Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan: Season-By-Season Defensive Comparison

Ike MontalboCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2010

Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan: Season-By-Season Defensive Comparison

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    Why he has his tongue out I will never know, but Kobe is in the midst of his 15th season and I do know many people have considered one of the best defensive guards in that time. 

    In the last story we compared KB to MJ going season by season regarding FG% - and we will just explain it this way - when you go up against Mike you better come correct. In FG% Jordan schooled Kobe just about every single season. Even when MJ was 40 he shot a tad higher than Kobe is shooting so far this year at age 32!

    In this story Kobe will see his idols steals and blocks numbers combined and compared to his season by season. Will KB stand up to the man he tried to emulate?

    Let us see about that......... In the number I add steals per game and blocks per game for a total defensive stat average per game. 

Rookie Year: MJ 3.2 Per Game KB 1.0 Per Game

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    When his tongue came out, you knew he would be on fire. When Kobe's tongue comes out...uh...I do not know what that is; but MJ was an amazing defender in his ROY season. Not only did he put in an astonishing 28.2 ppg on 51.5% shooting but he also averaged 2.4 steals and 0.8 blocks per game for a total of 3.2 per game. 

    Kobe didn't play much as a rookie and he averaged 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks for a total of 1.0 per game. MJ recorded more than three times as many defensive stops as a rookie. 

    Advantage: MJ

2nd Season: MJ 3.3 Per Game KB 1.4 Per Game

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    MJ did break his leg in the third game of his second season but he still accomplished an amazing amount in the 18 games he did play. He averaged 2.1 steals and 1.2 blocks per game in only 25.1 minutes a night! He totaled 3.3 defensive stats per game.

    KB played more minutes than MJ at 26.0 but he only averaged 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks. No where in the same league as MJ yet. 

    Advantage: MJ

3rd Season: MJ 4.4 Per Game KB 2.4 Per Game

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    KB averaged 38 minutes a game and 19.9 points to go with 1.4 steals and a career high 1.0 blocks per game. For a guard 1.0 blocks is great, so he was on the right path defensively.

    MJ though was a freaking beast on defense recording for the first time in history 200 steals and 100 blocks in the same season. He averaged 2.9 steals per game and an outlandish 1.5 blocks per game. Also he scored over 3,000 points and averaged 37.1 ppg. WOW!!! WOW!!!

    Advantage: MJ

4th Season: MJ 4.8 Per Game KB 2.5 Per Game

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    In Jordan's 4th season he was named Defensive Player of the Year. he also put in 35.0 ppg on 54% shooting. He averaged an unbelievable 3.2 steals per game and he added an astronomical for a guard 1.6 blocks per game. How could this be possible?

    Kobe did OK on defense for the title winning team in 2000. He averaged 1.6 steals and 0.9 blocks. Shaq was the main defender on the team, and the main scorer. 

    Advantage: MJ

5th Season: MJ 3.7 Per Game KB 2.3 Per Game

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    MJ was still tops in the league in defense, especially for guards. He averaged an awesome 2.9 steals per game to go with 0.8 blocks per game. He also put in 32.5 ppg and 8 reb and 8 assists. This can't be real....yes it can.

    KB was on his way to a second title as Shaq's sidekick; and what a sidekick he was. He averaged 1.7 steals and 0.6 blocks in 41 minutes a night. Well, at least he was scoring 28.5 ppg. 

    Advantage: MJ

6th Season: MJ 3.5 Per Game KB 1.9 Per Game

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    MJ stole it 2.8 times a game to lead the league for the second time and he blocked 0.7 shots a night at 6'5" 200. Nice defense for a guy who averaged 33.6 pts a night.

    KB stole it 1.5 times a game and blocked 0.4 shots a night in the third title win. Shaq was a bad man. Kobe was a good sidekick who added 25.2 ppg. 

    Advantage: MJ

7th Season: MJ 3.7 Per Game KB 3.0 Per Game

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    MJ again averaged 2.7 steals and an outrageous 1.0 block per game for yet another astounding season that led to his first title and first of six Finals MVPs. He added 31.5 pts on 54% shooting. 

    KB had his greatest steals season here in 2003, with 2.2 per game and he also added 0.8 blocks. He put in 30 ppg on 45% shooting. 

    Advantage: MJ

8th Season: MJ 3.2 Per Game KB 2.1 Per Game

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    MJ led his team to a second straight title by leading the league in scoring and adding 2.3 steals and 0.9 blocks in a great season.

    KB averaged 1.7 steals and 0.4 blocks with GP, KM and Shaq on his team, and they didn't win it all? How? Uh...I think it had to do with Detroit's defense.

    Advantage: MJ

9th Season: MJ 3.6 Per Game KB 2.1 Per Game

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    MJ caused a trifecta and it was because of scoring 32.6 ppg AND adding a league leading 2.8 steals per game and 0.8 blocks per game at age 30.

    KB took a dip on defense but he did average 27.6 ppg on 43% shooting. No playoffs without Shaq. 

    Advantage: MJ

10th Season: MJ 2.6 Per Game KB 2.2 Per Game

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    MJ only played 17 games in his comeback at age 32, but he did steal it 1.8 times per game and added 0.8 blocks per game.

    Since KB played the whole season and averaged 35.4 ppg we will give him this one. He also averaged 1.8 steals like MJ did but he only blocked 0.4 shots per game in that season.

    Advantage: KB

11th Season: MJ 2.7 Per Game KB 1.9 Per Game

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    Jordan was back as leading scorer and NBA and Finals MVP at age 33. He also added an awesome 2.2 steals and 0.5 blocks.

    KB averaged 1.4 steals and 0.5 blocks.

    Advantage: MJ

12th Season: MJ 2.2 Per Game KB 2.3 Per Game

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    MJ was Finals MVP again and he averaged 1.7 steals and 0.5 blocks at the old age of 34. 

    KB was at his peak at age 29 and averaged 1.8 steals and 0.5 blocks.

    MJ won in the Finals and KB lost: Jordan was older and an amazing defender in the finals.

    Advantage: MJ

13th Season: MJ 2.2 Per Game KB 2.0 Per Game

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    MJ was 35 and the oldest MVP ever and oldest scoring champ ever but he still managed to steal it 1.7 times a game and add 0.5 blocks. Pretty good for an old man. The old man was Finals MVP and then he retired for four years.

    KB won a title with Gasol and not Shaq. He averaged 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks. Gasol and Bynum were good defenders in the Finals as was Kobe.

    Advantage: MJ

14th Season: MJ 1.8 Per Game KB 1.8 Per Game

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    MJ was 39 years old and he led the Wizards with 22.9 ppg and he added 1.4 steals and 0.4 blocks per game.

    KB was 31 and he averaged 1.5 steals and 0.3 blocks per game.

    MJ and did what he did, but LA won a title so we score it a...

    Advantage: Tie

15th Season: MJ 2.0 Per Game KB 1.3 Per Game

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    At the old age of 40 Jordan became the only player over 40 ever to score 20.0 ppg and over 40 pts in a game, which he did twice. He is also the only Wizard to play all 82 games and he was the defensive mastermind of the otherwise crappy Wizards. He averaged 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks in his very last season.

    KB is putting up alot of shots at age 32 but it seems to be at the expense of defensive output. He is blatantly lax on D this year.

    Advantage: MJ

CAREER: MJ 3.1 Per Game KB 2.0 Per Game

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    Apparently great defense has been defined differently over the last 15 years because when compared to MJ's defense KB falls WAY short. Every single season except when Jordan only played 17 games in his first comeback in 1995 was Jordan better.

    Jordan not only averaged 30.1 points per game for his 15-year career but he was also a defensive mastemng for the guard position that had never been seen before and never been seen since.

    They say Kobe is one of the best defenders of his era....maybe...but not when compared to MJ. 

    When trying to be as good as Mike, like I said before; come correct or do not come at all. 

    In conclusion. I believe Jordan is easily the best scorer ever and probably the best defender ever; FOR sure the best defensive guard ever.