Legendary Debate of the Week: Kobe Bryant Versus Michael Jordan

As Kobe approaches MJ on the scoring list, we take a look at career numbers and discuss.
As Kobe approaches MJ on the scoring list, we take a look at career numbers and discuss.

Closing in on the #3 position on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, Kobe Bryant is about to pass Air Jordan and this question will inevitably come up several times. There’s too many ways to compare these guys so I will just do it a couple different including by the numbers and then the other random things that you just can’t quantify. Okay, so as of December 3rd, 2014 here’s where we stand:

Michael Jordan                                                                         Kobe Bryant

Points                                                                   32,292                                                                                         32,194
Points per game                                                 30.1                                                                                              25.5
Rebounds                                                            6,672                                                                                           6,702
Rebounds per game                                          6.2                                                                                                5.2
Assists                                                                  5,633                                                                                           6,019
Assists per game                                                5.3                                                                                               4.7
Steals                                                                   2,514                                                                                           1,861
All-NBA Teams                                                  11                                                                                                  15
All-NBA Defensive 1st Team                           9                                                                                                   9
MVPs                                                                    5                                                                                                   1
NBA Finals MVPs                                              6                                                                                                  2
Championship Rings                                        6                                                                                                  5
Sports failed at                                                   1                                                                                                  0
Retirements                                                        2                                                                                                 none yet

Bad Publicity Scandals                                    Cheating on wife with a couple long-term side pieces      Raping a girl in Colorado, feuding with Shaq

Songs about or featuring said player           Nike ad campaign, “Like to be Like Mike”                           Lil’ Wayne’s “Kobe Bryant”

Net worth                                                          over a billion dollars                                                                 220 million dollars

For as cocky as you may think he is, Bryant knows when and how to step up in the big moments.
For as cocky as you may think he is, Bryant knows when and how to step up in the big moments.

If there was ever a need for further comparisons I don’t know what you could possibly point to. Kobe Bryant has had the best prep to pros career of any player ever (though Lebron James will eventually overtake him with that distinction. The defensive honors aren’t difficult to believe though I failed to mention the Defensive Player of the Year that Jordan won.

It’s tough to compare personas between the two because, while both are outspoken, Facebook and Twitter among other social networks weren’t available to Jordan as a player and he’s not as outspoken as a team owner. Kobe Bryant hasn’t taken advantage of his platform in the best ways, but he continues to open his mouth. So there’s that.

Jordan had a desire few, if any athlete, will be able to match.
Jordan had a desire few, if any athlete, will be able to match.

The potential Finals MVPs took a shot due to his years with Shaq, but so did his reputation as a player that has been easy to play with/share the spotlight. Sure, MJ had Pippen and Rodman (among others) that preferred taking a backseat but both were All-World players in their own right. Anyways, given some more time and/or notice I may throw together more extensive analytics. With that said, the numbers don’t lie and every still would like to be like Mike.


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