When comparing Kobe Bryant to Michael Jordan, the deciding factor rarely comes down to on court performances. Normally even for so called " fans of the game" it comes down to perception.
Star Power? Who was more likeable as a person? Who had more impact on the game? Who was the better sportmans? I'm here to tell you ladies and gentleman while all those things make a for a good converstation over chicken fingers and your favorite beer at TGI Fridays, None of it means a thing.
Because when dealing with a argument that is so definite, so based on facts one cannot be moved by perception and strongly stated opinions. Point in case the perception is that, Michael was the better leader between the two, and that he made his team mates better while Kobe struggled.
The reality of this sings another tune altogether, being from Chicago I know first hand that Jordan was not the verbal leader of that team Scottie Pippen was. MJ as great as he was, he was lacking tremdously when it came to patience.
In fits of rage he punched both Will Purdue, and Steve Kerr. Thats is fact. However Jordan being the face of the NBA, it was downplayed to control the "Perception of his image" As a side note nothing in Kobe's career has ever been downplayed.
During his rape case he wasn't depicted as a star athlete that was accuse of rape. much as Ben Rothlisberger was, he was depicted as a rapist that just so happened to be a start athlete. BIG DIFFERENCE.
Another myth is that Jordan was a better husband. What that has to do with which player is better beats me. However to clear up that notion he most certainly was not, the fact is Jordan is DIVORCED, Kobe is still married. Secondly most of Jordans mis-steps went widely unnotice by most of the media.
Jordan was no stranger to infidelity and would go off on ill-advise gambling binges.
Another part of the perception family, its younger but equally unfair little brother that goes by the name of Double Standards.
The double standards of this Jordan vs Kobe debate is Redicolous! According to the consensus for Kobe to be better than Jordan passing Jordan isn't enough, he must do things that Jordan never came close to doing.
For instance it is said he must passed Bill Russell's 11 rings to pass up Jordan, but wouldn't that make him better than Bill Russell in that particular catergory?
It is also said that he must pass up Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in points scored, but again what would that have to do with Michael who doesn't even come close to Kareem?
How is that Lebron James can be considered better than Kobe with 0 rings, but Kobe isn't equal to Magic with 5 and not thought to be on Jordan's heels at the moment.
Jordan was immediately deemed better then Magic after defeating the Lakers for his first ring. But somehow the consensus thinks Kobe will not be better than Jordan when he gets his seventh.
These outlandish statements just show that the publics disdain for Kobe outweighs even there love for MJ.
With the same measuring stick they are using to say Lebron is better than and Kobe isn't better then Jordan. They are saying that Jordan was and never will be better than Magic Johnson, Kareem and Bill Russell.
My perception of it all is, as far as skill set in the begining of their careers Jordan was slightly better and Kobe was more succesfull, In the middle of their careers the skill set was nearly even with the exception of Kobe's deep range ability, but Jordan was more succesfull.
Towards the end of their careers Kobe is looking slightly better than Jordan did, but Kobe's career isn't over it can take a turn for the worse or continue on course.
The truth of it all is yet to made clear beause there are things Kobe still has a chance to do that Jordan failed to i.e is he maintains a 25 point average for 6 more years he will pass Kareem in total points scored.
He also with this team can retire with aleast 8 rings. Will all of that make him better than Jordan? depends on your perception.
My perception is that skill wise he's better than Jordan now, career wise those milesstones will not only make him better than Jordan they will make him hands down the greatest basketball player ever Regardless of perception.