These two NBA Legends have been drafted 12 years apart and we didn’t witness many of their duels. Imagine that they were playing at the same time, we could see so many great plays, but still, there a couple of great one on one duels.
Michael Jordan is one unique player, living icon of the NBA and Kobe is considered as the player who is the best copy of MJ. Kobe admits that he copied MJ and learned some moves watching His Airness.
Domino effect. I stole some of his..this generation stole some of mine #thecycle
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) October 1, 2013
Many of these duels (they met 8 times) are for Kobe fulfillment of his childhood dreams and for MJ just a regular game, but both of them witnessed greatness in the moment, playing one against other. They played four times when Jordan was a Bull and four times when he was a Wizard. Although this results and stats aren’t representing the real balance of power between them, because in the beginning the Jordan was amazing and Kobe was a young rookie, inexperienced guy and later Jordan was an old basketball player and Kobe was killing it.
Phil Jackson tried to settle the Jordan vs Bryant debate.
“One of the biggest differences between the two stars from my perspective was Michael’s superior skills as a leader,” Jackson said. “Though at times he could be hard on his teammates, Michael was masterful at controlling the emotional climate of the team with the power of his presence. Kobe had a long way to go before he could make that claim. He talked a good game, but he’d yet to experience the cold truth of leadership in his bones, as Michael had.”
Jackson noted the “pronounced” difference in their accuracy, Jordan shooting almost 50% — an “extraordinary figure” — while Bryant had been at 45%.
“No question, Michael was a tougher, more intimidating defender. He could break through virtually any screen and shut down almost any player with his intense, laser-focused style of defense.”
The Jordan vs Bryant debate will be active even when we die for sure. For many it’s MJ, for some it’s Kobe. They played in different eras and in the different teams. They have many similarities, but also many differentials. We should focus on that, we need to say that we witnessed the greatness watching both of them. I am not that old and Kobe was my childhood hero, for older ones it’s MJ and it’s totally normal to love one or other, but we should appreciate both of them.
Heroes come and go, but legends are forever!