While many believe LeBron James is Michael Jordan's closest competitor in terms of being the greatest basketball player of all time, MJ ranked another all-time great ahead of King James on Monday.
According to Bay Area HQ (via Ryne Nelson of Slam Online), Jordan placed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant ahead of LeBron on his personal list when asked about it during his Flight School camp in Santa Barbara, California:
"Would I rank LeBron over Kobe in terms of best of all time? No. There's something about five that beats three. Now he may be better than that, but Kobe won five championships. LeBron won three."
Jordan won six championships during his illustrious career, and although he was the featured player on all of those teams, he received plenty of help from the likes of Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and others.
The same can be said for Bryant and James, as Kobe's first three titles were aided by Shaquille O'Neal, and LeBron has teamed with the likes of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love over the years.
Bryant has the advantage over James in terms of championships at five to three, as well as All-Star nods at 18-13.
In terms of career averages, however, LeBron's 27.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists best Kobe's 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists.
Also, James has won four regular-season MVP awards and three NBA Finals MVP awards, whereas Bryant has one and two, respectively.
LeBron has also reached seven consecutive NBA Finals, which is a feat neither Jordan nor Bryant achieved.
While Jordan didn't expand on his list of all-time greats, no player has won more championships than Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell and his 11, which is a total that may never be equaled.