Sports, Uncategorized

Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan

As Kobe Bryant is wrapping up his illustrious career, the debate between him and Michael Jordan is starting to come about again. Who is better? Well, in a nutshell, unfortunately for Kobe fans, there is little to no evidence to even suggest now that he is a better player than Jordan. There is no disputing that both players are great, but Kobe does not and will never come close to being as great as Jordan. Why? Lets look at the numbers.
It is all about the championships. This is what is most looked at to measure how great a player was. Obviously it is not everything as Derek Fisher, who has had a mediocre career has 5 championships and no one (rightly so) looks at him as possibly being the greatest player ever. Kobe Bryant is at 5 championships which is only one less than Jordan. One would think one more championship should put him at Jordan’s level. This is not the case for many reasons.
Jordan was the best player in all his championship runs not only winning all six of his NBA finals appearances, but also getting MVP all six times. Kobe on the other hand has lost in two of his seven finals appearances and he did not get MVP in three of his five championship wins.
To be the greatest player ever you not only need championships, but you need to be mentally tough in key situations. This is not to say Kobe is not clutch, but his success rate in late game situations may be a bit overrated. Kobe has no real history of being weak in late game situations. He is exactly the kind of player you want taking the last shot. He is mentally tough and always looks forward to making the game winning shot. More importantly in postseason games in the last 25 seconds of a game tying or go ahead situation Jordan shot 57% a leg up from everyone including Kobe who shot 28% (the league average is 27%). As of yet in his career Kobe does not really have that huge shot that everyone will remember. Michael had “the shot” in 1989 against Cleveland and the game winning shot 1998 against the Jazz to win the finals and result in a storybook ending to his career in Chicago.
Lastly, to be the greatest player ever it goes without saying you need the stats which really are not close as Jordan owns Kobe in just about every stat possible. Jordan has averaged more points per game, rebounds per game, and assists per game both in the regular season and postseason. Jordan was also a great defender as he got Defensive Player of the Year once and finished in the top 5 seven other times. Kobe has been a decent defender throughout his career but he only managed to finish in the top 5 once. Since both players for a large part of their careers played in different eras however, the better stats would be those that measure their efficiency on the court. Jordan is better than Kobe in Player Efficiency Rating, Win Shares per 48 minutes, Total Win Shares, Offensive Win Shares, and Defensive Win Shares. For a closer look at what the exact percentages for all of the stats mentioned above will be right below this article.
One last thing to look at in each of the two is leadership. Jordan again is a way better leader than Kobe ever was. Phil Jackson who coached both players was quoted in his new book saying Jordan was a better leader than Kobe. In every phase of the game offensive and defensive Jordan was better than Kobe. Kobe is a great player, but this is hardly a debate anymore. Michael Jordan is a better player than Kobe Bryant.
MVP:
Kobe: 1 – Second in MVP voting once, third in MVP voting three times
MJ: 5 – Second in MVP voting 3 times, third in MVP voting twice
Championships:
Kobe: 5
MJ: 6
Finals MVP:
Kobe: 2
MJ: 6
DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year)
Kobe: 0 – finished 3rd once
MJ: 1 – finished top 5 seven times
Scoring Champion:
Kobe: 2 – led the league in total points scored 4 times
MJ: 10 – led the league in total points scored 11 times
Steals Champion:
Kobe: 0
MJ: 3
Regular Season (per game):
Points per game:
Kobe: 25.5
MJ: 30.1
Rebounds per game:
Kobe: 5.3
MJ: 6.2
Assists per game:
Kobe: 4.8
MJ: 5.3
Steals per game:
Kobe: 1.5
MJ: 2.3
Blocks per game:
Kobe: 0.5
MJ: 0.8
FG%
Kobe: .454
MJ: .497
FT%
Kobe: .838
MJ: .835
3PT%
Kobe: .336
MJ: .327
Turnovers per game:
Kobe: 3.0
MJ: 2.7
(Most Important) Regular Season (on court effieciency):
PER: (Player Efficiency Rating –measure of per minute production)
Kobe: 23.4 (19th all time) – Finished third once, fifth four times and sixth twice
MJ: 27.9 (1st all time) – Finished first seven times, second three times and fourth once
WS/48 (Win Shares per 48 minutes) –estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player per 48 mins – league average is approximately .100)
Kobe: .183 (29th all time) – Finished fourth once, seventh once and 8th in the league four times
MJ: .250 (1st all time) – Finished first eight times, second once and third twice.
Total Win Shares- An estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player
Kobe: 173.33 (14th) – Finished fourth in the league three times and fifth once
MJ: 214.02 (4th) – Finished first in the league nine times and second twice
Offensive Win Shares (Total all time) – An estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player due to his offence
Kobe: 123.84 (9th) – Finished second in the league once and third in the league once
MJ: 149.88 (4th) – Finished first eight times and second three times.
Defensive Win Shares (Total all time) – An estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player due to his defence
Kobe: 49.5 (46th) – Finished tenth in the league once.
MJ: 64.1 (21st) Finished second once, third once, fourth once and fifth three times.
Post Season (per game):
Points per game:
Kobe: 25.6
MJ: 33.4
Rebounds per game:
Kobe: 5.1
MJ: 6.4
Assists per game:
Kobe: 4.7
MJ: 5.7
Steals per game:
Kobe: 1.4
MJ: 2.1
Blocks per game:
Kobe: 0.7
MJ: 0.9
FG%
Kobe: .448%
MJ: .487%
Clutch:
Kobe: 7 for 28 (25%)
MJ: 12 for 21 (57%)
Post Season (on court efficiency):
PER: (Player Efficiency Rating)
Kobe: 22.40 (22nd)
MJ: 28.60
WS/48 (Win Shares per 48 minutes)
Kobe: .1570 (46th)
MJ: .2553
Win Shares (Total all time)
Kobe: 28.26 (8th)
MJ: 39.76
Offensive Win Shares (Total all time)
Kobe: 20.97 (5th)
MJ: 27.32
Leaders (Reg Season): (How many times has each player led the league in…)
PER:
Kobe: 0
MJ: 7
Offensive Win Shares
Kobe: 0
MJ: 8
Win Shares:
Kobe: 0
MJ: 9
Win Shares Per 48 Minutes
Kobe: 0
MJ: 8
NBA Finals Averages
Kobe – 37 games: 25.3ppg, 5.7rpg, 5.05apg, 1.76spg, 0.9bpg, 41.2% FG, 31.3%3pt, 84.7% FT
MJ – 35 games: 33.6ppg, 6.02rpg, 5.97apg, 1.77spg, 0.65bpg, 48.1% FG, 36.8%3pt, 80.6% FT

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