Saturday, June 19, 2010

The NBA...Where Jordan is still the G.O.A.T.

Emerging from all the excitement of Kobe Bryant capturing his 5th championship ring is the long time debate whether or not he has taken Michael Jordan's title of greatest player to ever play the game. I thought I would take a little time to give my input on this subject.

First let's look at the players themselves. Offensively, their skill-sets are very similar. Both possess elite athleticism (at least in their younger years) accompanied with extremely high basketball IQ. Both players also possessed a seemly unstoppable mid-range shot which they could both get off at will. To Kobe's credit, I think it's safe to say that he definitely has more range on his jump shot and is a better 3 point shooter. Michael took a long time to develop a 3 point shot and it was never as effective as Kobe's. Michael however had a much stronger body and was a better post player and finisher around the rim. So in terms of offensive capabilities, I think that it is a draw.

Defensively, however, is a different story. Although Kobe has many accolades praising his defensive prowess, his defense as a whole is vastly overrated. He is an elite off-ball defender using his length and IQ to disrupt passing lanes but his lack of physicality limits his on ball effectiveness. Michael on the other hand was a much better on ball defender using his strength and physical tools to shut down opponents.

Another similar trait both players possessed is their on court demeanor. Both Kobe and Michael were equally competetive and have been know to lash out at under-performing teammates. I think the difference in this situation is Michael's harsh words definitely motivated his teammates more while Kobe alienated his (more so in earlier in his career).

Overall the numbers support my conclusion. Michael Jordan was a five time MVP. Kobe has one (which in my opinion he didn't deserve. Chris Paul had the better season). Michael Jordan was the defensive player of the year in 1988; a feat Kobe has not achieved. And the stat that everyone counts the most, Michael Jordan won six titles going 6-0 in the finals while being the MVP in each series. Kobe has won five but has a 5-2 record and has only two finals MVPs. Although it's a fun topic to debate the facts clearly support that Michael Jordan still holds the title of the G.O.A.T.

Agree? Disagree? Lemme know!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jordan > Kobe. It's not a debate. Just because you didn't witness Jordan or can't remember doesn't mean it didn't happen. Kobe's not even the greatest Laker. Kareem? Magic? Jerr West? Hell, even Shaq?