On Top Of The World: Michael Jordan...for Now

John ManzoContributor IJune 15, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 14:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles during the post game news conference after the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic 99-86 to win the NBA Championship in Game Five of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 14, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The plate is officially placed on the table and the Lakers are allowed to eat it. The Lakers can stuff their faces after being hungry since last years disappointing NBA Finals appearance versus the Boston Celtics. There wasn't any team more hungry than the 2009 Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant took his smile and converted to a scowl. The title without Shaquille O'Neal has arrived for Kobe Bryant.

 Kobe Bryant now has 4 NBA Championships and is now in his prime. In the next five to six years the Los Angeles Lakers could do damage to the NBA. Kobe Bryant has to gain serious consideration as the second best player to Michael Jordan and can continue to strive to pass Jordan.

Whenever I'm around somebody who shoots a basketball into the net, I almost regularly hear "Kobe." You do not hear anybody saying "Jordan." He may not have the rings Jordan does, but Kobe Bryant is the most prolific scorer in the modern era. Bryant can turn up his game like the heat on an oven. Bryant realizes when to be aggressive and when to be passive.

Kobe Bryant has become a leader in the past two seasons. Trust has been key for Bryant, who has been quoted as being a ball hog in the past. Well the haters can quite down because Bryant averaged over seven assists in the NBA Finals. There is nobody in the rich NBA History that has won a title alone. Shaq and Kobe, Jordan and Pippen, The Fab Five Pistons, Duncan, Manu, and Parker, The Boston Three Party, The Bad Boys, and so many more.

Who doesn't have a ring? MVP LeBron James who has gotten more comparisons to Michael Jordan than Mr. Bryant. Win a ring and then compare the two. The Cavs are now searching for what Bryant has. Help. Shaq seems to be on the rescue, but he's not Superman anymore, Dwight Howard has replaced him. “Got a new point guard, got a new wing, got a Spaniard, and then it was all good,” Bryant said. “It was all good. I had a bunch of Christmas presents that came early.”

If the Lakers can re-sign Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza, the Lakers can tear through the NBA and Kobe Bryant can cement his legacy as number one.

Jordan is the man for now, but Bryant will soon takeover.