IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Kobe Bryant will never be the Next Michael Jordan, Period.

Tha EditaCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2008

Before I further expand on this message, I would like to begin by saying that Kobe Bryant is currently my favorite basketball player, and has been since I witnessed him drop 33 points in his sophomore season in an insignificant regular season away game against the Orlando Magic.

I would also like to mention that I am not a bandwagon ticket holder, meaning, unless Mr. Bryant decides to pull Mr. Vince Carter, he will continue to be my favorite hoop-star.

Now, back to the important message I'm sending to the sports media...

Kobe Bryant will never be the Next Michael Jordan.

Even if he manages to get a ring with the Lakers next year, he can only establish himself as the first Kobe Bryant. Enough with these ridiculous comparisons, please.

I know I'm not the only person who feels this way.

Y'all know what I'm talking about. How many nonsense articles were we forced to read in the our sports sections prior to the 2008 NBA Finals, that featured writers trying to compare the two NBA superstars; some even going as far to say that Kobe was better is Jordan!

I honestly laughed at that one, out loud, at work, and my co-worker glanced at me with a strange facial expression.

The only thing that writer mentioned that Kobe had over MJ was range (which is true. Kobe's range is much further than Jordan's).

In my opinion, Bryant would have to win a total of 5 Championships, 5 Finals MVP Awards, 3 more Regular Season MVP awards, at least another scoring title, average 35 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists a game and make the All-NBA and All-Defensive team every year from now until his retirement before anyone can even consider placing him on the same boat as His Airness.

And given the fact that KB will be 30 years of age this August, it's very unlikely that this will happen.

They are similar in some ways, but not enough to flood the web with comparison articles. Jordan was a fierce competitor who was one the most dominant players in the league for his entire career (like most Jordan fans, I don't count the Washington Wizards stint as part of his career).

Kobe developed into the league's best over time. Jordan refused to lose. Kobe would sometimes disappear in games to prove a point. Jordan had his own shoes without Nike logos all over them. Kobe had to rebuild his reputation before Nike would even give him his own signature shoe.

Conclusion? Michael Jordan remains the greatest player to ever set foot on an NBA court, hands down.

Kobe Bryant will never carry that title before his name (unless the scenarios I mentioned in the previous paragraph occur, and then some).

Now, don't get me wrong, just because Kobe will never be the greatest, does not mean he is not great.

Dude, 81 points speaks for itself.

This 2007-08 NBA season marked the beginning of the Bryant legacy. I firmly believe that he will win another ring before he calls it quits, and it won't be done by joining a team that is already stacked with superstars.

He is a future Hall Of Famer who will forever be remembered as one of the league's greatest scorers. His story is a fascinating one. Just as many people hate him as that of those who love him (couldn't say that about Jordan, though).

And even though he was spanked by the Celtics in this year's finals, no one can take away his amazing season and that awesome run to the Finals he orchestrated with the Lakers.

The sports media eventually runs out of things to write about, so they come up with bogus articles that will attract readers and generate a buzz around the league.

This is this perfect example: "Hmmm. Kobe finally made it to the Finals without Shaq. Even though the numbers tell a different story, let's compare him to Jordan. Readers want that!"

My goodness. Enough is enough. Jordan is Jordan, Kobe is Kobe.

PLEASE, talk about how great Kobe is as a player instead of measuring him up to the greatest of all-time.

Like I said, I love Kobe. My favorite player in the game. But he's got a long ways to go before he'll be on MJ's flight, and I honestly don't believe he'll ever get there.

So let's just allow him to be Kobe; number 24, the number after Jordan. Bryant won't be the greatest, but he is definitely one the of the greatest. Nothing wrong with that.