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If Michael Jordan Never Was, Would Kobe Bryant Be Considered the Greatest Ever?

Grant TaylorCorrespondent IIAugust 4, 2011

Michael Jordan is undeniably the greatest basketball player to ever play in the NBA. He had the heart of a champion and led his Bulls to six titles in eight years (including two three-peats).

Kobe Bryant been arguably living under Mike's shadow. The superstar shooting guard has brought home five titles for the Lakers and is still considered a mere copy of Jordan.

So one has to wonder, if Jordan never was, or if he chose baseball over basketball, would Kobe be considered the greatest ever?

There are countless similarities between the two.

They both play shooting guard, are amazingly clutch and they both have the heart of a champion, combining for 11 NBA titles.

But there are also some glaring differences between them.

Kobe has been known to take more shots, try to emulate past NBA players and seemingly always has the ball in the fourth quarter (whether it hurts the Lakers or not).

But if Jordan was never there to show us something better, would Kobe's legacy be greater?

I think the answer is obvious: yes, it would.

Would he be considered the greatest of all-time? I'm not so sure about that. You have to take into account what countless other players could've done without Jordan. (Hakeem Olajuwon gave us a glimpse in 1994 and 1995).

So, to find the answer, you have to look at the big picture. NBA stars that could never get past Jordan and the Bulls, as well as what would have happened to the league without Jordan's influence are both variables you have to take into consideration.

So, would Kobe be the greatest ever? There is a good chance, but there are no guarantees.

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