Friday, June 18, 2010
For real basketball fans only
After watching the Lakers repeat as NBA champions the talk immediately turned to talks of Kobe Bryant’s legacy. More to the point, the innevitable comparisons to Michael Jordan began anew. The biggest knick on Kobe right now appears to be that he is not as good as Michael Jordan. Well, who is? Jordan is the greatest player in the history of the league, and to use it as a negative when comparing the two is to diminish the impact that Jordan had on the league.
While there have been athletes who made more of a social impact such as Ali, Jim Brown or Jackie Robinson, Jordan was the first commercial athlete. A crossover star that had fans who didn't even follow basketball. Before Jordan the league was star driven, but those stars had to have a nemesis. The biggest stars of course being Magic and Bird. They saved the NBA from tape delay hell and put it back on primetime. But it was Jordan who’s style of play and his marketing of himself off the court is what took the game global. We all grew up wanting to be like Mike, and Kobe is no different. He grew up emulating the man, and honestly why hate him for that? He’s the closest facsmilie to Jordan the league has ever seen, but he is not the original. And that’s not a negative.
After a game 6 loss it was rumored Bryant went on a tirade against his teammates. It was said Jordan would never do that. Wrong, Jordan went off on teammates all the time. Remember when he punched Steve Kerr in the eye for beating him a game of 21 in practice? Constantly referring to Toni Kukoc as soft? Even forcing guys to play poker with him until he won. The two are wired the same. Jordan is just better. Period.
The question I pose to the Kobe haters is this, your life is on the line. Who would you rather have with the ball in their hand? If he’s not the one, he’s definitely in the conversation. Skp Bayless has gone on haraungs recently stating Jordan never needed a game 6. True. But we’re not talking about Jordan, were talking about Kobe.
The talk of his 5 titles aren’t as impressive as Jordan’s six, it’s more like two. No, it’s five and guess what he was one of the main reasons they won five.
You can’t measure a player’s greatness by the amount of rings he has. If that’s the case Rusty Larue is a better player than Jerry West. And no disrespect to Mr. larue but Jerry West is the logo, the fact he won no rings does not diminish his greatness it just shows how hard it is to win a title.
I guess the point of this whole rant is, if you hate Kobe, fine. But to knock him because he’s not Michael Jordan is ridiculous and it shows a lack of knowledge of the greats of the game. He’s the best player right now, not all-time. And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that.