Why So Negative about Kobe Bryant's Fifth Ring?

John CarterContributor IIIJune 21, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers holds both the Larry O'Brien trophy and the Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 83-79 in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. 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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Everywhere I go, I hear Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan discussions.

No, I don't hear about the Lakers' NBA championship victory, Ron Artest's phenomenal Game Seven, Kobe's fifth, or Phil's 11th. I just hear Jordan fans or Kobe haters attacking Kobe for no rational reason.

Why can't you just be happy for the guy?

He strongly opposes being compared to Jordan. He isn't as cocky and egotistical as the critics make him seem.

Yes, Kobe has only two Finals MVPs and one regular season MVP, and Mike has six Finals MVPs and five regular season MVPs. But look at it this way: If Kobe had come before Jordan, we would never have this discussion.

People always say that Jordan revolutionized the game like no other. Sure, he elevated it to new heights, but that doesn't necessarily make him the better player. Rings and awards have no factor. Neither do stats.

Back then, in case you didn't know, defense was much different. Zone defense, one of the most effective defenses in stopping players like Kobe, was illegal back then. Look at how demoralizing zone defense is to Los Angeles (like in the Suns/Lakers series in the 2010 Playoffs). Look at how in every series, on almost every play, Kobe is double or triple teamed.

Have you ever seen Jordan like that? If man-to-man defense was still a requirement, Kobe would score tons more points, so that eliminates the scoring factor. Who knows how much zone defense would have harassed Jordan?

Sure, Kobe has won championships with huge stars on his team, like Shaq, Pau, Lamar, and Ron, but people act like Jordan did it alone.

Scottie Pippen was always with Jordan during his championships. People act like Pippen was as bad as Smush Parker, but he was one of the best defenders in the league, and Jordan and Pippen were considered two of the best perimeter defenders of all time.

Pippen averaged 22 points per game, nine rebounds per game, three steals per game, and seven assists per game in his best years in each stat. In case you were wondering, Pau averaged 19 points per game, nine rebounds per game, three assists per game, 1.7 blocks per game, and 0.5 steals per game.

Not only did Jordan have Pippen, but he also had a great supporting cast of role players, just like Kobe does.

Look at it this way: Kobe has won without Shaq and he has won without Pau, but Jordan never won without Pippen.