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We live in a "what have you done for me lately" society. People have short memories and often think whoever is hot at that moment is the greatest ever at whatever they do. No segment of the population is guiltier of this than sports fans. We proclaim everything as the “greatest game" or " greatest player". We are so quick to judge everything the day after it happens without putting it in any kind of context. This is exactly what is happening right now with Kobe Bryant.

Look, as much as I hate the guy, Kobe is one of the 10-15 best players of all time. However, to compare him to Jordan is silly. What's even more ridiculous is making all of these comparisons before the Finals. If Kobe loses that will make him 4-3 in championship series’, and 1-2 without Shaq. That will also mean he has lost twice to his most bitter rival and three times as a favorite.

For anyone who forgets, Jordan was 6 for 6 in Finals appearances. Why are we so eager to anoint everyone the next Jordan? More than likely there will never be another player like him because the game has changed so much.

Even if Kobe wins the title this year, I don't think the Jordan comparison is applicable. Kobe spent the first part of his career as a secondary player to Shaq. Also, please don't compare Scottie Pippen and Shaq. Pippen was a great player and one of my favorites players to watch, but he wasn't Shaq. Shaq is one of the most dominant players of all time and was in his prime during those title years. Also, I think we can all agree that it is much easier to win a title with a dominant big man than it is with a swing man.

At any rate, the simple fact is it's ridiculous to make statements like Kobe is better than Jordan when the facts don't back them up. The truth is if Kobe loses to the Celtics again those same writers will talk about how he has lost 3 Finals and is overrated. They will go right back on the Lebron bandwagon again. I wish people could just be more patient. These debates are fun but only when they make sense. Let's hope the Celtics crush the Lakers and end this debate once and for all.

Karl Dillinger 6/01/2010 12:22:00 PM Edit
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58 Responses so far.

  1. Will says:

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again... When the next MJ shows up, there won't be any debate! Everyone recognized MJ as the greatest basketball player for a reason -- he was. When someone comes along who can match his skill, everyone will see it; you won't have to argue the point.

  2. Bailey says:

    Agree completely Karl. Kobe is a great player and any basketball fan, including us Celtics fans respect him. But he is not and will never be as good as MJ.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kobe Bryant is no Michael Jordan!

  4. DJISINTHEHALL says:

    I thought this "debate" ended in 2008 with a 39 point drubbing.

    Not even in the top 5 all time players my opinion.

    MJ, Bird, Magic, Russell and ?

    It comes down to more than championships and stats.

  5. Jenda says:

    I would even dare to say he's not all time top twenty (while considering the time the players were active).

  6. JR says:

    Good point DJ. MJ would have NEVER gotten beat by 39 in a deciding game.

  7. Bailey says:

    I can't say he's that low on my list Jenda, probably 15th or so. The guy is no MJ, but he's probably been the best player this decade.

  8. Jenda says:

    I believe I can think of at least 20 better players. Top 15 in guards perhaps.

  9. DJISINTHEHALL says:

    I mean really noone is MJ and noone will be.

    MJ is the best player at his sport that has ever lived.

    Tiger Woods before he found whores excluded.

  10. tb727 says:

    I agree 1,000,000%. He's not a top 10 player either- the guy only has 1 MVP, a weak number to be considered top 10.

    But I don't think the asses (ESPN) will recognize this even if he loses again. They consider the 4 titles he has to be 2 less than MJ, even though he was incredibly fortunate to play alongside Shaq his first 7 years.

    Well written and so very true Karl

  11. JR says:

    Karl, You should link TB's "The Significance in History of this Year's Finals" column in your piece. It's related.

  12. The Coach says:

    Good chatter.

    Bottom line... MJ sits in his own category.

    As far as where Kobe ranks historically, that remains to be scene.

    Is a hall of famer? YES. Is he one of the all-time great scoring guards? Yes. But is he an all-time great in the same in the top 10-15 player conversation that a few people wrote above? That is yet to be determined, and this series has a lot to do with what his legacy is.

    Jordan
    Bird
    Magic
    Russell
    Jabbar
    Robertson
    Chamberlain
    are clearly a top any list then you follow with (in no particular order)
    West
    Havlicek
    Baylor
    Erviing
    Shaq
    Olajuwon
    Barry
    Thomas
    Duncan
    K. Malone
    M. Malone
    Stockton
    Where does Kobe fit in on that list?

  13. JR says:

    Yeah if Kobe loses AGAIN to the Celtics this year he's not in that top 8. If he does win this year and maybe one more, he's definitely in that top group, but still below Jordan.

    Without the baseball hiatus and then after the 6th championship Reinsdorf and Krause prematurely breaking up the Bulls, to say that MJ could of won 9 or 10 championships is not that farfetched.

  14. Anonymous says:

    On Mike and Mike this morning, they were discussing this again and they both basically agreed MJ is the man!

  15. tb727 says:

    NBA TV again last night- Marc Fein posed the question to David Aldridge, Jackie Macmullan and one other guy. And while none of them would say Bean was better, they all said one thing he did better. DA said he was probably a better closer or clutch time player. Jackie said he was probably a better shooter.

    Seriously am I just stupid? Am I the only one who realizes that he's not better at any aspect of his game, except for raping women? This is an utter joke.

    1 MVP, 2 losses in Finals (getting ready for his 3rd)- it's not even close.

    In fact if you put Michael on the 2008 Flakers in place of Bean, I say they beat the Celtics. If he's on the 2004 Flakers in place of him, they beat the Pistons.

    I'm beginning to think it's because no one has anything better to talk about. Sort of like that Chandra Levy thing that was talked about NON-STOP until the World Trade Center attack rightfully put it in it's place...

  16. JR says:

    I would disagree with the opinion that Kobe is a better closer or more clutch. MJ lived for that stuff. I think you have Bird and MJ as closers and Kobe and Reggie Miller are on that second tier.

  17. Thrill says:

    Kobe Bryant is more skilled than Michael Jordan was.

  18. Thrill says:

    Yes, Kobe is more skilled than Jordan. Kobe is a better ball handler, his foot work is better, his long range shooting ability is better, his ability to hit the seemingly impossible jump shot is better, Kobe's overall ability to score in a variety of ways is better. Kobe took what Jordan did and added the above, but sadly most will never give Kobe credit because he arrived too close to Jordan's career.

  19. tb727 says:

    Then why does Bean have 1 MVP and Michael had 5? When Michael played in a better era of players?

    Your argument is outlandish. Jordan would've averaged 50 with these hand check rules today.

    3 of Bean's Championships came with him as the second best player. Michael was never the second best player on his own team.

    Thrill you strike me as one of the numerous Laker Internet Trolls who likes inundating any site that puts down the Lakers.

  20. Thrill says:

    1)Winning MVP doesn't mean one player is better than another. David Robinson won MVP over Hakeem Olajuwan...you don't believe D.R. was better offensively (or in anyway) do you?? Nash and Nowitski won MVP over Kobe...you don't believe they are better do you?? The criteria for MVP changes over the years.

    2)Jordan would not have averaged 50 today. Today's zone D makes it tougher to get to the basket (MJ's strength), he would have to shoot longer J's(not his strength).I'll reverse your "hand check" idea and say...Kobe would be MJ's equal on defense if Kobe could "hand check" (since you want to give hand check so much credit). Being "hand checked" wouldn't matter with Kobe, you've seen him hit shots with guys "in his jersey", he would "kill" in MJ's era, especially with no zone to collaspe on him once he disposed of his man.

    3) Jordan was never 2nd best on his team because he never played with one of the biggest, strongest, most agile big men of all time. Had MJ played with Shaq most of the offense would have still been ran through Shaq to take advantage of his size and Shaq would get the finals MVP's (even though MJ and KOBE are/were more skilled players than Shaq. People want to down play Kobe's contribution to those 3 rings with Shaq, but Kobe was just as important. Kobe held down and dominated the perimeter as Shaq did the interior. Shaq hasn't won without a great guard on the team.

    tb727, you strike me as one of the numerous Jordan fans who refuse to give Kobe the credit for what he brought to the game of basketball. You act like it's blaspheme to say someone was better than MJ at something, even when they actually are. Even Phil Jackson says Kobe is more skilled than Jordan....you ok???

  21. JR says:

    Thrill, while I have Jordan as a better player than Kobe, you do at least make solid arguments on your behalf. Most of the Lakers fans (actually I think all of them so far) that come on this site just come spewing nonsense. I'm not sure if its just TB showing blind loyalty to Jordan as you imply. You also have to remember to most Celtics fans Kobe Bryant is Public Enemy #1, so opinions are going to be biased. I'm sure if Kobe had been a Celtic, people would view his game higher on a Celtics fan site. But he's not, so don't expect to see Celtics fans singing his praises, just as I doubt they talk about how great pierce is on Lakers sites.

    In my opinion Kobe is a top 8 all time NBA player, but Jordan is #1.

  22. tb727 says:

    The criteria for MVP doesn't change over the years- you couldn't be more wrong- consistently it's given to the best player on the team with the most wins. Barkley got it in 93 over Jordan because Chicago had the 3rd best record in the league and Barkley's team had the best.

    If Kobe was as great as you say he was, his prime years of 2005-2007 wouldn't have been spent not making the playoffs, and losing in the first round two straight years. He didn't make his teammates better like Michael did. Simply bitched when they couldn't get the job done.

    If Jordan played with Shaq, or Olajuwon for that matter, the offense still would've gone through Michael because he was always the best player. How hard is this to understand?

    Do you realize Bean has now played more minutes all-time than Michael? Do you realize how far behind him he is in all time scoring? Do you realize Michael didn't play when he was 30 and 31 and missed almost his entire second season and his numbers still dwarf Bean? Did you watch the Pistons and Knicks manhandle Michael with pushes and hand checks and him still regularly go for 40?

    Or are you someone that caught Michael at the tail end of his career?

    Pass some of what you're smoking or get the fuck out of here.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Yeah Thrill, pass that peace pipe, we all want a hit!

  24. Thrill says:

    It's too late to respond tonight, but ...trust me!.....You too Anonymous....yeah, I see you!

    JR,. thanks for being reasonable, I can respect your opinion.

  25. ThomasJ says:

    I feel like I have a degree of objectivity since I didn't grow up a Celtic fan and don't have the Boston-LA sensitivity from living near either city. I have no bias toward Chicago, either, and simply admire Jordan's greatness as a lifelong player and fan.

    Both are extremely talented and driven players individually but I believe Jordan was not only the greater and more complete player but his drive was based on winning while Kobe's has always been rooted in selfish me-first individual glory. MJ gre up without entitlement and spent time in a total team environment under Dean Smith at UNC while Kobe went straight from being a high school star, son of a former pro to the bright lights and celebrity status of the NBA's Lakers. Different paths growing up produce different kinds of people. Bryant has worked hard to cultivate the "team player" image in recent years as he has become more aware of legacy. (see the "Kobe Doin' Work" BS and calculated interviews)
    Of course the media led by the NBA promotion buys into it, but facts are facts. Between the LA title runs without another star on the team, Bryant was a selfish gunner who spent alot of time publicly bitching about the team around him.

    I think Kobe is a definite top 10 or 8 player who has great skills that he has further refined with a great work ethic, but if you really think he is a team first player then he has fooled you, too, or you just are too partisan to want to see the truth. No way he wins 6 titles with Jordan's Chicago teams. Not even one threepeat despite another all time great in Pippen because those teams needed a great team leader to emotionally unite and drive them in a way that's just not in Kobe's DNA.

    LeBron is closer to Kobe in all time greatness than Kobe is to Jordan. The championship measure is lame because Bean would have exactly the same number of rings as James were he playing with the same rosters teams in Cleveland. It's just that Bryant is the same type of player as MJ (though a lesser version) while LeBron fills a different slot.

    Thrill, you make good points but are wrong about the defense. If you actually were watching all the entire games live back in MJ's days against NY and Detroit and not just seeing highlights you may have a better understanding. The touches Bean screams about and gets FTs for these days were normal D back then. Whatever great zone D you are referring to wouldn't have slowed MJ because of the touch fouls superstars get on drives.

  26. Jenda says:

    I have read an article written by a Lakers fan that stated that Kobe will never be as good as Jordan and furthermore, nevermind what Kobe can add to his legacy he totally buried his chance on greatness of MJ by losing by 38 pts. in Finals. Even as a Lakers fan you have to admit MJ would never let that happen and he never had.

  27. Bohemian says:

    This debate is like comparing a remake with the original movie. The remake will never be as good, no matter what. Kobe's game is an attempt to copy Jordan's moves and he has been a very good player in this league. MJ did everything better than Kobe, period. That said, of course Kobe is a hell of a player, and no doubt he is one of the best in the last decade.

    But let's not compare him to Jordan. It's blasphemy.

  28. ThomasJ says:

    You said it Bohemian - a great but inferior copy and comparison is blasphemy.

    If not for Perk's injury, Gasol's Off Rebounds,and big shots by Fisher and Artest the epilogue to game 7 is Kobe's miserable performance in a loss and this absurd chatter never occurs. Don't tout his 15 rebounds as 11 were defensive as a result of Rondo's lack of jumper allowing him to sag in the lane on D.

  29. tb727 says:

    Thank you everybody, this thread is finally making a lot of sense now.

    I mean Bean's not in the class of Larry or Magic, let alone Michael.

    JR you could argue that he's #8 all time. Funny that's ok with our visitor because 8 is a far cry from #1.

    1. Jordan
    2. Russell
    3. Abdul-Jabaar
    4. Bird
    5. Magic
    6. Chamberlain
    7. Moses Malone
    8. Tim Duncan
    9. Hakeem Olajuwon
    10. Shaq
    11. Bean

    This comparison is silly.

  30. tb727 says:

    Although Havlicek, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson can all possibly be ahead of Bean too...

  31. tb727 says:

    Thomas J- spot on with your analysis. When LeBron wins the next 6 titles or whatever he'll eventually trump Bean also in my opinion.

  32. Keith Peckerhead says:

    Why the hell is this still being discussed? I've watched both players play and Michael is the better of the two.

    Thrill do you work for ESPN?

  33. Thrill says:

    Wow, do I have a lot of work to do on this site in my mission to correct all the mis-information and hype about MJ. Let's see where do I begin....Oh yeah, this tb727 dude.

    You said "you could'nt be more wrong, consistently it's (the MVP) is given to the best player on the team with the most wins"

    Truth:
    05-06, mvp-Nash, best record-Spurs/Detroit
    07-08, mvp-Kobe, best record-Celtics
    03-04, mvp-Garnett, best record-Indiana
    01-02, mvp-Tim Duncan, best record-Kings
    00-01, mvp-Iverson, best record-Spurs
    93-94, mvp-Hakeem, best record Seattle
    90-91, mvp-Jordan, best record Portland
    87-88, mvp-Jordan, best record-Lakers (matter of fact 6 teams had a better record than the Bulls that year!)
    81/82, mvp-M. Malone, best record Boston
    78-79, mvp-M. Malone, best record-Washington (4 more teams with better records)

    Actually tb727, it's you who couldn't be more wrong, imagine that. But for me the MVP thing is a side issue, my point was winning MVP doesn't mean your necessarily better. As Far as I'm concerned MVP(player) should go to the PLAYER with the MOST VALUABLE collection of basketball skills. Otherwise it's a "team" award. Nash and others got it because their teammates were better. Nash would not have gotten it if he had Smush Parker and Kwame Brown to pass to. Again it's a side issue, for me, until the NBA "defines" MVP I can't take it to seriously.

  34. Thrill says:

    tb727 said: "If Kobe was as great as you say he was, his prime years of 2005-2007 wouldn't have been spent not making the playoffs, and losing in the first round two straight years. He didn't make his teammates better like Michael did. Simply bitched when they couldn't get the job done."

    This is how I can spot a Kobe Hater/Jordan Jocker. No fair minded person should have expected Kobe and the Lakers to do well those years. The Laker team was gutted and starting over. They lost more than Shaq...Fox, Horry, Fisher, Payton, Malone, the coach, etc.

    In 2007, the Lakers even when healthy were an average team at best. Every team has injuries throughout the year but consider this, of the 80 games played:

    Chris Mihm(starter) missed 80 games, Lamar Odom(starter) missed 27 games, Luke Walton(starter) missed 23 games, Kwame Brown(replacement/starter) missed 41 games, V. Radmonovich(contributor who was starting to play well) missed 27 games.

    In addition, the replacement for Mihm and K. Brown was a 19 year old kid (Bynum). The Lakers point guard(Smush Parker) played shooting guard in college and would be a back-up on most other teams.

    Yet Kobe Bryant led that injury riddled/youngest team in the NBA to a .500 ball. Kobe had the Lakers playing very well early in the season, they were several games above .500 even with key players out, but the injuries kept coming, an 8 game road trip and that was it. The losing understandably increased. Phil Jackson said "Kobe we need you to take over". He then played some of the "best B-ball EVER seen" according to one analyst, possibly single handidly saving the season(making the playoffs). As another commentator said "That Laker team should not have been allowed to watch the playoffs on TV let alone play in them". Kobe went to 7th game against Phoenix with a starting line-up of Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, Luke Walton and Lamar Odom!

    But of course you will never consider any of the above in you criticism of Kobe. I'll respond to another part of your post next.

  35. Thrill says:

    tb727- "He didn't make his teammates better like Michael did. Simply bitched when they couldn't get the job done."

    You ask if "I'm someone who caught Michael at the tail end of his career" Did you see MJ full career...I did. Did you forget how he MJ complained about his teammates early on, how he bashed and demeaned them, how MJ was known as a great talent who would never win a ring because he was selfish!, how his coach, D. Collins, said "if we could just get this guy to pass the ball", how MJ was instrumental in getting that coach fired, how MJ punched 2 of his teammates (kerr/Perdue), MJ was anything but a class act and great teammate. What you criticize in Kobe you praise in MJ!

    Jordan didn't make his teammates better."Made his teammates better" is just a weak catch phrase. It really means "management put better players around him". How come MJ didn't make Brad Sellars, Stacey King, Sam Vincent, Granville Waiters...etc better? He couldn't he had to wait until he got better players (like Kobe did)....Horace Grant, Kerr/Paxson/BJ Armstrong(guys that can really shoot), Pippen, Cartwright...etc. If anything those players made MJ better, he was the one that needed to change and trust his teammates. Their abilities made MJ do that.

  36. Thrill says:

    Continuing...(all this goes to you too "Anonymous"):

    "If Jordan played with Shaq, or Olajuwon for that matter, the offense still would've gone through Michael because he was always the best player. How hard is this to understand?"

    Are you serious! No, the offense would revolve around the dominant center period. He shoots the higher percentage, attracts attention to free up the perimeter,...etc. Any good coach would tell you that. Some of you are so stuck on Jordan that you say stuff like that. This is why I say MJ is over hyped and over rated, he gets too much credit. With Hakeem or Shaq in their pimes with MJ, it would have been an Inside/outside game. How hard is this to understand!

    "Kobe behind MJ is scoring". Do you realize MJ had the "green light" from day one because he was on a sad team? Do you realize MJ had the highest fga's since Elgin Baylor? Do you realize MJ did'nt have to share the ball with a dominant center clamoring for shots? Kobe and Jordan's paths were different, that's why the comparisons are difficult to make.

  37. tb727 says:

    Wow you found 10 times in 32 years where the MVP WASN'T given to the best player on the team with most wins. So you're right 1 out of 3 times and I'm right 2 out of 3 times. Looks like the odds are in my favor there.

    You didn't comment on Bean officially having played 50 less all-time games than Michael and the large discrepancy in career stats. What is Michael 3rd all time in scoring? #2 all time in steals? Why aren't Beans numbers closer? Why is Bean 1,000 steals away from Michael? Why is he 7,000 points away in scoring? Why is he 1,200 rebounds away? Or 900 assists away?

    Is Bean going to accomplish all these numbers in the next 50 games? Why such a disparity? Surely if Bean was as good as Michael his numbers would be a lot closer right? Again, you're wrong Thrill.

    The 2004 Lakers with Michael win it all. The 2008 Lakers with Michael win it all. Michael doesn't lose by 39 points in closeout games.

    You're delusional.

    But you're relentless and keep coming after me and only me. Seriously why don't you give me your address or phone number and I'll come pay you a visit and we can discuss this in person? Considering there's like 5 other people in this thread calling you out in here also saying you're wrong, you continuously go after me, and me alone.

    I'm through talking on this- it's a waste of my time and intelligence and everyone else's time too. Be a man and email me your address or phone number on here if you'd like so we can discuss this in person. Because you're singling me out while everyone else on here agrees with me.

    Or better yet, go back to your Lakernation blog. No one wants you here. Or any other internet troll.

  38. Haha you just said "Kobe and Jordan's paths were different, that's why the comparisons are difficult to make." Then why the fuck are you making the comparison you dumb piece of shit?

    Get the fuck off this blog and go back to ESPN you dumb motherfucker.

    Fuck everyone in this thread, but most especially, fuck you Thrill. We'd be fucking "Thrilled" if you left here permanently!

  39. Keith Peckerhead says:

    Now let's see, we have 2 groups here:

    Those that say Michael is better:

    Karl Dillinger
    JR
    Bailey
    DJ's in the Hall
    The Coach
    Will
    tb727
    Thomas J
    Bohemian
    Norman
    and me

    And then those that say Kobe is better:

    Thrill


    Now math was never my forte, but it looks like your outnumbered Thrill.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Thrill light up the blunt and pass
    it to me, that good shit you be smokin,
    while he's up at midnight tokin!

  41. Thrill says:

    Wow, classy bunch on this site. I haven't "cursed" one person, yet...never mind.

    My statement remains correct. The MVP criteria has changed over the years. 5 times in the 2000's it didn't go to the best player with the best team record, you call that consistent??

    I responded to you mainly because we had a running conversation, and I have other responsibilities and can't respond to all comments in one sitting. I was savng the rest for tomorrow.

    Norman Dale_ I said "difficult" to make, not impossible. MJ and Kobe can be compared on a basketball skill level, but stats, individual and team accomplishments are tougher unless a person is fair minded and considers all circumstances, sadly most people are not fair minded.

    For example saying MJ would not have lost by 39 points in the finals without fairly considering all circumstances. Under Kobe's circumstances MJ could have lost by that much, but it's too late to expound on it.

    You wonderful people have a nice night.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Under Kobe's circumstances Michael could have lost by 39 points? What are those circumstances? Oh right, him not being as good as MJ.

    Why don't you learn how to speak English before coming on to an American site.

  43. Anonymous says:

    If Kobe was better than Michael, than Michael would've lost to Drexler's Blazers and Miller's Pacers, just like Kobe lost to the Pistons and Pierce and the Celtics. That Blazers team was more talented top to bottom than the Bulls. But Jordan's greatness carried them past them.

  44. Thrill says:

    Ok, before I go any further I need to correct my initial post on this site. This should make some of you very happy! What I meant to post was:

    "Kobe, offensively, is more skilled than Jordan" That's why I only mentioned offensive skills in my 2nd post.

    Maybe it's saying the same thing because if Kobe is better offensively and not far behind on defense then maybe he is the better player, maybe it's MJ, maybe it's Jabbar.... But that's not my official position. I don't believe a "best player ever" can be determined, too many career differences.

    I humbly apologize for getting several of you in a "hissy fit" over my mis-statement.

  45. Thrill says:

    Kobe and the 39 point loss to Boston:

    As usual many look for a reason to bash Kobe and the 39 point finals loss to Boston provided more fuel. “Jordan would not let his team lose in the finals like that,…Kobe’s no Jordan…” etc.

    But of course the Jordan supporters don’t put that game or series in the proper perspective. By the time MJ got to the finals he was in his 7th season. By then he had an experienced, battle tested team. Of course that team would not lose like the Lakers did.


    Kobe, by contrast, was able to get the Lakers to the finals in only his 4th season of being the lead man on the team. He had a young, inexperienced, soft team. They were going up against a tough Celtic team, playing the best team defense in decades in the NBA, anchored by the Defensive player of the year, Garnett, focused on collasping on and stopping the Lakers best player. The Celtics were led by 3 very talented and hungry veterans, in career defining moments (none had won a ring and the window was closing…they were VERY motivated). Boston had KG, one of the best most versatile center/pf’s ever, P Pierce, one of the better forwards in the games history, and Ray Allen, one of the best shooters(if not the best) ever(and not a bad all-round player, imo). Add some rough and tough role players, home court advantage and a good motivational coach and it’s no shock to me the young shell- shocked Lakers lost by so much.

    No, MJ’s experienced team would not have lost like that but given the same or a similar situation I believe his team would have. If MJ was able to get his team to the finals in only his 4th season, when they were young and inexperienced and had to face the Showtime Lakers in their prime, for example, it’s conceivable that the high powered Laker offense (Magic, Worthy, Jabbar…etc. could have ran up a big lead on the young, inexperienced Bulls. Or that Boston team, with that great defense, in a close out game at home, being able to play zone and collapse on MJ could have done the same thing. I know most of you won’t agree but that the “circumstances’ that need to be considered, not just …The Lakers lots by 39, Kobe’s no Jordan.

    Kobe should have been applauded for taking a team that was virtually starting over and in only 4 years leading that young team to the finals through what some analyst said was the “toughest western conference ever”. But instead he gets dogged.

  46. Thrill says:

    Kobe, 39 point loss

    As usual many look for a reason to bash Kobe and the 39 point finals loss to Boston provided more fuel. “Jordan would not let his team lose in the finals like that,…Kobe’s no Jordan…” etc.

    But of course the Jordan supporters don’t put that game or series in the proper perspective. By the time MJ got to the finals he was in his 7th season. By then he had an experienced, battle tested team. Of course that team would not lose like the Lakers did.


    Kobe, by contrast, was able to get the Lakers to the finals in only his 4th season of being the lead man on the team. He had a young, inexperienced, soft team. They were going up against a tough Celtic team, playing the best team defense in decades in the NBA, anchored by the Defensive player of the year, Garnett, focused on collapsing on and stopping the Lakers best player. The Celtics were led by 3 very talented and hungry veterans, in career defining moments (none had won a ring and the window was closing…they were VERY motivated). Boston had KG, one of the best most versatile center/pf’s ever, P Pierce, one of the better forwards in the games history, and Ray Allen, one of the best shooters (if not the best) ever (and not a bad all-round player, imo). Add some rough and tough role players, home court advantage and a good motivational coach and it’s no shock to me the young shell- shocked Lakers lost by so much.

  47. Thrill says:

    No, MJ’s experienced team would not have lost like that but given the same or a similar situation I believe his team would have.
    If MJ was able to get his team to the finals in only his 4th season, when they were young and inexperienced and had to face the Showtime Lakers in their prime, for example, it’s conceivable that the high powered Laker offense (Magic, Worthy, Jabbar…etc. could have ran up a big lead on the young, inexperienced Bulls. Or that Boston team, with that great defense, in a close out game at home, being able to play zone and collapse on MJ could have done the same thing.

    I know most of you won’t agree but that the “circumstances’ that need to be considered, not just …The Lakers lots by 39, Kobe’s no Jordan.

    Kobe should have been applauded for taking a team that was virtually starting over and in only 4 years leading that young team to the finals through what some analyst said was the “toughest western conference ever”. But instead he gets dogged.

  48. Thrill says:

    Bohemian- MJ did’nt do “everything better than Kobe”, Kobe’s a better 3pt shooter, ball handler and more versatile offensive player in general.

    Thomas J- With your comments on “selfish, me first”, “individual glory” sounds like you were describing MJ in his early days. He wasn’t known as a good leader then either.

    Again, I saw all of MJ’s career, live. Detroit and New York were not the only teams in the league. Jordan faced some tough defenses, some weak defenses and anywhere in between. He played against weak expansion teams, no zone, illegal defense calls (where help defense had to be within so many feet of their own man and judge when to go for the double team), …etc. Today, the defense can already be established and waiting for the drive to the basket to collapse on the player. Jordan had no greater ability (ball handling, footwork, moves) to be able to escape a good collapsing defense like Boston’s than Kobe does. Jordan would have the same problems with it.

    I’m sure you know, that as MJ rose to prominence he was the beneficiary of phantom calls like most superstars. So much so that it prompted Magic Johnson to say during an olympic photo shoot, when someone got close to Jordan,…”that’s a foul”.

    I’ve heard some say the tougher defensive era was Magic and Birds era (80’s), not MJ’s (90’s). I’ve heard Oscar Robertson say the same of his era. Each era had advantages and disadvantages, including MJ’s. All the talk about the tough defense of the 80’s is over blown.

    No, I don’t work for ESPN

    K. Peckerhead- “Majority” doesn’t mean “right”

  49. Bohemian says:

    Thrill, better ball handler? I guess you mean better ball hog? His shot selection is poor at times, basically shooting even his sneakers in the process.

    Versatile? It's MJ who played an entire season as a PG.

    3 point shooter? Well, the difference is minimal there (34% vs 33%) but Jordan had two seasons averaging 50% and 43% 3 pt shooting whereas Kobe's best was 38%. In any case you can't make a case of Kobe as a better shooter than MJ since Kobe has much worse selection. Just compare the numbers if you want: Kobe has shot 3829 threes already while MJ had a total of 1778 for almost the same %.

    But seriously, come on. Kobe is a star in the league and nobody can deny that he will be a Hall of Famer and one of the best players but there is a line between Jordan, Bird, Magic, Russell, Chamberlain...and players like Kobe.

  50. Oh My Bosh says:

    Seriously what's your problem Thrill? Do you post anywhere else on this blog? Are you just trying to get the natives restless in this one article?

    It's a Celtics Fan site so no one's going to give Kobe the benefit of the doubt. In fact if Kobe was better than Jordan (which he most certainly isn't) but had played for the Bulls and Jordan played for the Lakers, most people would say Kobe is better- because they're Celtics fans.

    You're not going to prove a point here so why don't you make like a tree and leave.

  51. Thrill says:

    Bohemian, See what I mean, you guys hate Kobe and jock Jordan so much you seem incapable of properly interpreting info and fairly considering the circumstances. Simply put, Michael Jordan SUCKED at 3pt shooting.

    The year (94-95) MJ shot 50% from 3pt range was the year he played only 17 games and took only 32 3pt’ers! That’s not enough attempts to get a good reading on accuracy when your comparing it to a guy (kobe) who’s minimum attempts is 101! But if you insist on looking at minimum attempts for MJ how about 9 of 52 (17%), 3 of 18 (17%), 12 of 66 (18%), 7 of 53 (13%), 10 of 53 (19%)

    Furthermore, the NBA moved the 3pt line in closer for three seasons. Guess when that was??? Yep, the 3 years MJ had a good 3pt%, (50%, 42.7%, 37.4%). The 9 years before the line was moved MJ shot less than 20% 4 times, less than 30% 2 times, 31% once, and had 2 good years from 3pt range at 37.6% and 35.2%. An average of those 9 years has him shooting less than 25% from 3pt land. The 3 years after the line was moved back out to the original distance he again shot less than 30% (23.8%,19% and 29.1%)

  52. Thrill says:

    Kobe had 1 season with the 3pt line moved in, his rookie season. As an inexperienced, wide-eyed rookie he shot 37.5%. What would he have done as a seasoned vet with the line closer??
    The rest of his career was with the line moved back out, even so he hasn’t shot below 20% like MJ. Also, Kobe only shot below 30% 2 times, compared to 9 times for MJ. During Kobe’s highest attempts from 3pt range from 2004-2009 Kobe shot 34%, 34.7%, 34%, 36% and 35%, showing more consistency than Jordan even with more attempts. Kobe is the better long range shooter as I said. The closer line has skewed MJ’s %.

    Speaking of attempts, Jordan didn’t shoot less from from 3pt range because he had “better shot selection” He shot less 3’s because 1) He sucked at it, and knew it wasn’t his strength. 2) He didn’t have a dominant big man taking up the middle for much of his career (with plays designed for him, Shaq) so drives to the basket were more available to MJ. 3) He didn’t have to play against and shoot over a zone D as much as Kobe.

    Kobe shot more 3’s for the above reasons and it’s just more of a weapon for him. That’s one thing that makes Kobe the more versatile offensive player.

  53. Thrill says:

    You know, I came to this site for good, intelligent, logical, “well thought out” basketball conversation. Did I come to the wrong place for that?? Mostly what I got is anger, pointless insults, vulgarity, “gtf out of here”, poorly thought out and replies….etc.

    Many of you are not looking for “truth”, you just hate Kobe and will take every opportunity to dis him and praise Jordan without seeing if it’s based in fact.

    You say Kobe’s below the line between Jordan, Bird, Magic, Russell, Chamberlain??? Is that why Kobe is the only one (ever) to accomplish what he has at his age?

    To “Oh my Bosh”, What’s my problem?? I should just leave?

    Oh, I get it “Get out of our town you stranger, with all your logic and thoughtful comments. We don’t take to kindly to folks who actually think before they post, we would rather remain in our belief that we would fall of the edge of the earth if the ship went too far”!

    So, this is a Celtics site and I can’t prove a point here? So what you’re saying is there are no fair-minded, objective, decent people in Celtic land that can handle a challenge to their belief system, respond intelligently without insults and cursing or concede a point when one is made?? I hope you guys are not representative of most Celtic fans on this site…….I don’t believe you are.

    Oh,... yes, Kobe is a better ball handler than MJ. Doesn't mean MJ sucked, Kobe is just better, I'll spare you the details.

    And for the record ..I hope Boston Kills Miami in the playoffs. Enjoy the season...it's been, uhhh....."real".

  54. Keith Peckerhead says:

    You say Kobe’s below the line between Jordan, Bird, Magic, Russell, Chamberlain??? Is that why Kobe is the only one (ever) to accomplish what he has at his age?

    Not true. Magic had won 5 championships when he was younger than Bean. And Bean began playing when he was 18- or 5 years younger than Bird and 4 years younger than MJ.

    You pick and choose your arguments Thrill. Are you a lawyer? You sound like one.

    But you're still dead wrong. Kobe's not better than MJ or any of these other players mentioned.

  55. Keith Peckerhead says:

    And this is spot on Boeheman:

    But seriously, come on. Kobe is a star in the league and nobody can deny that he will be a Hall of Famer and one of the best players but there is a line between Jordan, Bird, Magic, Russell, Chamberlain...and players like Kobe.

  56. Thrill says:

    Dude, I'm done with you guys....but since you insist, I was'nt just talking about rings but Kobe's whole body of work.

    Look. My arms are tired from beating you guys down...enjoy the season.

  57. Keith Peckerhead says:

    You didn't beat anyone down but yourself and you're obviously not done because you keep coming back. How about this: we'll agree to disagree? Keep living in your dream world Thrill.

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