When it comes to professional basketball and the NBA, the biggest argument is who is better between Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. The reason for writing this paper is to compare two of the greatest shooting guards to have ever played the game so far and to see who is coming out on top as the greatest of all time. This paper will be comparing their playing style, their stats, and their achievements and awards.
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Even though Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan have played each other a few times in the past, they were part of different times in professional basketball. With Jordan being drafted in 1984 as the third pick for the Chicago bulls then retired in 2003 and Bryant who was drafted straight out of high school in 1996 as the thirteenth pick for the Charlotte Hornets. Then immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers and is still currently playing in the NBA. Despite being from different eras, their playing styles where very similar. There have been times where if watching some of each players film at the same time, there are plays that seem to be almost completely identical. Both Jordan and Kobe were known for creating their own shots, great clutch performers, and had great work ethic. The only thing that may have set them apart was that Kobe was a more competent 3-point shooter and Jordan was a huge trash talker.
When trying to figure out who is better between Jordan and Kobe or anyone else for the matter, people like to compare how many NBA championships a player has won. This isn’t exactly a great way to determine this because, yes even though it does contribute to a single players awards and achievements, championships are won are won by a team and not an individual player. The best way to determine who is better is to look at their individual stats. Throughout his career, Michael Jordan had put up some great stats. In 1071 games Jordan averaged 30.1 points per game and in his 179 playoff games he had an average 33.4 points per game. His career field goal percentage from the 3-point line was 32.7% and had an overall shooting percentage of 49.7%. Along with his scoring he was able to have 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game. Bryant on the other hand up to this day, has played 1161 regular season games averaging 25.4 points per game and in 222 playoff games he averaged 25.6 points per game. Along with 5.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He shoots 45.4% career field goal percentage and 33.7% from the 3-point range, which like said before makes him somewhat the better 3-point shooter between the two. Looking at their stats, both players come fairly close to one another.
Both Jordan and Bryant have great awards and achievements. Probably, if not the biggest achievement that Jordan had reached would be being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2009. In addition, he was also a six time NBA finals champion and was MVP of each one of those games. He was named the NBA MVP throughout his career which is the second most in the history of the NBA. Jordan was also a ten time scoring champion, participated in fourteen all star games and was named MVP of three of those games. Bryant, who is a future hall of famer, was drafted at the age of eighteen which made him the youngest player ever to be drafted into the NBA. He just falls short behind Jordan with winning five NBA championships and still on the hunt for at least one more before he retires. Of those five championships Kobe was named MVP only once. He was also a two time scoring champion, played in eleven all star games. Bryant is now in third place of the NBA’s all time scorers list.
So who exactly is the best? On paper it would say that Jordan has a slight advantage in his stats and accomplishments but in reality they are both equal. They are almost identical even. What people should remember is that both players are from different eras in basketball and have never played each other in their prime. Another thing that most people don’t realize is that the players on both, Jordan and Bryant’s teams were very distant in skill. This gives Jordan the advantage because he had quality players on his team throughout his career where Kobe had a few good players here and there with the best player he had played with being Shaquille O’Neal. This made it so that Jordan did not necessarily need to carry his team, he was just the go to guy. Where with Bryant on the other hand had to carry his team because he did not have the quality of teams that Jordan did and this is what somewhat hurt his numbers. Both, Jordan and Bryant are the best of the best hands down. On the court they match each other in skill, talent, and will to win.
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