwothree - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:37 AM

        LeBron is the most skilled player ever? I have to disagree with that. Post up and mid range games were non existent up until this season, and still need work. Inconsistent shooting stroke has been well documented. His footwork has never been great, and his decision making becomes a real liability in pressure situations.

        I don’t even think I’d consider him the most skilled small forward ever. Larry Bird did more with significantly less. Dude couldn’t jump over a stack of playing cards, but his career rebounding, steals and blocks averages are all greater than or equal to James’. He was just as good of a passer as LeBron, and was a threat to score from anywhere on the court. That’s not even getting into the intangibles.

        Also not really a fair comparison to Lebron though. Larry Legend is top 10 all time. Either way, I think this is the season where the stars align and James gets his ring. Miami definitely looks like the team to beat in 2012, recent struggles notwithstanding.

      • drakost - Jan 21, 2012 at 9:03 PM

        You know… I was going to go through a rant pointing out how flawed your analysis is… however anyone who has seen MJ play and and have seen how competitive he is understands why given all the skills in the world MJ would always be better than Lebron… because he wills himself to be better. All the skills in the world mean squat when you have no heart.

  2. jizzojames - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    I agree “mjbulls45″. Kobe is the closet thing to Jordan we’ve seen and for now the closest that we have. I too am 24 and I got the pleasure of watching Both players and the resmblance in style of play, tenacity and pure skill are similar to the same. And the work ethic goes right along with. Not to take anything away from any of the players of today, whether it be Lebron on Kevin Durant or anybody, they are all good in their own right but Michael Jordan set the mold and not too many could/can fill it. They are tough shoes to walk in but soon they’ll be comparing folks to Kobe as well as Michael. I can see people saying now that you have to be as good as Kobe to even be considered in a conversation with Michael.

  3. isujames - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    @mjbulls45 I dont know @ what time you watched MJ but it must have been towards the latter if his career when he went to washington.Lebron is not more athletic then MJ, end of story.Oh wait your right he is NOW Lol.

    • mytthor - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      Unlike the 24-year-olds above (no disrespect) I AM old enough to have watched Jordan’s whole career. And you’re crazy if you think LeBron isn’t more athletic. Michael made the mold for today’s athletic player, but LBJ is faster, jumps higher, is 3 inches taller and 60 pounds heavier. It’s no contest; he’s the most freakish athlete to play in the League.

      • janthonygomes - Jan 17, 2012 at 5:04 PM

        I too am old to have watched Jordan’s entire career and I’m sorry but Jordan was both faster and jumped higher than LBJ.

        Lebron is certainly a freak of nature because he combines amazing speed and jumping ability with his 6’8″ frame that carries 250 lbs. But don’t let that fool into thinking a 27 year old Jordan couldn’t out-jump or outrun him.

      • blackcattwothree - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:29 AM

        Overall, I agree that LeBron has superior physical gifts to Jordan (and Bryant). He’s a lot bigger, has better full court speed, and his one footed takeoff practically needs NASA clearance. James is probably the most athletic perimeter player ever. But I do think that in their athletic primes, Jordan and Bryant both had a few advantages over James. Specifically, they were both better two footed leapers and had MUCH better body control. You don’t see LeBron pulling off the same kind of crazy layups Jordan did, or the twisting reverse dunks that Kobe was known for.

  4. stoutfiles - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Enjoy Kobe toss up tons of shots, hit 35% of them, and be declared the best. Yes, there may never be another ball hog quite like him.

    • dirtydavis - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      It’s funny because is true!

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      Last I checked he’s shooting 46%, and only not the 50% that JOrdan shot, because he doesn’t get to the rim as frequently.

      Nice try.

      • goforthanddie - Jan 17, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        Don’t be bringing facts into this dammit!

      • borderline1988 - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:20 PM

        That’s a stupid argument.

        I can shoot 10% from halfcourt – does that mean I should be taking as many shots as Kobe does per game? Or MJ?
        Are you arguing that it’s okay to give me the ball even though I’m shooting 10% because it’s further away from the basket than where MJ or Kobe usually shoots?

  5. jlinatl - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Skill and will are obviously major components but don’t forget health.

    The Next Jordan tag is bestowed early in players’ careers. Some plateau because of skill or will and some have their ascent/peak cut short due to injury.

    • jizzojames - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      Insert Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Allen Iverson jokes here. When these guys were in the beginning of their careers and healthy their talent suggested them to be the next coming of Michael Jordan. McGrady got hurt, and never really was a hard worker so to speak, and Vince settled for terrible shots and was LAZY! Iverson took terrible shots and was out of his mind (Practice). You are right some players look the form early, but much like Michael Kobe Bryant is standing the test of time, and is doing it greatly!

      • sasquash20 - Jan 21, 2012 at 9:28 PM

        Who compared Iverson to Jordan? First off Iverson wasn’t even 6 foot. Iverson was faster and more athletic but a half a foot shorter. And of course he never worked as hard as MJ in practice either. I’m not saying I would want AI over MJ, but I don’t think its is fair to lump AI in there with Carter and McGrady. AI was better in his prime then both of them in there prime. And I never heard anyone say AI was the next Jordan. Jordan is one of the best ever, top 5 at worst. AI isn’t top 25. Now I do think if he was another 5-7 inches taller he would be top 10 but he isn’t so he isn’t even close to the top 10. Most fearless but not the next MJ. And no one ever said he would be to my knowledge.

  6. sebstos29 - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    lebron is on his own planet. his combination of power and speed ils unique, even for MJ who is more graceful.
    Kobe ils the closest player to MJ. Not as good as the Master, but good enough to deserve the comparison.

  7. mannyfresh209 - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Lol

  8. xrateplaya - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Anyone that says Kobe is a ballhog didn’t watch mj play.. The man hogged the ball..he was good but he didn’t have the types of athletes that play now.. Not sayin Kobe’s better… Just sayin

    Lbj, the president, is a freak. U guys can hate him all u want but the guy is a beast who basically can do anything he wants.. Now if he figured out how to play in the fourth qtr..but that’s a different story

    Blake’s a flopper! Not Steve Blake that guy griffin.. Plays for the clipps

    • zblott - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      Their levels of ballhog-ness aren’t that close when you look at things like FG%, eFG%, passing efficiency, and who their teammates are/were:

      http://www.behindthebasket.com/btb/2011/2/20/determining-which-guards-are-black-holes.html

    • sasquash20 - Jan 21, 2012 at 9:29 PM

      LeFraud has no heart so he can’t ever be mentioned with either Jordan or Kobe.

  9. goldkj - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Harold Minor

  10. zblott - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    If there’s one guy whose opinion I trust about basketball talent, it’s Jordan. Unless you consider how close he was to screwing up the Bulls with his terrible suggestions to the front office, what he did to the Wizards, and the darkness that’s now descended upon Charlotte for quite some time.

    Other than all that, Jordan’s evaluation is gold!

    • goforthanddie - Jan 17, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      Bazinga!

  11. mobstera - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    I agree with rateplayer MJ took A LOT of shots and was a ball hog so to speak but no one hates him for it

  12. isujames - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    MJ wasnt a ballhog he did what he had to do to win with the talent he had.He also had a good shooting percentage throughout his career and his teamates did not complain about him taking to many shots unlike Kobe who is known for ball hogging and taking a lot of shots to get his points.

    • ludachrisgsx - Jan 17, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      So why exactly is Kobe a ballhog and Jordan not? Because Jordan’s teammates didn’t complain? LOL!

      They were/are both ballhogs. You simply liked Jordan better so you let him off the hook. Same thing happens in the Kobe camp.

      • borderline1988 - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:13 PM

        Didn’t you read the post before responding?

        Kobe’s a ballhog because he shoots so much even though his FG% is pedestrian for his position. He has an incredible frontcourt, 2 stars who are much, much more efficient at scoring the basketball, and yet Kobe refuses to stop chucking shots even though he’s usually at around 45% FG.

        Michael Jordan averaged 50%FG for his career. He averaged over 51.5% six times in his career, and during his best seasons averaged well over 53% (that’s unbelievable for someone at his position who took so many shots and was the focus of the opposing defense every game).

        Kobe NEVER hit the 47% mark in his career. Think about that. To put that into context, Dwayne Wade never averaged LESS than Kobe’s best average. Same goes for Lebron (besides for his rookie year).

        Kobe’s shooting resembles Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce, not Michael Jordan.

        I don’t care what MJ thinks (he’s been wrong about almost everything in the last decade). Nobody compares to MJ. There were no credible holes in his game, both from watching his game and statistically speaking.
        Any fan who is willing to be unbiased and objective regarding Kobe’s stats will tell you that there is more to his story than just 5 rings. D Fisher also has 5 rings. That doesn’t mean we should compare him to MJ.

  13. dirtydavis - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    “Jordan thinks Kobe is the only one who deserves comparison”

    Does that still mean that Kobe is still one of the top TEN SGs of all-time?

  14. chicago240 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Quick Stat: Jordan played 41,011 career minutes. Kobe is at 40,710 right now. Jordan took .598 shots/minute, Kobe is at .534 shots/minute. They’re both ball hogs, but Jordan maybe a little more?? Jordan’s FG % for those shots was .497, Kobe’s= .454. So maybe Jordan SHOULD have shot a little more. Wade, Westbrook, Rose, Paul….all well below .50 shots/minute.

  15. ludachrisgsx - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Jordan was not only great, he had a style nobody had seen before. He invented the high flying, attach the rim, style that we all love watching today. Sure, there were dunks before Jordan, but he transformed the sport of basketball into entertainment. He was also very successful at building his own brand, with the help of the sports media, into a larger than life legend that set the precedent for athletes – you can thank Nike for part of that. Part of his greatness comes from the marketing of his image. I’m sure some of the people who put him up on such a high pedestal do so because of his larger than life brand.

    Jordan is a legend because of everything he was able to accomplish on and off the court. He was fun to watch, he dominated, he was charismatic, and everyone loved him, he eventually was on a great team with a great coach, he won championships/scoring titles/MVPs/etc, he had Nike helping him build is branding empire, and he did all this at a time when the marriage between sports and the media had us all watching. It was the perfect storm that I don’t think we’ll ever see again.

    To be as good as Jordan, you not only have to play as good as he did, you have to become a legend in the marketing world too. Kobe is the only player that has the skill, determination, and work ethic to come close on the court. But he has never been accepted universally by the world like Jordan was. So I don’t think he’ll ever break though. This is apparent with all those who call him a ball hog – Jordan always looked to score first, yet he was rarely considered a ball hog. He was considered a scorer. But Kobe’s a polarizing figure and lacks that personality that made Jordan likable even when he did questionable things (anyone remember his gambling problems and marital issues? Probably not, as nobody cared). Kobe is criticized for everything. People want to see him fail.

    LeBron had a chance to be the next legend, but he took a major hit with how he handled the move to Miami. Everyone had crowned him early on and yet, he already has more working against him than Kobe ever did. Jordan will never be knocked off the pedestal because too many people loved him. There are several players with better numbers and more rings than Jordan, but none of them are ever considered to be better than him. Why is that? Because Jordan transcended basketball and helped transform it into entertainment… something Wilt, Russell, Kareem, etc, were not able to do. Magic was probably the only one who came close in that regard.

    • goforthanddie - Jan 17, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      “He invented the high flying, attach the rim, style that we all love watching today. ”

      I imagine a certain Dr. from Philly (and others) would have a winning argument against that statement.

      • ludachrisgsx - Jan 17, 2012 at 6:10 PM

        Dr. J did plenty of high flying too and brought style to the league, I agree. But I think Jordan was different in that he wanted to dunk on everybody and absolutely destroy them. I suppose you might be able to chalk that up to how much media exposure Jordan was getting compared to Erving at the time too though.

        You see though, even in my attempt to highlight Jordan’s popularity in the media in relation to his overall image, I gave him credit (as many others do quite often) for inventing that style of play… which is unfair to the players before him like Julius Erving.

    • blackcattwothree - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:35 AM

      Excellent perspective!

    • sasquash20 - Jan 21, 2012 at 9:56 PM

      The reason Jordan transcended the game is more about exposure then anything else. You had more games on TV on a consistent basis, you had a 24 hour sports network, oh and this thing called the world wide web. That on top of companies paying millions to have these athletes endorse there products. Adds on every TV channel and in every media outlet.

      Look Jordan was one of the greatest but if you look at the whole picture you realize he came along at the perfect time.

      I would put Wilt, Russell, and Kareem above Jordan for all time greats. I also think the big O Oscar Robinson could have been a little bit better. The problem is they never got the exposure that Jordan or today’s athletes get. They didn’t have the training knowledge that today’s players had so clearly athletes of more recent times will appear to be better athletes. What do you think they said about Wilt when he played?

      Also Jordan and today’s athletes got more calls and got away with more. They palm the ball and travel all the time. The reason its not called like it was back in the day is simple ratings. These players get to palm the ball and travel and push off because ultimatly people want to see more scoring. Why do you think the NFL changed so many rules? They know what the masses want and they change the game to fit that.

      So as a sports fan it is hard to say which player compares or which player is better without looking at everything. Even more so when comparing different eras.Anointing one over past greats isn’t fair either.

  16. isujames - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    @mytthor lebron must be your idol or something, i am 34 and watched michael win all those championships with the bulls.You must be smoking some if that obama if you think lebron is more athletic than mike.

    • mytthor - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:25 AM

      Just to clarify, I do feel Michael is the much better player, but for pure athleticism, there’s no contest. Lebron combines Jordan’s athleticism with Karl Malone’s body.

  17. florida727 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    “Enjoy watching Kobe for being Kobe, not argue about what he is or is not.” So then why the article if you don’t want to compare them?

    I covered the Bulls for a sports radio station in Chicago for one year, their first three-peat year. I got a chance to watch Jordan up-close, at practice, before games, etc. Got to sit in front of his locker after games and talk to him. Kind of a cool experience. As arrogant as I think he is (see HOF acceptance speech), I have to say no one ever had a work ethic like he did. I’d get to the old Chicago Stadium sometimes 2-3 hours before a game, and he’d already be in a full sweat shooting with 2 ballboys rebounding for him. After practice, if you wanted an interview, you often waited more than an hour, because he’d lift weights after everyone else had showered and was gone.

    Does Kobe do that? I don’t know. Does Kobe feel the NEED to do that? I don’t know. Michael felt he HAD to do that. I give him credit for one thing… Michael NEVER took a night off. He actually believed that he owed something to the fans. He ‘s been quoted as saying that he often thought about “what if there’s someone in the stands and this is the only time they’ll ever see me play live?”

    How many professional athletes think like that today?

    • dirtydavis - Jan 17, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      Kobe!

  18. 00maltliquor - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    HAAAA! His Airness said so himself! YEAAAH!

    There’s a lot of good post on here. Especially from chicago240, nice research.

  19. stuckonwords - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    On the ball hog issue: MJ’s first several years in the league, he scored and scored and scored. He *was* the Bulls, and played like it. But he wasn’t winning championships, and he learned that something had to give. He made changes, incorporated his teammates more (who were also better), and finally rose to the next level. Yeah, he was still always the first option, but the biggest reason he finally learned to win championships was his willingness to adjust to more of a team concept.

    As for “the best” comparisons: Once MJ tasted winning a championship, he never, ever, accepted less. He wasn’t capable of settling for anything less. He won 3 in a row…then his dad got murdered. He had to walk away and get his head straight. The he was ready, came back, and won 3 straight again. Yes, he actually came back for the playoffs when he first came back and didn’t win, but you can’t seriously hold that against him. Every year after winning his 1st Championship, he never again relinquished it when in any full season he played. That is *incomparable* in the modern NBA. Not Kobe, not Magic, not Larry, not *anyone* has ever ruled the league the way MJ did once he tasted success. He never flipping gave it back!

    You might be able to have a conversation about Kobe, but in the end, there has never been anyone close to Michael Jordan. (And btw…I’m a devout Pisons fan.)

    • ludachrisgsx - Jan 17, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      Jordan’s scoring didn’t change much before and after the championship years. He just had a better supporting cast and coach. The triangle system helped him and his teammates immensely. Once the Bulls picked up better pieces to fit that system and compliment Jordan, and they started playing championship level defense, Jordan was able to flourish. But his scoring totals didn’t change much, he always averaged right around 30ppg, nor did his assists go up. There were only 2 years in the early part of his career that he had a spike in scoring (35ppg and 37ppg).

      In the end, this is a team sport, and Michael had the best team and coach in his championship years. Without the team and the coach all he had was determination, dedication, skill, and work ethic, and that doesn’t produce championships without the team.

      I think if anything, the one thing Jordan clearly had over Kobe was physical gifts – he was a little quicker and had huge hands, which is what makes LeBron so scary. Imagine if LeBron ever puts it all together like Jordan and Kobe have.

      I’m a Lakers fan and can’t imagine the NBA without Kobe. But I do agree with most that Jordan was still better overall, even if Kobe has a few good years left in him. He was just so exciting to watch. However, I also think many who worship Jordan refuse to give Kobe his due credit. Once Kobe retires there will be a massive void left in a league full of talent. That will be a sad day. It makes me appreciate the fact that I was alive to watch them both play.

      • stuckonwords - Jan 18, 2012 at 5:24 PM

        In the four years just prior to his 1st championship (three of them alongside Scottie Pippen), MJ averaged 37.1, 35.0, 32.5, and 33.6. In his six championship seasons thereafter, MJ exceeded the *lowest* of those four years by .1% with a 32.6 in 92-93. Never again did Michael attempt to score as prolifically as did in those years, and he won 6 championships in his next 6 full seasons. I didn’t just cite an opinion, I was sharing what I remembered. As it turns out, the statistics back up what I said.

  20. rooney24 - Jan 17, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    One big difference between MJ and Kobe is court presence and how it ties to marketing. MJ may not have gotten along with teammates and been tough on the guys on his team, as Kobe also is. But, with MJ, you didn’t see it during a game like you do with Kobe. You also didn’t see/hear him throwing his teammates under the bus in press conference as often as Kobe will.
    We have heard a lot more about MJ after his playing days were done to make it seem that he wasn’t necessarily the nice guy he portrayed. But, you didn’t get that impression while he played. Kobe too often comes off like a spoiled brat. Now, likely they are similar in regards to how they treat teammates and others. But, because Jordan hid it better, his name/image still sells way more than Kobe’s ever will.

    • ludachrisgsx - Jan 17, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      We also didn’t have Twitter back when Jordan played. Information about what players say and do these days travels around the world in a second. Back then, we depended on the sports writers to write about it or talk about it on ESPN. And Jordan had a way of not doing interviews with any media outlet that said anything negative about him. It was part of what made his image so rock solid. It would be interesting to see how his image would have fared in today’s age.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:36 AM

        ludachrisgsx

        Yes, GREAT conversation. It would be VERY interesting to see how old school players would be viewed in this ridculous age of overexposure if it were like it is back then. I think there would be a lot of Jordan haters.

    • blackcattwothree - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      Ludachrisgsx hits on it: Jordan played before the proliferation of internet social media, which really saved his image. Overall, he was a little more image conscious than Bryant is. Mike had a brand, and promoted it by fostering a wholesome image for himself. But the era he played in, plus the fact that he was the media’s darling, gave him a free pass on a lot of the stuff he’d say. If you look back at some of the things Jordan said publicly about his teammates, he threw just as many people under the bus as Kobe Bryant. In fact, Jordan might have been worse.

      Here are some examples:

      “I hate being out there with those garbagemen. They don’t get you the ball.”

      “They’ve got no idea what it’s all about. The white guys, they work hard, but they don’t have the talent. And the rest of them? Who knows what to expect? They’re not good for much of anything.”

      “You ever hear of a guy, six-eleven maybe and two hundred sixty pounds, a guy big and fat like that and he can’t get but two rebounds, if that many, running all over the damn court and he gets two rebounds? Big guy like that and he gets one rebound. Can’t even stick his ass into people and get more than that…Big, fat, fat guy. One rebound in three games. Power forward. Maybe they should call it powerless forward.” – Jordan talking about Stacy King

      “He’s causing me too many turnovers.” – Jordan on Bill Cartwright’s inability to catch.

      “He can’t do anything with the ball. Don’t give it to him.” – Jordan yelling at John Paxson who passed the ball to Will Perdue.

      And my personal favorite – “If I were a general manager, we’d be a better team.” (LOL)

  21. airjesus023 - Jan 17, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    For the comparison i feel theres only one man in the world who can give an accurate comparison an thats phil jackson. My personal comparison is jordan on top and kobe right their at second. Embrace n enjoy what kobe has done and is still doing. Soon he be gone and their goes anthr basketball legend that we wnt see put on a pair of sneakers professionaly again.

  22. elnogo - Jan 17, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    The thing about Kobe for me is that he think he deserve everything. Remember draft day 1996 I was 11 Kobe was mad because he was going to charlotte and on top ask for a trade to the lakers. Honestly I don’t mind players asking for trades once they are in the league but as a rookie at the draft no. Sonce that day I’m a Kobe hater.

    • ludachrisgsx - Jan 17, 2012 at 5:54 PM

      You must hate Eli Manning with a passion then… completely refused to play for the Chargers and demanded a trade to the Giants, regardless of who drafted him.

      Do you fault him for pushing for what he wanted? Because you could pretty much make this case for most pro athletes today. They all have that sense of entitlement.

    • dirtydavis - Jan 17, 2012 at 6:33 PM

      You can’t blame the guy.. it is Charlotte you know.

  23. mikeminnc - Jan 17, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I am not a particularly big fan of Kobe, but I have to agree with Jordan’s assessment. I can’t think of any other player that comes close in terms of combining talent, work ethic, intensity, and killer instinct. Kobe is the only one in Jordan’s league.

  24. jckid21 - Jan 17, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    I am old / lucky enough to have watched Jordan’s entire career. College through his horrible attempt as a NBA owner / executive. With that said I could careless how big, gifted or whatever Lebron is…the bottom line is if you need to win that big game or that last shot drilled there is only one man on this Earth who has always come through…….Michael Jordan.

    And trust me as a Knicks fan “I bear witness”

  25. heh8men1 - Jan 17, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Wow MJ, did you also know water is WET? As a 42 yr old Lakers fan I’ve been privileged to have seen both. And as much as I h8td to see MJ take the crown from Mag’ in 91; I had to let it go and appreciate 23 for what he was and what he’d become. ONE of the best to ever lace them up. He dominated his position, he dominated the opposition and he dominated the league for 10 years- just like Magic did in the 80′s. Kobe did the same in the 2000s. All 3 are players of their respective decades. HOWEVER, Lakers and Kobe fans lets not get to giddy over MJ’s appraisal of Kobe’s game/ legacy.

    Let’s NOT FORGET, as an appraiser of talent- MJ did choose KWAME FN BROWN as the NUMBER ONE DRAFT PICK in 2001, well ahead of PAU GASOL, GILBERT ARENAS, TONY PARKER, JASON RICHARDSON, SHANE BATTIER just to name a few.

    PS. Kareem is hands down the GREATEST BASKETBALL PLAYER of ALL TIME. He not only dominated college basketball and the NBA in 70′s, he dominated the half the 80′s as well.

    It’s a new year Lakers H8trz, in 2012 The RESOLUTION Will Be Televised.

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