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Phil Jackson says Jordan would beat Kobe in game of one-on-one

Jan 23, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT

Sometimes we as sports fans have this obsessive need to rank everything and allow that to get in the way of just enjoying a player for what he is. We can’t just sit back and enjoy what Kobe Bryant or LeBron James have done on the court, they must instantly be compared to the all-time greats and slotted in their appropriate spot. We come up with hypothetical situations for them to aid this ranking fetish.

Which brings us to the “who would win a one-on-one game between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant?” discussion.

The guy with the best seat for those two legends was Phil Jackson, so when he was on Fox Sports 1 recently he was asked who would win a one-on-one game between them — and he chose MJ.

Which is the only logical choice if you really saw them both.

That’s not a slight to Kobe Bryant and his legendary career, and if you see it that way really it speaks to your bias and emotional investments more than it does the matchup. Kobe will be remembered as one of the greatest wing players the game has ever seen, a guy of amazing drive and athleticism, not to mention fundamentals and footwork. That doesn’t make him Jordan.

Hat tip to SLAM.

  1. billtetley53 - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:41 AM

    Wilt ran a 10.9 100 yard dash. That’s fairly fast…..youre an idiot.

  2. cheathamhouse1 - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Hypothetical score would be 15 to 10…MJ
    Kobe would give him a run but MJ is simply just the best ever.
    Come on…we ALL know this.

  3. addict2sport - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    The NBA should do a one on one tourney instead of the slam dunk contest and other all star weekend events. They’d probably have to move the all star game to the end of the season like the pro bowl tho.

  4. tcclark - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    Kobe and Jordan wouldnt be that interesting to me. They’re similar players but Jordan was clearly better. I’d rather watch two differing players and see who benefitted the most by the matchup. Jordan and Wilt would be interesting as some have stated but I do agree with other posters who put Jordan and Iverson. Jordan is clearly the superior player but Iverson could go by anyone one on one even Jordan. Defensively it would be tough for Iverson though. He’d have to be quick with his hands and try to poke it away from Jordan because otherwise Jordan would just overpower him.

    I just think that game would be more interesting than Kobe and Jordan

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