After watching L.A. lose again to Phoenix it's obvious that Kobe will not ever be in Jordan's stratosphere. He will finish his career thought of by many as one of the top 10 players ever, but the possibility of him supplanting Jordan as the greatest ever is now officially over; no matter what happens.
Although Kobe did score 38 points in one of few career playoff games that he actually shot over 50% from the field, yet his defense was invisible. He took lots of shots and many threes and missed a crucial free throw.
He played just like a one man show who wanted to prove to the world that he can score. Wow. Jordan never played like that in the playoffs; especially the conference finals. Ever heard of defense?
In the post game conference Kobe admitted that his entire team, which starts with him, was focused on offensively trying to penetrate the zone defense and forgetting about defense. What did he do on defense?
Jordan never once didn't play his ass off on defense in any playoff game I ever saw him play. And I saw him play many, many playoff games. Admit it, Kobe does not play defense at all like Jordan, just offense, well, sort of copies Jordan, but it's not close to as efficient either.
On offense, Kobe was so completely disconnected from the rest of his team that he only took one shot in the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter. I thought he was a closer? Na, Jordan was a closer.
Seriously, against this Suns team, Jordan WOULD NOT let his team lose, and you know it, and he proved it.
MJ finished his career with six titles in six tries with six Finals MVP awards! Kobe has actually been to the finals six times also. He has won four and lost two. He is a one time Finals MVP. Same coach, different results.
Plus, Shaq was finals MVP in all the three-peat finals. Gasol is obviously an amazing c/pf, and without him to battle Howard last year, they would have lost. In 2004 Kobe and the Lakers had Shaq, K. Malone and G. Payton, and they LOST in the finals vs Detroit! How does that happen?
Replace Kobe with Jordan, at the same age, to the 2004 Lakers team and they easily win a title. Admit it. If it was Jordan instead of Kobe, at the same age, in 2008 vs. Boston, Jordan would have won. How can I write that? Jordan never lost in the finals, that's how.
Kobe is so lucky he's had Phil as a coach all these years. If it wasn't for Phil, he would never have been the same, but Jordan would have. Before Phil became Chicago's coach, Jordan was amazing, and exciting on a level that if today's kids saw, they would see how much greater he was than anyone, or any player now.
Jordan averaged 28.2 points per game as a rookie, shooting 51.5% from the field. Kobe averaged 7.6 points per game as a rookie and after 14 seasons in the NBA, Kobe's highest ever shooting percentage for a season is only 46.9%.
In Jordan's second season he broke his foot and missed 64 of 82 regular season games but still came back to set a still ALL-TIME playoff record with 63 points against Boston. That is the most points ever scored by an NBA player in playoff history.
In Jordan's third season he became, and STILL IS one of two players ever to score over 3,000 points in one season. The other is Wilt Chamberlain. Remember that one year when Kobe had the 81 point game vs. the worst team in the league? The year he scored so many points?
It was 2005-06 when Bryant scored his career high 2,832 points in 80 games. He took 2,173 shots from the field that year. He made 978 shots, which means he shot .450% from the field. He took 518 three pointers and made 180, which is 34.7%. He made 696 out of 819 free throws that year (85%).
In that season Kobe averaged 4.5 assists and 1.8 steals and 0.4 blocks. In the playoffs they only made it seven games (first round) and Kobe scored 27.9 points per game and shot 44.9%.
In 1986-87 Jordan scored 3,041 points in 82 games. He made 1,098 shots and took 2,279 (48.2%, which is higher than Kobe's best season which was 46.9%). He only took 66 threes making only 12 (18.2%). He made 833 out of 972 free throws (85.7%).
In that season Jordan averaged 4.6 assists a and 2.9 steals and 1.5 blocks! In the playoffs he averaged 35.7 points but they also lost in the first round.
Kobe has never hit 1,000 shots in a season and only hit over 900 shots from the field that one time. Jordan hit 1,098 in 86-87, and he hit 1,069 the next year (when he was named DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR), 1988, and he hit 966 shots in 1989 and he hit 1,034 shots in 1990 and then he hit 990 shots in 1991 and he hit 943 shots in 1992 and in 1993 he hit 992 shots. In 1996 Jordan hit 916 shots, at age 32. The next year at age 33, Jordan hit 920 shots (1997 Kobe's rookie year).
Jordan finished his entire career, including while with Washington is 49.7%.
Kobe, after 14 seasons is at 45.5.
It all comes back to defense. For his career Kobe has now played 1,021 games and 1,554 steals (1.5 career avg.) and 564 blocks (0.6 career avg.). Jordan played 1,072 games and got 2,514 steals (2.3 career avg.) and 893 blocks (0.8 avg.).
Not only was he better on defense by far, but also offensively as we have seen, Jordan was also greater. That is how amazing Jordan was. Kobe will never do what he did and if he continues to play like he is, they might not even make the finals.
Even if the Lakers do win the title and Kobe gets his fifth he will still never be greater than Jordan. If Kobe plays in 82 games for the next four years straight, he would have to average 45.2 points per game over the next four seasons to TIE Jordan's highest ever NBA scoring average of 30.1 ppg.
If Kobe plays until he's 40, like Jordan did, he would have to play 738 more games over nine straight seasons averaging 36.8 points per game. We all know Kobe is on his way down at age 31. He's already different and averaged 27.0 points per game this year, shooting 45.6%.
It is now easy and indisputable to say - Kobe does not and never has, played defense or offense as good as Jordan , and he should never mentioned as as good as Jordan. Jordan would destroy Kobe and his team!