I just saw this article on the NBC Sports website:
Better than MJ? Kobe enters the debate
I’m sorry, Kobe is a great player and I think he’s the best all-around player in the league today but he does not replace Michael Jordan as the greatest player ever. Anyone familiar with Jordan’s various accomplishments and statistics knows that Kobe does not stack up.
Kobe is also playing in an era of basketball where stricter rules mean relaxed defense and easier scoring. For example, hand checking your opponent while guarding them is not allowed today but it was in Jordan’s day. Being able to hand check your opponent meant it was much easier to hold them in position. That in itself makes a big difference. Yet many of Kobe’s scoring numbers and averages are below Jordan.
So don’t give me this nonsense about Kobe being the best ever. Jordan is by far the best ever and many younger, veteran, and retired basketball players say the same thing. I’ve yet to see anything from anyone that can rival Jordan’s accomplishments. Not to mention Jordan was always so damn clutch. And he was every bit as good on defense.
If you look at a lot of old Jordan clips, it’s clear Kobe’s watched a lot of them too and he’s emulating a lot of MJ’s moves. It really speaks to the influence and impact a player has when people try to play like him. Everyone wants to “Be Like Mike”. I feel lucky to be old enough to have witnessed the latter 3-peat of Jordan and the Bulls, but at the same time I feel unlucky I missed MJ’s earlier years.
Kobe is a great player but he’s not the “new” greatest player ever. Please.
Side Thoughts on Jordan and the Chicago Bulls
I think Jordan and the Bulls could’ve won 10 straight championships. Hear me out. The Bulls won 6 championships in 8 years, with 3-repeats separated by the 2 years Jordan was retired. If Jordan hadn’t retired the first time they probably would’ve won 8 straight.
Jordan retired the 2nd time because he wanted to leave at the top of his game but a big reason was also conflicts with Chicago’s management. For whatever stupid reason, the front office wanted to blow up the whole team and rebuild without Phil Jackson. Jordan would not play without Phil Jackson. If they had continued for say 2 more years, I think it’s likely they would’ve won 2 more championships, making 10 in a row. Thye might have had to make some trades and bring in some younger players but winning 2 more championships isn’t so far-fetched when you have Michael Jordan.
Anyway, that was just a fantasy “what could have been” thought.