NBA: Kobe Bryant Is No Michael Jordan...For A Different Reason

John LewisSenior Writer IJune 17, 2008

Look we all know Kobe Bryant is arguably the most gifted basketball player on the planet, but Bryant is certainly no Michael Jordan...but for a different reason.

Bryant has NBA championship rings, just like Jordan. Bryant now has an MVP award, just like Jordan. Bryant has averaged 30 points a game for an entire season, just like Jordan. And the list goes on.

So why is Bryant a distant second to MJ? One reason really...his ability to make players around him better.

Once Jordan embraced the triangle offense, amazingly enough under Phil Jackson, he learned how to make the other role players better. And we all know what happened after that, six championships and six finals' MVP awards.

Jordan was also able to inspire his entire team to play better defense. His main role player, Scottie Pippen was named a first or second team NBA all-defense selection 10 times. 

Bryant, on the other hand, has been in the league long enough and knows how the triangle offense works but has yet to hit paydirt, win a championship as the No. 1 player on the team. 

Bryant has also not been able to get the players around him to step up the defensive intensity, which certainly is a main reason why the Lakers can't win the title.   

I know what you're going to say, Bryant made his players better this year and that's why they were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. But I say since when does the regular season matter. Everyone knows men are made in the postseason.

So when Bryant says he doesn't need to score 40 points in a game for the Lakers to win, I say he's crazy and if the defense doesn't step it up than he better score all the time. This is certainly the reason why Los Angeles will have trouble beating smarter more fundamentally sound teams.