Sunday, June 14, 2009

In Defense of Kobe Bryant (vs. Michael Jordan)

A few quick NBA stats comparing Kobe Bryant with Michael Jordan:
By the age of 30, Michael Jordan won his first 3 rings.
By the age of 30, Kobe Bryant has already won 4 rings (will be true in just a matter of days...)

Michael Jordan appeared in 6 NBA Finals series.
Kobe Bryant has already appeared in 6 NBA Finals series.

Michael Jordan is a 3-time NBA All-Star Game MVP.
Kobe Bryant is already a 3-time NBA All-Star Game MVP, one of which he shared with Shaquille O'Neal.

Michael Jordan was selected to the All-NBA team 11 times.
Kobe Bryant was already selected to the All-NBA team 11 times.

Michael Jordan was selected to the NBA All-Defensive team 9 times.
Kobe Bryant was already selected to the NBA All-Defensive team 9 times.

Michael Jordan's most points in a game was 69.
Kobe Bryant's most points in a game was 81.
I'm not sayin' Kobe is better than Jordan. I won't deny that Michael Jordan still retains more MVP titles, scoring leader titles, championships, and possesses superior career stats. Still, I'm just sayin'... :D

Update: The homie Don Cannon co-signs and calls HHIR one of his favorite blogs!

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  1. i'm all for being great, "but be careful of comparing one variable with the population that is not representative of said variable.

    amanda via goodwill

  2. she's just saying

  3. but did u also mention the MJ had a 2 year break in his career?

  4. my bad...that MJ had a 2 year break in his career,came back and won again 3 titles?

  5. it comes down to eras. mj- the athletic 2guards were drexler and harper and after that we start talking about the ehlo and tripucka type of players. i can't begin to list the names of athletic 2guards in the league today. just know that mj played against great teams and kobe is playing against good teams with great players. kobe is better in my book if you were to have them compete. jaidey32

  6. And still with all that... Air Jordan hands down...not even close.

  7. Ivan u lose once again Jordan>>>>>>>>Kobe

  8. Ivan, come on...
    This is bordering on stannery.

  9. Read the last sentence! I never said Kobe was better than Jordan. I was just drawing some comparisons and pointing out examples of how Kobe has already either matched Jordan's accomplishments or surpassed them (and Kobe still has a LOT of time left in the league).

  10. I totally see where you coming from. What makes it hard to swallow is that:

    Michael Jordan never acted like a bitch.
    Kobe Bryant acts like a whiny little bitch when he doesn't get his way.

    Michael Jordan wasn't a ball hog.
    Kobe Bryant, don't get me started.

    Again, not hating, I'm a Laker fan too and tonight it's all over!

  11. Michael Jordan wasn't a ball hog? At one point he scored a season average - let me say that again, season average - of 37 points per game. Again, 37 points per game. If that's not a ball hog, then I don't know what is...

    In the past few years, especially after the Pau trade, Kobe has switched up his style and they're winning mainly because he's become a great teammate and dime dropper.

    And calling Kobe a whiny bitch is subjective. I could say that Jordan's decision to drop the basketball and go play baseball was a bitch move too. Couldn't I? ...

  12. ...and so was coming back to play for the Wizards. :P

  13. No Ivan, you are saying Kobe is better than MJ. Lol!

  14. I'm really not!

    ...I'm just sayin'!





  16. Gasol will get the MVP if the lakers Rap up the finals

  17. You can't forget that Kobe has been playing in an era without the handcheck. If Kobe played back in Jordan's day, he would be pushed all over the court. But now because of Stern and Stu Jackson's disguisting rules, the game is so much more soft than it ever was that he can drop so many points. You are quoting a lot of offensive statistics but this would be like comparing a baseball player who is in Coors field to someone that plays in a pitcher's park like Petco park. Kobe's stats are inflated because of the era that he plays in.

    Furthermore, Kobe's first three titles while he was with Shaq. While Pippen was a great player; you can't compare him to one of the top 5 big men in the history of the NBA.

    Also, Jordan decison to go to baseball was on the hells of his father's murder. James Jordan always wanted to see his son play baseball and this was even Jordan's best sport during his younger years until he had his growth spurt.

  18. congrats ivan and rest of lakers fans!!! i like kobe more than lakers but i am happy to see 24 get a ring. i'm interested in hearing the next argument about how kobe is not great. BOZO-speaking of bitch moves...shaq wants to be with LBJ... need i say more??? i'm not coming at you bozo but i just was curious to see opinions on shaq and cavs. jaidey32

  19. It wasn't just Pippen. Rodman - defensive demon, Kerr - jumpshot expert; Luc Longley - underrated big man; Kukoc - stealth forward.

    Jordan always had a better supporting cast than Kobe ever did, especially for Jordan's last 3 rings.

    The handcheck excuse is nothing more than that - an excuse. I could say the fact that they added one extra game in the playoffs and rearranged the finals schedule changed things. But nah.

  20. Where did it say shaq wanted to be LBJ??? the Suns have the option to trade Shaq if they want to o yea i forgot Jordan>>>>>>>>>>>>Kobe

  21. Hand-check is in no way an excuse. Bill Simmons, the best basketball writer talked about this. It pointed out how there is no way you can compare the statistical rankings between MJ's 88 season vs. atheletes of today because of the new interpretations of flagrants and the hand-check. Watch a few youtube clips of the bad boys putting Jordan to the floor on a drive. Today if Nene, Artest or Dwight breathes wrong on Kobe they get suspended for a game.

    You can't talk about Kobe and Shaq's teams with Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, Lindsey Hunter and Brian Shaw were a much deeper team than anything that Jordan and Pippen had to work with.

  22. Now you just sound like a Kobe hater.

    We can agree to disagree.

    Again, I'm not saying Kobe is better than Jordan.

    I'm just... sayin' :D

  23. Ok, I am a little disgruntled because I am a Celts fan and I saw Russell on the stand with them. Props to you and the Lakers on number 15. But what's up with Phil Jackson looking like he aged twenty years in the past year?

  24. BEN... you seem to be a realist. do you feel that when mj and pippen were getn rings that there was as much talent in the game as today? i'm sure we can find a couple of good teams from then but several. when ppl compare 24 and 23, most of the time they get caught up on everything that he has accomplished like changing the sneaker game and drawing fans from asia. of course he has some great numbers and you cannot deny that. i truly think 24 can do alot of things better than 23.

  25. 81>69 and you don't have to be Will Hunting to know that. the student can one day be smarter than the teacher if the student masters what the teacher is teaching and gets knowledge elsewhere. with this being a hip hop site, jay said it best. if i aint betta than big then i'm the closest one. i have argued mcgrady vs 24, lbj vs 24 but the only argument is mj vs 24!!!

  26. dude the by the age of 30 is bullshit since MJ got a college education.

  27. @Sonny: The only reason why age matters is not the point at which they started in the NBA, but rather the point at which they finished. Odds are, Kobe will probably retire at around the same age that MJ did. Only then can their careers be compared. Kobe has enough time to surpass MJ's ring count by the time he reaches retirement age. That's the point.

    @jaidey: Amen! There's definitely much more competition nowadays. Back in the days, you only needed 1 or 2 good/great players to win. Nowadays, you need an entirely solid team.

  28. I think that you are starting to forget some of the good teams from the 80s to the mid 90s. The Heat with Zo, Hakeem "The Dream" and the Rockets, the Suns with Barkley and KJ, back when Kidd ran the show with Mashburn on the Mavs, Big Dog Robinson and Sam Cassell on the Bucks. How how about Reggie Miller with Schrempf and Smits on the Pacers. Rik Smits would beat the pants off of Zydranus bad feet, crazy long name. Mark Price when the Cavs were first good. Larry Johnson when he used to dominate with the Hornets; that man had some good post moves. What about the Rainman and G.P. on the supersonics. The Bad Boys of Detroit that featured Isiah and Dumars with their dirty big men. Or the team that Shaq first dominated with and the man everybody first compared to Jordan, Penny Hardaway. Yea he never lived up to that hype but that's because like Grant Hill, his greatness was cutdown to injuries. I could go on to mention other great teams of these eras but I think that is enough, right jaidey?

    Part of the problem is that people forget about the past great teams. This is kind of like when VH1 puts up their best of lists and you get people like Cam'ron's Oh Boy that is featured above They Remiminsce Over You. Somehow the past greats get forgot about because we like to diminish their feats to view our generation's atheletes as the best.

    Bottomline is Kobe is great and so is Jordan.

  29. Forgot one point, most people measure NBA players careers by games Ivan and not their age. One of the plateaus is 1000 games. After that players usually start to hit the downslide because it is so much wear and tear on their bodies. In College, you play a fraction of these games. So Kobe had more time in the league with games then M.J. did at the same point. He is now somewhat past this mark at like 1200 games played. It will be interesting to see how is legs hold up in the next few seasons or will the games start to catch up with him. This is why we saw Garnett get put on the shelf for so much of the season even at 31 years old.

  30. BEN, you are makng my point and Ivan's point as well. let's be honest with each other. can you seriously name the 3rd best player on that "great" sonics team or "great" pacers team. to call those two teams great is a stretch. to call bucks with sam cassell and glen robinson great is a crime. the more that i think about it, that mediocre bucks team was only good one year. that was 2001 and they lost to mvp iverson. the pistons weere a great TEAM. honestly did they have a player that had a chance to stop jordan. jordan was 6-6 198lbs. not many players at that size could do have the things that mj could do. nowadays if you are not 6-6, then you better be a very special talent to play 2guard. when i say special i mean iverson type. imagine if kobe was guarding by ehlo, then he would have scored 65 easy. nowadays we have 6-9 or above players that can do what mj's era 6-3 players were doing. last night i saw at least 4 players that fit that category. gasol, odom, lewis and turk. honestly, you cannot compare the two. mj could come down and shoot any shot that he wanted. if kobe took 3 questionable shots without getting shaq then a timeout was to follow.

  31. Jaidey, I think that you are missing the point here. Of course, it is easier to remember the players of on the roster today because they are fresh in our mind. Although time will tell, if we remember their achievements as well as we can.

    However, you seem to want to hear about the other players on some of those teams. Supersonics had a very deep team in the 90s with Gary Payton, Kemp, Nate McMillan, Hershey Hawkins, Sam Perkins and Detlef Schrempf. You don't remember these names because they weren't able to overcome Jordan's Bulls but they were a very good team.

    As for the Magic, we saw a dismal performance from their team with Rashard Lewis dying in those playoffs and Dwight Howard looking very unpolished. In a few years, will we remember the name of Rashard Lewis? Also, you should read the Sports Guys most recent article because even though Kobe averaged great numbers his shooting percentages were pretty dismal in Game 3 and 4.

  32. two things Jordan retired early which lowered his possibiltiy of getting more rings and more awards... secondly They are not equal watch jordan and then watch kobe in his later years jordan was slower and he got more calls in his favor due to his stardom... Currently Kobe gets more calls due to his stardom... They both earned everyone of their championships regardless but remember when jordan pushed that jazz guard's knee and shot that jumper on him... that's called favoritism which is what him and kobe both get from refs.. Kobe is the best now MJ was the best ever... he definitely couldn't handle him in his prime Phil Jackson has said it b4

  33. Ben is kicking knowledge... and calling luc longley underrated is hilarious. Kobe mos def had more support than jordan. you must not have been around back then. kick that knowledge

  34. Longley, to a lesser extent, was much like Pau Gasol in that he was an unselfish team mate he filled the spot as a role player. Kinda like a Greg Ostertag. Not a big name, but a big role to fit into.

    That was my point.

    Again, for the bajillionth time, though I like to incite a lively discussion, I'm not saying Kobe is better than MJ.

    I'm just sayin'... :D

  35. And yes, I was following basketball back then.

  36. Ivan... when you compare luc to pau it is unsat. i did read your disclaimer"to a lesser extent, but still...pau is top 5 when comparing robins. meaning mj is batman and pippen is robin. shaq batman and kobe robin. i cant think of a better "robin" besides pippen and kobe.
    Ben-kobe has to have more support than mj bcuz of the talent in the league today. don't fool yourselves like mike's teams would walk through these playoffs today. you mentioned sonics. i will give you gpayton, skemp and detlef. perkins was decent but nothing to write home about. what do you think would happen if kobe had to face hershey hawkins(bradley univ)? i threw in the college to let you know that i was deep into hoops even as a youngster. when you mention these alleged great teams, i see you trying to convince me that some average players were better than they really were. detlef was good bcuz he could play 4 positions. NEWSFLASH... odom can play 4 positions but no one wants to say he is great. i dont see how you cant see that todays league has more talent. i guess that when you mention that great pacers team you want to include chuck person, antonio davis and dale davis also??? i find that to be a stretch...

  37. BEN-i am not going to say that his shooting percentage was great. no one can deny he made some tough shots. i saw mj shoot 31 shots against utah and finished the game with 37pts. you do the math. here is what i find funny...lewis and howard dominated cavs. nobody said it was bcuz they were scoring on delonte west(6'3", maybe) and big z and varajao. odom (6'10") and pau and bynum along with a lot of length from helpside defenders had nothing to do with lewis dying and howard looking unpolished. speaking of lewis he is far better than detlef and he too can play 4 positions. bottom line is that today's athletes are faster, stronger and more talented that yesteryears players.

  38. Sam Perkins was more than a decent player in his earlier career. Take a look at his stats and you will see that at a point he was dropping 16 and 8. That's a bit more than decent in my book.

    Also, I don't know if we were watching the same series because Rashard Lewis was extremely inconsistent. When a guy who you pay above 100 mill goes for 6 points in game 4, that is unexcusable. Maybe he can play 4 positions but they would all be subpar when he can only give you 6 points. Kobe from Game 3 to 4 missed 31 of 46 shots. So if your math is correct, then they are both some of the worst players in the history from what you are trying to prove.

  39. Didn't the Lakers play Sam Perkins when they won their 2000 ring? Yeah, I thought so... :D

  40. BEN-i like you. you seem to be somewhat of a historian. i see myself as one as well. of course lewis' game 4 performance was terrible. don't quote me the game but i know for a fact that patrick ewing had one point in playoffs against rik smits. please don't take this to mean that smits was a great defender/ player. smits was really good for his time. i think we can both agree that ewing is one of the better centers that have played in the last 25yrs. perkins was really good in college. he was slightly above average in the league.

  41. Anonymous said...
    but did u also mention the MJ had a 2 year break in his career?

    he also forgot to mention that kobe didnt start his first two season and he's being compared to MJ who never had to share his team like kobe did

  42. the lakers won the title on my b-day :D June 14!

  43. 200 steals/100 blks in a season (2x), 3,000 pts in a season, 6 mvp finals, 5 mvps, DPOY, avg 50% in fg%, 10 consecutive scoring title. Until kobe is able to do do these things, MJ will always be the best period.

  44. MJ's 14 seasons > KB's 14 seasons

    jordan > kobe

  45. It's difficult to compare eras and all you can do is compare stats. Yes Jordan scored more points but he also had more shots and the Bulls took more shots than the Lakers so the stats can get a bit obscured here's a breakdown it:

    I still think Jordan is better but slightly

  46. kobe bryant is the greatest in the world M.J nor Lebrone Jame can mess with the black momba

  47. im going to agree with ivan kobe is the best in the gane ever noone can mess with him he is a fenom the black momba he is unstopable he will get more dan 6 championships

  48. Kobe came in the league at a younger age!!!

  49. Sup Ivan, I know you didn't say Kobe was greater than Jordan. But these things you pointed out were some of the most useless, info ever.

    First off... we can't compare championships by age. Kobe was lucky enough to get drafted onto a contending team that already had Prime Shaq, Van Exel, Rox, Eddie Jones and others. And they landed Phil Jackson with all his experience in a few years. So yeah.. Kobe already had the benefit of playing with a prime shaq right away as a rookie.

    Jordan was drafted onto a bottom feeding lottery team that had a horrible lineup. And he had to build this team into a champion from scratch. Even when they were winning titles, he never had the luxury of playing with a dominant bigman like Kobe is now and before.

    The same thing goes with how many finals appearance for the age. Like what was mentioned above. Kobe was drafted onto a great team already. Otherwise we'd be saying Magic is better than Mike too cause he was drafted onto a great team with Kareem as a rookie and started winning young.

    And Kobe was only selected to the All Defensive "First" team 5 times. Not 9. So you'll have to check your facts on that one. Not to mention really Kobe probably didn't deserve most of those first team defensive selections. As he's not even the best defender on his team right now. And in the league before. Battier, Artest, Bowen are all hands down better defenders than Kobe.

    When Mike played he was reknowned as the greatest perimeter defender in nba history. And won Defensive Player of the Year award. An Award that normally only goes to bigmen. Kobe was never even remotely mentioned at all for such an award.

    Let's look at some more useful stats shall we? We all know about the usual ones like Jordan's far superior scoring average and his far superior FG %. Also we know about how Mike's better at rebounds, assists, steals, blocks. And is a better post and inside player.

    But let's talk about Play off dominance.

    Career "Playoffs" 40+ pt games:

    Jordan: 38
    Kobe: 11

    Career Playoffs 50 pt games:

    Jordan: 8
    Kobe: 0 (i'm quite sure kobe never scored 50 in a game in the playoffs. Correct me if i'm wrong)

    But yeah.. it's pretty obvious we're talking about a different level of dominance and consistency here between these two guys. Especially in the playoffs.

  50. Ivan.... Kobe was drafted onto a contending team with a Prime Shaq. And Jordan was drafted onto a bottom feeding lottery team and had to build the team from scratch. So most of those numbers you mentioned are useless. Kobe wasn't even the finals MVP for the first 3 titles, which already says a lot.

  51. Kobe da bosssssssss bitch

  52. what a crappy comparison, the worst.... maybe the worst ever....

    You can use the fact that Kobe came in the league when he was 18 in favour of Kobe or against him, which ever you want.... But whatever lets have a look at your points...

    Rings; what age has got to do with it? If you look at how many years Kobe is in the leaugue compared to Jordan then he should have had even more rings than that. More important he wasn't even finals MVP this first three seasons, that says it all.... First three rings were won by Shaq.....

    Finals apearences; wtf? You can appear in so many it is the results that counts. If so bring Robbert Horry in as the best player ever :S

    NBA All-Star Game MVP; you got to be kidding me right!? Thats a fun game! You bring that in deciding whos the better player??? Redicalous!

    All-NBA team teams; how many years jordan has been in the league, how many kobe!?

    Most points in a game; that is probably the most funny argument all you Kobe fans use to decide who is the better play, unbelievable!!! So you take ONE game vs 10 scoring titels (kobe one)!!! WTF, are you serious??? And almost 5 more points a game on career average? There is not even a comparison possible...

    I know all younger NBA fans want to take part in history by supporting a player that is active now, but seriously you babys, go and have a look in the stat and look at the stats that count... And look at the time they've both did it in.... Kobe is a great player but still even at this point in his career he will never be better then Jordan, not even if he wins number six this year! He should have done it already earlyer....

    If he continues to play he might break some more records, but then again, he'll be playing for 20 years in the league by then....

    JORDAN is the best ever! Period!
    No continue the Kobe vs Lebron issue if you may like...