Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan: Kobe Never Gonna Be Like Mike?

Sipan MathevosianContributor IIOctober 30, 2010

This is not another article comparing Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.  We all know that the entirety of the basketball world tends to consider Air Jordan as the greatest player of all time. This is, instead, speculation, into one simple question....

Since when does not being Michael Jordan cripple one's status as a player?

Why is the phrase, "He's no Jordan" a fair argument in describing Kobe Bryant as a poor or overrated player?

OK...so that was two questions, but you get the point.

Again, most of the basketball world considers Jordan to be the greatest ever.  Wouldn't this mean that every player is "no Michael Jordan?" Doesn't this diminish the greatness of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird,  Bill Russell, Jerry West, and every other legend who graced the hardwood?

No, it doesn't.

But for some reason it is one of the biggest knocks on Kobe, by countless reporters, columnists, and Bleacher Report readers. 

Kobe Bryant is no Michael Jordan.  Obviously!

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They are two different players from two different eras who have similar games and the same desire to win.  That's it.

Since when was it not enough to be a champion? Since when was is not enough to be the hardest working player in the league?  Since when was it not enough to bring it every single night?  Since when was it not enough to be in the conversation?  Since when was having undying respect and love for the game not enough?

Apparently, when you're Kobe Bean Bryant.

But why?

Is it because his game is eerily similar to Michael's?  Because his game replicates Michael's?  Because his swagger is like Mike's? 

Why wouldn't it be? Why wouldn't you try to copy the best of the best that came before you? It's not like Kobe is a carbon copy of Jordan.  He draws his skills from Jordan, Baylor, West, Hakeem and countless other Hall-of-Famers.  The guy has also done some things on the floor that nobody before him ever did.

Is it because the media dubbed him the heir (Air) apparent?  

Michael Jordan revolutionized the game not only by what he did on the court, but by what he did off it.  He became the face of the NBA, the face of Nike, the face of the marriage of pop culture and sports.  He was the "moment of creation" for the NBA's evolution toward individual superstars as opposed to superstar teams.  In the pre-Jordan era, nobody ever would have posed the argument that Kobe would never win without Shaq. 

So, does not being Michael Jordan cripple Kobe's status as a player?

It doesn't...at least not for me. 

Enjoy the game.  Enjoy basketball.  Enjoy your favorite players. Enjoy your favorite teams.  I know it's fun to create all-time lists and speculate where you think a certain player ranks in comparison to other players, but just know this...

When arguing where the best players in history rank, the phrase "He's no Jordan" should never hold any water.

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