5 Reasons Kobe Bryant Is the Only Michael Jordan Comparison

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IIJanuary 25, 2012

5 Reasons Kobe Bryant Is the Only Michael Jordan Comparison

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    Kobe Bryant has been compared to Michael Jordan seemingly since the moment he slipped on an NBA jersey.

    It's often monotonous, and pointless for that matter, to compare anyone to Jordan, given his status as the undisputed greatest of all time. But Kobe has established himself enough over the last 16 seasons to fairly draw comparisons to M.J.

    Here are five reasons (without any statistics or number crunching) why Kobe Bryant is the only player worthy of being compared to Michael Jordan.

    And remember, I am not saying Kobe is in any way better than Jordan...

5. Michael Jordan Said so Himself

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    It was recently reported Michael Jordan said Kobe Bryant is the only player who deserves a comparison to him.

    If M.J. himself says so, then maybe people who have been comparing the two aren’t as crazy as some think.

4. Both Players Have Experienced the Power of Zen

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    Both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant had the benefit of having Phil Jackson as their head coach in the prime of their careers while playing with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively.

    Not only did Jackson lead the men to a combined 11 championships, but he is also credited with “taming” the two superstars, who both needed a little extra “Zen Wisdom” when it came to trusting their teammates and running the triangle offense, working as the alpha dogs in Chicago and Los Angeles.

    The fact Jackson played such a big role in each man’s life has to count for something. After all, had Kobe not had the benefit of Jackson’s coaching, he may not have the impressive career resume he does today, which means I wouldn’t be making the argument for Kobe as the only player worthy of being compared to Jordan.

3. Kobe Bryant Has Won Numerous Championships

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    Kobe Bryant’s championship history isn’t quite as impressive as Michael Jordan’s. But it's definitely in the same neighborhood.

    M.J. retired with six rings, while Kobe currently has five. Also, M.J never lost in the NBA Finals, and Kobe has lost twice on the game’s biggest stage.

    Had Kobe never won a championship, or only won three working as Shaquille O’Neal’s sidekick for that matter, the Kobe vs. Jordan comparisons wouldn’t be nearly as heated or valid today.

2. Kobe Bryant Has the Same Icy, Win-at-All-Costs Competitiveness M.J. Exhibited

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    There have been plenty of great players, both past and present, who are considered to be a little more competitive than your average superstar.

    But of all the players, who I have had the benefit to watch anyways, I have never seen two players as competitive as Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

    I think Kobe and Jordan would do anything, in a basketball sense of course, to help their teams win a ball game.

    Also, M.J. and Kobe have played through enough injuries throughout their respective careers that would have had your average NBA player in an expensive suit on the bench.

1. Kobe Bryant Has Stood the Test of Time

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    Since Kobe Bryant entered the NBA in the fall of 1996, his comparisons to Michael Jordan have been plentiful.

    The fact we are still making the comparison in 2012, with Kobe nearing the end of his career, and Jordan having been retired for nine seasons, is proof enough Kobe is the only player worthy of all the Michael Jordan comparisons.

    Look at the other players (Harold Miner, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Darius Miles) who have been compared to Jordan throughout the years. In hindsight, it almost seems comical, because the players’ careers didn’t turn out as successful as originally thought.