May 17, 2013, 10:45 PM EDT
Phil Jackson has a new book coming out, so he will be spending plenty of time talking it up at various media outlets in the coming weeks. The tour has begun in earnest, and the juiciest quotes from the book are beginning to be released.
If there’s one subject Jackson can speak on with absolute authority, it’s the comparison between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant — two of the game’s all-time greats that were catalysts for the Hall of Fame coach in winning all five of his Eleven Rings.
Bryant has come up on the short end of some of Jackson’s conclusions, primarily in the areas of defense, social interactions with teammates, and the way he approaches the game in general — the latter of which is explained in the following excerpt from the book, via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
“Jordan was also more naturally inclined to let the game come to him and not overplay his hand, whereas Kobe tends to force the action, especially when the game isn’t going his way. When his shot is off, Kobe will pound away relentlessly until his luck turns. Michael, on the other hand, would shift his attention to defense or passing or setting screens to help the team win the game.”
None of it was damning criticism by any means, especially considering how Jordan is considered by many to be not just one of, but the greatest basketball player of all time. Bryant, however, isn’t one to idly stand by while his body of work is being evaluated in even a remotely negative fashion, and has undoubtedly been hearing about Jackson’s comments consistently since they’ve been unleashed.
On Friday, he posted a response.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 17, 2013
It’s an interesting hypothetical, and people have definitely downgraded the greatness of Scottie Pippen over time, while conveniently failing to bring up his importance in all of those Bulls championships whenever the Kobe versus MJ conversations take place.
But more than the importance of teammates in Bryant’s role reversal scenario is the fact that Jordan has reached almost mythical status since his playing days have ended. The reality is that no one will ever live up to Jordan’s legend; Bryant has just been the one who’s come the closest.
Jul 11, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT
He handles it with class. What else did you expect?
Jul 11, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT
Dragic, Bledsoe and Thomas? The Suns will be fun to watch this season.
Jul 11, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT
That’s a lot of money.
Jul 11, 2014, 6:13 PM EDT
Writing was on the wall on the Lakers traded for Jeremy Lin
Jul 11, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
Miami will try to re-sign Dwyane Wade next. What will Houston do?
Jul 11, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT
Bosh would give up more than $35 million to leave Miami for Houston, but maybe LeBron James’ departure convinces him to do so
Jul 11, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
Wade is from Chicago, so there may be a desire to return home — the same way it was with LeBron and the Cavaliers.
Jul 11, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
LeBron needs to win in Cleveland (not this season, but eventually) to secure his legacy.
Jul 11, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT
Rockets need New Orleans to figure out how to get Asik before Chandler Parsons’ clock expires
Jul 11, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT
Both sides had some apologizing to do.
Deal set: Lakers trade for Jeremy Lin, which for L.A. is largely about draft pick (as is Gasol for Boozer idea)
Jul 11, 2014, 4:24 PM EDT
The Lakers lack draft picks — they traded them for Gasol and Nash — and are now making moves to acquire more.
Jul 11, 2014, 3:41 PM EDT
Lakers making moves that take them off the table, unless he wants less than the max.
Jul 11, 2014, 3:34 PM EDT
Steve Kerr wants to coach Warriors team as constructed
Jul 11, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT
Chris Bosh unscathed… for now
Report: With LeBron James heading to Cleveland, Kevin Love would commit to Cavaliers long term if traded there
Jul 11, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT
Will Cavaliers trade Andrew Wiggins?
Jul 11, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT
Dumping Lin is key step for Rockets getting Chris Bosh
Jul 11, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT
Gilbert could take a lesson just in case LeBron leaves Cleveland again
Jul 11, 2014, 1:34 PM EDT
The free agency flood gates are about to open.
Jul 11, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT
LeBron: ‘ I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?’
Jul 11, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT
“My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.” —LeBron James
- Report: Isaiah Thomas headed to Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade 7
- Report: Chris Bosh re-signing with Heat over joining Rockets 61
- Report: Heat offer Chris Bosh full max contract to keep him from Rockets 23
- PBT Extra: LeBron James returns to Cleveland to try and cement legacy 9
- Deal set: Lakers trade for Jeremy Lin, which for L.A. is largely about draft pick (as is Gasol for Boozer idea) 28
- Carmelo Anthony still not ready to decide, but he needs to soon as options dry up 46
- Report: With LeBron James heading to Cleveland, Kevin Love would commit to Cavaliers long term if traded there 58
- Report: Lakers finalizing trade for Rockets’ Jeremy Lin 70