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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. wch2333 - Jan 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    All I have to say is that Kobe is the closest player to MJ!..but he is no MJ!..if it wasn’t for Shaq Kobe wouldn’t have 5 championships!…MJ have 6 championships, 6 final MVP awards and number of scoring titles and did it with one team!..LeBron- what does he have a high school championship!!

  2. cluelessdufus - Jan 18, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    there is never gonna be a better player than Jordan.Know matter how many rings records game winning shots its simple Jordan will always be the best. Bryant is a nice comparison though i mean he is closer than anybody else is

  3. omniusprime - Jan 18, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    Kobe does deserve to be the only player compared to Michael Jordan. Jordan does have one more ring than Kobe but that could change. If Kobe ends up with more rings then Kobe deserves to be rated higher than MJ. Kobe didn’t leave the NBA for a futile MLB farce like Jordan did, he remained loyal to the NBA which MJ didn’t do. It’s a credit to both players that they exemplify hard work, something no one will ever accuse LeBoring James of doing except the pantheon of idiotic pundits trying to justify their incredibly stupid anointment of Queen James as the greatest player ever before he ever made one NBA basket.

    Even old and injured Kobe is still the greatest player in the NBA, he deserves to be counted among the game’s greatest like Jerry West, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Russell. Now Cupcake needs to get some better talent to help Kobe win 7 rings so he will be declared the greatest ever.

    • stuckonwords - Jan 19, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      Wow. I’m finding it hard to even find a way to say this. Umm…you do realize that the reason for Michael’s “disloyalty” to the NBA…that is, “leav[ing] the NBA for a futile MLB farce”…was directly caused by the murder of his father, right? No…you couldn’t have known that, or you wouldn’t have ever made such a ludicrous statement. Do you even know why MJ decided to give baseball a try? No, of course you don’t. That would require reading or something.

      Everyone deserves to have an opinion, but it sure seems like one should actually know more about something than the bits and pieces heard from occasional sports show sound bites or the “authoratative” babblings of their high school buddies before voicing something as if they have some kind of knowlege.

      • bobthis - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        You have no clue what you’re talking about. Jordan has always been guided by his own ego and nothing else. Just another myopic Chicago fan. Give it a rest.

  4. bobthis - Jan 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    I thought we were all done with Jordan’s ego years ago. Here we go again. Now he’s telling us who we may and may not compare to him. Years ago when MJ was at the top of his game Wilt Chamberlain was asked if Michael was the best player of all time. Wilts response was “He’s not even the best player on his own team”. While I disagree I will say he was one of the top ten of all time. Yes he was a more athletic than Magic but Magic was a better basketball player as is Kobe.

  5. stayhigh_247 - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Kobe is a beast, while most guys need a week off because of a hangnail this man plays with one hand, or one ankle and still gets to the finals. In my opinion the real difference between the two is Scotty Pippen. If Kobe had a Scotty like player to go to war with him like Mj had, u would be saying the Kobe is better than Mike. Lebrons name should nvr come up in this discussion. Hes the best athlete probably in all sports but u cant manufacture heart, mike and kobe crash through brick walls daily while the other guys go around them

  6. jollyjoker2 - Jan 19, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Lebron isn’t good enough to carry MJ ‘s jock strap—- Let alone be in a comparison. Jordon would blow by lebron and rip his heart out. Kobe has a lot of skill but he ain’t jorden either. Jordon could put up 40 anytime he wanted. Kobe has to work for it. Also, Lebron has done absolutely nothing for trophies and for some reason people put him on a pedestal. Lebron reminds me more of a poorly skilled majic johnson than a legitimate basketball idol. No killer instinct and a lousy jump shot although he can stuff his chest into someone playing thug ball which is a great asset in the nba As far as MJ being the best, probably at his position but not all around positions. I mean, there are great centers like shaq or kareem and their are great forwards like bird and worthy.

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