By: Taren Vaughan
The Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan comparison has been going on for years now as sports fans, analysts and athletes alike can’t keep themselves from dissecting the careers and skills of both players. And as commentators, fans and other basketball greats have shared their thoughts when it comes to the Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan comparison, Legendary coach Phil Jackson, who is arguably one of the best, if not the best, professional basketball coach of all time, offered an interesting perspective on Kobe and Michael in his new memoir ‘Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success’. And while Phil Jackson has remained tight-lipped when it comes to voicing his opinion on which one is the better player between Kobe and MJ, he has officially broken his silence on the topic and had a few things to say about the Black Mamba’s leadership skills in comparison to Air Jordan’s.
Phil Jackson writes:
“One of the biggest differences between the two stars from my perspective was Michael’s superior skills as a leader. 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.
“If Bryant talked to teammates in his earlier Lakers years, it was usually, “Give me the d*mn ball.” But then Kobe started to shift. He embraced the team and his teammates, calling them up when we were on the road and inviting them out to dinner. It was as if the other players were now his partners, not his personal spear-carriers.”
Kobe Bryant however feels that comparing him to Michael Jordan period is like comparing apples to oranges because they were just that different from each other in terms of career paths and the teammates that they played with:
Now, I usually don’t serve up my opinion on things but I will say that I feel that it’s natural to compare Kobe Bryant to Michael Jordan, or LeBron James to Kobe Bryant, because of the incredible amount of talent that they all bring/brought to the game of basketball. But when it all comes down to it, I think Kobe, LeBron and Michael are all stars in their own right and are (or will become) legendary.
What are your thoughts on the Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan comparison? Is it a valid one?
Speak on it.