How far is the gap between Michael Jordan and the man many say is the best player in the NBA today, Kobe Bryant?
Well, as of now, pretty big...but all that could change real quick.
Think of it, one of the few awards Michael has garnered during his tenure which Kobe has yet to achieve is League MVP. However, in what may have been his finest season ever as a pro, Bryant is looking more and more like a lock for that piece of hardware.
Granted, Jordan did earn this award five times during his career, but in all fairness to Kobe, that was a completely different era in the sport with a completely different type of athlete. To win that award five times nowadays would be virtually impossible, even for Michael.
The most notable thing Jordan accomplished as a player was in leading his team to two different three-peats, which truly established his greatness over the course of his career.
Now, on the eve of the NBA Playoffs, Kobe finds himself, I dare say, in the position to match that feat as well. If Bryant can travel this path, the ever-shrinking gap between MJ and Kobe will be virtually nonexistent.
As Kobe Bryant embarks on this journey, be sure to remember that Michael Jordan never had to contend with a conference as competitive as the Western Conference is today.
The Golden State Warriors, who finished with 48 wins didn't qualify for the playoffs and the eighth seeded team, the Denver Nuggets, have the top three and four scorers in the NBA.
Kobe's Lakers finished first in a highly competitive West and did a lot of that with injuries to key guys throughout the season. Andrew Bynum only played 35 games this year while Pau Gasol logged a meager 24.
Now, the Los Angeles Lakers are relatively healthy heading into the playoffs and could be poised to show their true dominance.
With Derek Fisher running the point and Lamar Odom averaging a double double from the power forward position, they have all the pieces in place to win now.
The scary thing is that this may be just the beginning. Of all five starters, Fisher is the only one above the age of thirty so it is quite possible that this team is only starting its rise to power.
In addition, the coach steering the ship is none other than Phil Jackson, the only coach in NBA history to lead a team to two different three-peats. Lest we forget, he also coached LA to its 3-peat not too long ago.
With all this fire power, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers could be embarking on a new three-peat of their own, if not more.
The one consolation I can offer to the rest of the NBA - At least you'll have front row seats to experience history in the making...even if it is at your expense.