Who is/was the next Michael Jordan?
Ever since I can remember, sportswriters have been looking for the next Jordan, and there have been a lot of them. Here is a team of the best of the best "next MJ's."
Vince Carter - "The Dunks-Just-Like-Him-With-A-Nice-Jump-Shot-Jordan"
VC was and always will be one of the best dunkers of all time.
I would put his winning NBA Dunk Contest performance right up there with what Jordan used to do. The Honey Dip was a rare, "did he just do that?" moment that only the likes of Jordan's free-throw line dunk and Dwight Howard's sticker on the backboard dunks can give us.
The other thing about Air Canada was that he had a sweet jump shot back in his young Toronto Raptor days, that has seemed to disappear right with our comparison with him to Air Jordan.
Tracy McGrady - "The-Can't-Make-It-Out-Of-The-First-Round-Jordan"
Whether you like T-Mac or not, he was, at one point, the best player in the NBA.
He was a prolific scorer who you only see a couple of times per generation, but unfortunately for him, another pseudo-Jordan, Grant Hill, got injured and could not help him get out of the first round when he was with the Orlando Magic.
Once T-Mac got traded to the Houston Rockers and became second fiddle to Yao Ming, it was the end of his era of trying to be the next Jordan—because MJ was never second fiddle to anyone.
Allen Iverson - "The Point-Guard-Who-Scores-Like-Jordan-Jordan"
Initially, Iverson was not given the title of the "next Jordan," but after that infamous crossover he put on M.J., the acclaim started coming in.
At one point it seemed as if A.I. had a chance to be as prolific of a scorer as Jordan was, but it was just not to be. Iverson eventually started to slow down, and if I had to point to a time in his career when he was no longer thought to be the next great one, it would be right when the next-next Jordan beat him in the NBA Finals.
Kobe Bryant - "The Dominant-Like-Jordan-But-Had-A-Big-To-Help-Jordan"
Kobe has it all to be the next Jordan.
He can score at will, and will stop the other teams' best player on defense. He had some off the court issues, likened to MJ's love to gambling. He even won three championships in a row!
But, when it all comes down to it, I believe that in my heart of hearts that the difference is Shaquille O'Neal, and it will always be Shaq, unless Kobe wins a title without him.
If you look at all of the teams that won championships since Jordan's first, they all have one thing in common, all time great big men. Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaq, Tim Duncan, Ben Wallace (he was the best defensive player in the league at the time), and Kevin Garnett.
Sorry Kobe, you just aren't the next M.J., but we can start calling the new generation the next Kobe's if you like.
Lebron James - "The It's-To-Early-To-Tell-Jordan"
Bron Bron really has all the makings of being the next Jordan.
In this early part of his career he is a high flyer, like Mike, signed a huge contract with Nike, like Mike, overachieving with a low talent team around him, like Mike, and he hasn't quite developed a killer jump shot and is overdependent of driving to the hole, like Mike.
I really think he has the highest potential to be the next MJ, but it is still way too early in his career to tell.
Honorary Mentions: Grant Hill, Isaiah Rider, OJ Mayo
Well, I think the closest thing we will ever have to the next Jordan is currently playing college ball for the Illinois Fighting Illini, Jeff Jordan, MJ's son.
Besides, for that we will never have another player that can be "Jordan" on the court, or even more important off the court.