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Enoch 06-08-2004 01:24 PM

Kobe vs. Jordan: The best player of all time?
Ok, I get into these kinds of debates all the time. I want to know your personal opinion, who is the better player. Now when you think about it you don't just decide based on the self coined title of Michael "the best ever". That's corny, he called himself that and now people just jump on the bandwagon and agree with him. I don't buy his little **** talking self given title. Kobe is better and even players the played with both Kobe and Jordan agree. For instance, take John Salley:



*Chris Rose: Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan?

**John Salley: I played with both Kobe and Michael. I would have to say that Kobe Bryant is the better player. Kobe has a much better shot, handles the ball better, and just has more tricks to go along with his game. And just look at his career...he already has 3 rings and he's going for his fourth this year.

*Chris Rose: Yea because he's playing with Shaq, the most dominant big man ever, right?

**John Salley: Wrong. Playing with Shaq of course makes it easier for Kobe, but I don't thing Michael would have done as well as Kobe is, playing with another superstar. If you think about it, Jordan had someone who rebounded for him (Rodman) and brought leadership to the team (Pippen). Other than Jordan, the Chicago Bulls didn't have any real good offensive players. Jordan did the scoring all by himself. Where in Kobe's case, there's Shaq, who's another superstar that wants to score points, or else he gets upset as we've seen many times before. Kobe shares the ball with Shaq, and still puts up big numbers by himself, which is what amazes me. Kobe puts up the same numbers as Jordan did, and Kobe's playing with Shaq. If Kobe was on a team without Shaq, he would score 45 points per game.

*Chris Rose: O.K. You made some good points, but you agree that Jordan is a better defender, right? I mean, he won the defensive player of the year award several times.

**John Salley: No way, I donít agree! Back in Jordan's days, you were allowed to put your elbows on the guy you were defending. Now in Kobe's days, even if you just touch a player like that, you get called for the foul.

*Chris Rose: O.K., whatever John. Well here's my last argument, and if you don't agree with me on this one, we're going to have to test you for drugs.

**John Salley: Man, shut up. I played with Jordan and Kobe. Did you?

*Chris Rose: No, but I do know that when it's late in the game, you want Jordan taking the final shot.

**John Salley: How can you say that? You just say that because Jordan made the game- winning basket on your sorry Cleveland Cav's team back in the early 90's. Man, for the next show, we should put a clip together showing Michael Jordan's game- winning shots and Kobe Bryant game- winning shots and compare the two. Jordan might have more game- winners, but Kobe still has 10 years left in this league, and he's not even at his best right now. Another thing of course is Kobe's trial case. I don't think anyone in the history of basketball could do what Kobe is doing traveling from court to court, scoring 30+ points.
Ok I know none of us has played with both Jordan and Kobe, if you have get me an autograph will ya? Make it out to Steve. That ain't all though; even Jordan has said that he (Kobe) is the closest thing to him ever. Now, do you honestly think Michael the cockiest player ever would out and out say a young player out of Lower Marion High school was better than him? No, it would have been a leap to say he was even close to his level. Back in his playing days Jordan boasted of being on his own level, no one could touch him, but now he says Kobe is close! I mean if Jordan can say he is almost as good as him and John Salley can say hes better why can't we. Seriously, it isn't the end of the world when one player comes out that is better than the other, it's simply how things work, God granted them both with the skill to be great and now one has utilized it more.

Don't get me wrong, Jordan is still one of the greatest players ever. As a matter of fact with his achievements he tops Kobe (for now that is).

Ok, thatís it for me, what do you think? What is your stance on the Kobe vs. Jordan debate?

Tarkus 06-08-2004 04:48 PM

Well, you'll have to make a better breakdown of why you think Kobe's better otherwise this thread will be who likes Kobe better than MJ.

To use John Salleys' opinion to back up yours is far fetched to say the least. That would mean all any poster would need to do to top you is find a couple NBA players who've said MJ was & there are tons who have.

& where you got the idea MJ started everyone to call him the best ever by referring to himself that way is laughable. If that's how it works, just have Kobe start calling himself that & this argument will be over by the end of the Finals cuz everyone will be mimicking him.

As far as MJ saying Kobe's the closest to him sounds good only if you disregard the context of the question put to him which was "Who playing now is closest to you?". Hardly a reason to put that as MJ endorsing Kobe as better. That would be like answering "What's the closest to a Lambourgini"? & answering Corvette. Another great car but not a Lambourgini.

So if you come back with more reasons than "likes", I'll give it a go.

Shawndo 06-08-2004 06:39 PM

Whats up Enoch! :wavey:
Welcome to the Board....

Great question! I initially became intrigued with basketball after watching MJ 'light it up' and was a Bulls fan until he retired. Then I lost all interest in the NBA until one day I saw that same spark coming from a young #8 on the Lakers (before Kobe/Shaq's first ring), and for me- the torch was passed.

Who's better? ..... man, that's tough.
The first and foremost point is that as it stands, Jordan has 6 Championships and Kobe has 3. Also, Jordan carried the Bulls almost singlehandedly while Kobe has been #2 to Shaq.
Kobe's career is (hopefully) far from over, so it remains to be seen if his fingers will be as decorated as Michael's when it's all said and done, but if you boil me down right now and ask me do I take MJ in his prime or Kobe in his prime, I say MJ.
Why? - all things considered, Michael is superior in his INFECTIOUS SPIRIT; the ability to inspire and light a fire under his teammates. Kobe has the same spirit, but keeps it more to himself.
Maybe that would change if he didn't play with Shaq... maybe we'll find out.

Tarkus 06-08-2004 07:16 PM

Good post, Shawn...

That's a little more like it then I like Kobe better. :)

My main point is this....
MJ played his career above the rim & attacking the basket. He understood the concept of putting the pressure on the opponents D. Watch any Bull games & you'll see 3-4 defenders cheating on MJ cuz after him, there no one. Even with that kind of attention, he still consistently got to the rim. Hell, the Pistons had a defense expressly designed to stop him...The Jordan Rules.

Kobe is a helluva player who at times reminds you of MJ. He needs so much seasoning to attain the MJ level, if he does, that to try & force a "Who's better?" argument is unfair to Kobe.

Kobe needs to realize what attacking the basket does in a game. Besides putting the opponents in potential foul trouble, it disrups the opponents defensive scheme & gives you free throws...which of course are free. lol

Kobe as fallen in love with the trey lately but someone with his talent should be making opponents pay by driving the hoop. Sometimes it's an ego thing where it proves you can hit a long shot. They tried to criticize MJ by saying the trey was a weakness so he went out in the Finals & dumped a record amount of treys to make his point....

Good luck with your Lakers tonite...If they do what they're supposed to do, it will be an entertaining game....

p.s. lookin' rough tonite, Shawn...

Spikedmace 06-09-2004 12:41 AM

How many times are we going to go over this comparison? I think the only way we can compare Kobe to Jordan is when Kobe retires and see what his accomplishments are.

Cubs88 06-09-2004 12:41 AM

Shawn makes a good point, Jordan was more solo than Kobe.

I think Jordan has Kobe. Defensively, Jordan won at least 2 Defensive Player of the Year Awards. Jordan actually had a post game. He was famous for it.

Kobe may have more range on his jumpshot, but he hasn't developed a post game. Maybe that's because that is Shaqs area. Either way, he doesn't have one.

Bran 06-09-2004 12:58 AM

Why are there even threads about this...?

Without a doubt Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. Kobe Bryant is very talented, and has the best potential to reach MJ's status....but he's not there yet, and he's not close either.

Personally, pound for pound, i don't think anybody will be able to match Jordan's career. The all around dominance, what he did for the game, the dynasty that he built....the list goes on.

I think it's important to remember how Kobe played when he first broke into the league. He took bad shots, wasn't as skilled as he is today and definitely wasn't as mature. When Michael came in, he was an impact player right away. He never rode the bench.

Both players have God given ability on the basketball court, but Michael's resume is a lot more stacked.

We have to be honest too, despite how good Kobe really is...the reason why the Lakers have won and become dominate is because of Shaquille O'Neal. He's been the backbone, he receives the double teams, and he's the one who always get's the attention which leaves Kobe open.

With that said, we'll see if Kobe stay's in L.A...if he wants to continue to win, he'll stay. If he doesn't want to win, he'll leave. I think he'll stay, but it remains to be seen.

But compared to MJ, it's not close.

Shawndo 06-09-2004 01:02 AM

I don't think it's as clear-cut as you may think, Brian...

I have as much 'reverence' for the Great One as the next guy... but you can't close the book after Michael.
Kobe's talents are extremely impressive....

Tonight, in fact, he performed another miracle: saving the Lakers with a last - second 3 point shot that sent the game into overtime so the Lakers could win.

Tarkus 06-09-2004 01:10 AM

Yes, he did, Shawn, but conversely he took the Lakers out of scoring opportunities with his longs 2s & treys. Missing at that range pre-empts alot of rebound chances & doesn't put the Pistons in potential foul trouble. That part of being a basketball player is something he has yet to learn....

Shawndo 06-09-2004 01:23 AM

well you're right Kobe has taken more outside shots lately and not driven to the hoop as much as he used to.
Driving in is what creates the big opportunities.
But I have confidence that Kobe is making good decisions. He's a smart player.

Enoch 06-09-2004 01:28 AM

Ok, the point has been made about Jordanís defensive player awards. But you have to look at Kobe's defensive achievements; he was named to the All-NBA Defensive first team I think like twice. Now when you look at who won the defensive player that year you should know why, the Defensive player of the year the years Kobe was runner up was Ben Wallace. Ben Wallace is a monster on the defensive end; so it's not surprising that he came in second to Wallace for the DP Award.

When Jordan played he was playing in a different time. He was the one who set the standard. At the time Jordan was doing what he was doing it was all new and never seen stuff. I mean, wow, he switched hands in the air and layed it up and it looked like a dunk. That was amazing for his time and would still be a great move now, but I have seen Kobe, Carter and McGrady do things of a similar nature. When you compare Kobe and Jordan you have to place Jordan in Kobe's era and not Vice Versa. The defense now is waaaaaaay better than it was in the early and mid 90's. You have teams like the Pistons, Pacers, Spurs, etc. who are some of the best defensive teams ever.

Kobe is also a pretty good post-up player. He is very strong and a great ball handler. The combination of the two attributes allows him to abuse smaller and weaker players while at the same time take the bigger slower centers and forwards. In fact, he is one of the best inside scorers in the league. While he may not be as dominant as Shaq on the inside he is still able to score down low.

Ok Tarkus, check this out. You saw the Lakers-Pistons game 2 tonight right? Kobe dunked on three Pistons. I mean BOOM! on there heads. Not to mention Kobe at only seventeen was named the best dunker in the league. He obviously got better with time and is still improving, what makes you think he won't go better in the air. I think the paradox of the Air Jordan aerial supremacy came from his dunk contest wins. He came with the craziest **** right? But I have seen Kobe do some insane dunks. What about the addidas commercial where he went behind his back and below the rim? Have you seen that? I have it on my computer, it is insanity and it looks impossible. I also have highlight reels of Jordan and Kobe dunk-ons. Yeah, Jordan got Motumbo, but so did Carter, Kobe, and just about everyone else. Jordan got allot of other people too, don't get me wrong, I'm just naming the most memorable one. You can't really name one as being better than the other in the air.

Tarkus, Jordan was a great defensive player, your right. But he couldn't even guard Magic or Isaiah in the finals, they had to move him and put Pippin in his place. I've also seen Jordan get shook by Iverson in Iverson's rookie year. Broke his ankles to the fullest extent and the drained the shot in his grill. If that is pressure then what is bad defense? Oh, and Tarkus, Jordan could never penetrate the Jordan Rules, he always broke down and turned it over. Jordan was the most dominant player on the Bulls, so naturally they targeted him. However, Shaq is the most dominant player in the league (That doesn't make him better, just stronger). "Jordan Rules" are similar to the "Hack-a-Shaq" defense. Don't let the most dominant player get the ball, it's that simple.

I also think that if anyone designed a defense for Kobe it would have to cover the whole court; The Jordan Rules was designed to stop his penetration and mid-range game. His three was not the best I've ever seen. They could Zone Kobe, but then he'd hit from three. Then they could play a man and let him penetrate. Or they could double and triple and let him penetrate or kick it to Fish, Payton, Rush, George or Walton who would be wide open on the perimeter. He is too all around to try and design an effective defense. Not to mention Kobe has better players on his team so you have to focus on them too. You can't ignore the other talent on the Laker such as Shaq and design a defense solely for Kobe, you would get slaughtered. It is impossible to design one for Kobe while he is on the Lakers.

Now when you look at the two teams Tarkus you see that the defense of "Jordan was alone" is not true. Look at it this way, Pippin the one year he left was MVP, he lead the Bulls in scoring, steals, blocks and rebounds. He also started in the All-Star game starting line up and he lead the Bulls to a title, this was without Jordan. Pippin is also one of the Fifty Greatest Players of All time. So if that is alone just in the fact the he had Pippin then that is great, but that is most definitely not alone in any way. Jordan also had Rodman who averaged like 20 rebounds per game one season, only The Stilt did that. He had Steve Kerr, Tony Kucoch, Bill Paxson, Horace Grant, Hodges (I forget his first name I think it is Curt or Todd or something like that. But in any case he was like Peja or Ray Allen in the three point contest he set the record for straight threes in the contest. He also won it 3 or 4 years in a row), Bill Cartwright, and Phil Jackson as a coach. That is not alone, than is some good company right there. In reality the Lakers had a better team in that they had Shaq, Kobe, Horry, Fisher, Fox, Madsen (Now on the T'Wolves) etc. Just Shaq, Kobe Horry and fisher is enough to score like 80 points per game.

Kobe is better.

Enoch 06-09-2004 01:31 AM

Brian, I like your signature. And as to your opinion, I believe MJ on thsi, he says Kobe is close, Kobe is better.

Tarkus 06-09-2004 01:40 AM

I like debates about players but I also don't want to diss someones favorite player.....

So without trying to tear anyones game down, I'll just say this comparison is unfair to Kobe. There is no one who's close enough to be compared to MJ. Maybe down the road that statement may need to be ammended but not at this time...

& one more thing to Enoch about using Salley's comments as proof....

If he says you can't say MJ was a better defender cuz nowadays you can't put an elbow on a player, reverse that & say Bryant has a free ride on offense. MJ would have guys hanging on him, hooking him, holding onto his jersey etc.

MJ was a superior ball handler, especially in traffic (where he was most of every game) & was known as AIR for exactly that reason. & if anyone wants to see a 1 on 5, check out the playoff game with the vaunted Celtics when he dropped 63 on 'em. & this was with the Celtics knowing all they had to do was stop MJ.

Besides that, the Celts lineup didn't have the likes of a Rip Hamilton, Ben Wallace, Rashheed Wallace, etc. Those were Hall of Famers & top flight defenders & he did the majority of those points in their face, not against 1 defender out at the 3 point line...

Tarkus 06-09-2004 01:53 AM

It's obvious you're young & enamored with Kobe, Enoch. That's fine except you make your argument as tho MJ played in George Mikans era.

Players have not gotten faster since MJs time. Hell, in this present league, an old MJ was averaging over 20 a game.
The defense is better nowadays??? You gotta be ****tin' me..

Since you like to bring up AI "breaking MJs ankles" highlite, let me ask you...Do you know how many years MJ was in the league when that happened??? & can you explain how AI routinely "breaks ankles" around the league & including, I might add, more than once with your favorite player??

No player has the success alone in a team sport & Pippen was crucial to that success. Don't imply Kobe would be so much better without Shaq. that's an argument with nothing but supposition behind it. Right now, Bryant plays Robin to Shaqs Batman....It's the way it is....Get used to it.

Arguing what the future holds is useless. Stick with the facts....

Bran 06-09-2004 01:59 AM's very clear cut to me. How many MVP's does Kobe have? He's been to the finals three times (four now), and all three Shaq has been the man. I don't want to diminish Kobe with this, because he is my favorite player in the game today because of how good he is...but he's just not at MJ's level. Nobody can prove that he is right now anyway's. Yes, he has put on some amazing shows over the years, but how many of those shows were due to Shaq having foul trouble? A ton.

The book will be open after Michael when someone takes a franchise from the rock bottom and builds it into a complete dynasty while dominating in the process.

Enoch...appreciate it, but have you seen the Lakers record when Kobe play's and Shaq doesn't? I don't know the exact record, but I know it's under .500 and not too impressive. What makes Kobe so good is how he feeds off Shaq, and Shaq feeds off him. Michael didn't feed off anybody, people fed off him.

The fact of the matter is you could basically put any top guard with Shaq and they'd still be winning championships. Does that mean they are all on Kobe's level? Absolutely not. Kobe is head and shoulders above any guard today. The bottom line is Shaq is too good, and all Shaq needs is a solid guard. Having the best guard and most skilled player in basketball today is a complete bonus.

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