Kobe Bryant's Flu-Ridden Effort Doesn't Compare to Michael Jordan's Finals Gem

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IMay 11, 2012

Throughout his career, it's almost been natural to compare Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant's every move to that of the legendary Michael Jordan.

Kobe had the opportunity during Game 6 of the Lakers' first-round series against the Denver Nuggets to pull off something Jordan-like as Bryant took the floor sick as a dog Thursday night.

While he scored 31 points and had a very good game, Kobe's efforts under the weather don't even slightly compare to Jordan's Game 5 performance of the 1997 NBA Finals.

There won't be a Gatorade commercial anytime soon featuring a sick Kobe instead of Jordan.

That's not knocking Kobe's efforts at all, as he gave everything he could in 37 minutes of playing time making 13 of 23 shot attempts. The Lakers didn't lose to Denver because of Bryant, but despite his attempted heroics, it doesn't compare to Jordan's game in the slightest.

For one, this was a first-round game.

Jordan's came in Game 5 of a finals series that was tied two games a piece. The stakes were much higher.

His teammate at the time, Scottie Pippen, even said, "I didn't even think he would be able to put his uniform on" right before tip-off.

Yet Jordan was historic, scoring 38 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter while playing 44 minutes.

He also had seven rebounds, five assists and three steals, which Bryant didn't do in his performance, finishing with two rebounds, four assists and one steal.

Jordan also had the drama involved with 47 seconds left; Jordan made a game-tying free throw and then came out of nowhere to grab the  rebound after missing the second foul shot.

With 25 seconds remaining, he nailed the winning shot, a three-pointer to give the Bulls the lead for good in their 90-88 victory—ultimately setting the Bulls up to finish off Utah in six games.

But the biggest thing on why you can't really compare Kobe's effort to that of Jordan's is that the Bulls won their game and the Lakers did not. 

Kobe's efforts would be more remembered if the Lakers closed out the Nuggets on Thursday.

At the end of the day, Jordan's performance went down as historic because he not only had a great game, but it had drama and Chicago won.

Kobe's performance had none of that.

So while we can applaud Bryan't efforts and attempted heroism, it doesn't compare to Jordan's efforts in the slightest.

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