I haven't read all these posts because it seems so ridiculous. I mean, c'mon, no one will ever be able to fill His Airness' shoes. Especially if Kobe is behind bars a year from now. (Not saying it'll happen and I'm pulling for him, but you never know.) What you have to understand is that Jordan is more than a basketball player, he is a brand, a legend whose symbol is globally recognized. No athlete has this kind of univeral appeal or recognition, Kobe doesn't even come close. Jordan's movies, endorsements, and how he promoted the game of basketball are unmatched.
And for kicks:
Michael Jordan search produces 4,790,000 results on Google.
Kobe Bryant search produces 960,000 results on Google.
Kobe is a great player who showes flashes of Jordan, but Jordan dominated when the level of play was higher in the league, and without a dominant big man. There is NO question in my mind.
Jordan has so many trademark shots and moves, what honestly does Kobe have that is unique? I am also (going to be) a college student, and I really like Kobe, but I am sticking with Jordan. In other words, this isn't an age or generation thing. I think back to Jordan's tongue sticking out, his incredible reverse layups, and dunks over bigger players. Meanwhile, Kobe's had some amazing shots, but nothing that really sticks yet. This might have to do with him being 25, and that's why we can't compare the two yet. We will be able to when he is retired ... or in jail.