By Tim Tal
This debate will probably never end. Who’s better, who is greater, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan?
In the last couple of days, Ex-NBA received several letters from fans, who believe Bryant, when retires, will be considered as great as Michael Jordan, if not greater.
There are of course facts that back up Bryant’s undeniable talent, greatness, determination, and lots of other things, but the majority of fans and experts say Jordan is the greatest ever, and they are right.
In the NBA, as well as in all of basketball, you can’t win on your own. You need reliable, unselfish teammates. In the end, when the title is captured, you, as the star of stars get all the glory and attention – but without teammates, it would never happen. Both Bryant and Jordan knew it all along.
Bryant and Jordan have a lot in common. Both have similar style of play, both had teammates that helped them win championships. Both were coached by the same coach – Phil Jackson, who led them to the NBA Championships. So what’s the biggest difference?
Michael Jordan and his teammates won NBA titles in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 1998. In all of those years, Jordan was the team’s driving force. Yes, he had Scottie, Toni, Horace, Dennis and all the rest. They provided a huge amount of help, and yet Jordan was the one who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in his last seven years with the team.
Now, Kobe Bryant also won three straight NBA rings with the LA Lakers, in 2000, 2001 and 2002. But he wasn’t the main star of the team, Shaquille O’Neal was. Maybe Bryant was more for O’Neal than Pippen was for Jordan, but still “Black Mamba” wasn’t the “main guy”. Nonetheless, Bryant got his three rings.
After O’Neal left, Bryant dragged the team through several forgettable seasons, until the Lakers won two more NBA championships in 2009 and 2010. This time, Bryant was the star, just like Jordan was throughout his Bulls’ days. He finally was the true star of the show, with teammates backing him up, of course.
So, we have Jordan who won six NBA titles “with teammates”, and Bryant, who won three titles “as a teammate”, and two more championships “as a star”. That’s the difference for you.
Of course, Bryant can surpass Jordan on NBA’s All-Time scoring list, he can set even more records, considering that he’s still playing. Yet, taking into consideration that Bryant is not 20 anymore, but an ageing star, it is highly doubtful he will hang on for a couple more seasons and will win three or four more NBA titles being “the star”.
At the end of the day, this is a “fan talk”, nothing more. Both players are among top 10-15 greatest players of all time. Both have their share of fans, both left their mark on the game of basketball, and both are loved all around the globe.
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