NBA: Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant’s statistical comparison
Can the conversation be started now? as Kobe Bryant won his 5th title this year.
Basketball enthusiasts say Kobe Bryant might be a great player but he is still not at par with all time Legend Michael Jordan statically or charismatically. Considering statistically, Kobe is still shy of one championship compared to Jordan’s 6 world championship titles, which he acquired in 15 years.
However, Michael took the Bulls to win 3 consecutive titles from 1991-93 and then from 1996-98. Experts say if Michael had not left in-between to pursue his dad’s dream of becoming a baseball player, undoubtedly his reign would not have come to an end and Bulls could have won 8 consecutive titles for certain.
On the other hand Kobe earned his 5th title after a 7 year break between his 3rd & 4th title. Even the age gap was immense between the two; Jordan grabbed his first title when he was 28 years old and Kobe, when he was only 22 years old.
Jordan’s list of achievements: he has won 6 NBA championship titles, 5 MVP Awards, Rookie of the Year Award in 1985, Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1988, 14 NBA All Star, 10 All NBA First team, 2 Slam Dunk Contests, 2 Gold medals in the Olympics and the list carries on with at least 15 different titles.
While Kobe has won 2 NBA Finals MVP, 12 NBA All-Star, 2 times the NBA scoring champion, making it to the NBA ALL first-team 8 times and became NBA All-star game MVP 3 times. Although Kobe might have won a few titles, it would be foolish to say he is short of a few titles than Michael, because the legend has indeed scooped up thrice as more in his 17 years of playing whilst Kobe has not even reached half to what he has.
Comparing points between Jordan and Kobe? It would really be a waste of time to do so but just to clarify, Jordan has scored 32,292 points in his 15 year career and Kobe has only managed to score 25,790 points in 14 years. Even if Kobe was given in another year he could certainly not score 7000 points in it. Till date Kobe’s Points Per Game (PPG) is only 25.5 while Jordan had 30.1 PPG.
The only title in which Kobe is right behind Michael Jordan is the All-NBA Defence Awards; he has 8 while Michael once again is ahead of him winning 9.
Bryant has accomplished 30 points per game in a season only 3 times while Jordan has done it 8 times; Bryant’s average over 6 rebounds is only 3 times compared to Michael’s which is 9 times. Jordan has made history by 2 steals per game, at least 10 times while Bryant has only been able to do it once a game.
Moreover Jordan has led to many new categories in the NBA e.g sixth all-time in steals per game, second all-time in free throw attempts, first all-time in points, first all-time in free throws, seventh all-time in assists, second all-time in field goals, first all-time in field goals attempted and second all-time in steals.
Although there is one regard in which both contenders could be considered equal; in this category all the credit goes to Phil Jackson though, being the only coach to win 11 titles with the aid of his trustees, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. While Jackson led to 6 wins with Phil as the head coach of the Lakers and Kobe to win his 5th title this year under Phil’s supervision, being the head coach of L.A Lakers.
So the question now is has Kobe somehow surpassed Jordan? Statically, no! What about as a person?
Breaking it down to their stardom and how much impact the two have had in the NBA and worldwide, one could effortlessly distinguish between the two. Kobe definitely is the best player NBA has to offer to the world at the moment but with his inflated ego which is the size of this earth and numerous scandals, in contrast to Michael who elevated NBA to a whole new level making it world-wide famous with his immaculate persona he is definitely a winner in this category as well. Kobe most certainly will remain a great player who once lived and had tremendous court-skills but he will never be able to match the impact Michael Jordan made on the world and NBA.
As the legendary Magic Johnson once said "There's Michael Jordan and then there is the rest of us."