Who is better?
When asked about where Bryant ranks among the all-time great NBA players, Jordan had an interesting take.
"It's hard to say," Jordan said while promoting a video game. "If you were talking about guards, I would say he has got to be in the top 10."
If he was trying to stir things up with his comments, he pulled out the blender.
While Bryant's place in history is subject to debate, he is dangerously close to his Airness's six championship rings and could very well match Jordan come June. No matter how anyone feels about his game, championships speak for themselves. If Jordan's six rings make him the best player ever, five places Kobe in elite territory.
Jordan is clearly right when he says that Bryant is a top 10 guard of all time. His five championships are equal to Magic Johnson's total, and many believe Earvin is one of the top five players ever—possibly the best point guard to put on a uniform.
He has more rings than Larry Bird, Shaquille O'Neal, and Tim Duncan. To say he's a top 10 guard is pretty obvious, even if his road to the rings may have been different than others.
Is Jordan disrespecting Bryant by saying he's only a top 10 guard and not a top 10 player of all time?
Probably, but that's just how Jordan is wired. Just look at his Hall of Fame speech. Instead of thanking people, he made sure everyone remembered each time he beat them. Jordan has never been afraid to alienate others, in order to promote his own position in the game's history.
Meanwhile, Ron Artest recently said that the two toughest players to guard in the NBA are Bryant and Kevin Durant. However, that wasn't the controversial part of the statement.
After mentioning Kobe and Durant, Artest's math skills became self-evident.
"I can only count to two," he said.
It's clearly acceptable to say that Bryant and Durant are the two toughest covers in basketball, but the fact that he refused to even mention LeBron James in the conversation will generate buzz.
The media and fans alike, have made sure the Lakers know the situation in Miami and the defending champs seem to be getting a little annoyed. Championships are not given out in October and the Lakers seem to revel in that fact.
Artest isn't as stupid as he tries to make himself seem. By not including James in his statement, he's taking the passive/aggressive approach to smack talking the NBA's newest paper champion.
The fact remains, that the Lakers are the two-time defending top dogs and will remain there until a new king is crowned. Artest's jabs towards James and the Heat are justified.
His arithmetic? That's another subject.