The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Even after incredible season, Jordan still towers over Bryant

It’s spring time and the NBA playoffs are in full bloom. People are rushing home every night to watch games that they’ve bet on, debated about and possibly even fought over.

As some teams advance and others are eliminated, everyone comes up with their own philosophies and theories as to why some teams lose or why players do this or do that.

Recently, with the demise of the Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff run, everyone has their opinion about Kobe Bryant’s performance, or lack thereof, in the fourth quarter of game seven against the Phoenix Suns.

I’m not going to explore that, but what I will explore, using Game 7 as a catapult, is Bryant’s inferiority to Michael Jordan.

People, especially after this season, love to compare Bryant to Jordan and some say he’s better.

I usually, in an attempt to appease these blind fans, say that he is near Jordan’s level of play. But once I started looking at numbers and achievements, I realized that Bryant is nowhere near what Jordan was as a player.

First of all, Jordan’s psyche is unparalleled. Don’t get me wrong, Bryant has the killer instinct that Jordan does. You can see it in his shot attempts. But what Kobe lacks is the pure love of the game.

What do I mean?

Jordan’s love for the game and winning was never questioned. He always gave his all, we knew that. But Bryant’s love has been questioned. Look at the game against the Suns. People-including Charles Barkley-felt like Kobe cared more about his ego than about winning the game.

Bryant only shot three times the second half. Some may use the fact that he was triple-teamed as an excuse, but has that stopped him from shooting before?

Remember also when Bryant threatened to leave Los Angeles if Shaquille O’Neal stayed? Jordan may have had disagreements with teammates, but his loyalty to his team was never questionable, especially based on personal issues.

These are reasons based on what the players bring to the game on a personal level, but in the realm of production on the court, Jordan far exceeds Bryant’s play.

Up to now, Bryant has yet to be considered for the defensive player of the year award. Jordan was. Bryant has just won one scoring title-Jordan won 10.

Bryant hasn’t led the league in steals yet. Jordan has and been on the All-Defensive First Team nine times.

The number of championships easily support Jordan, but that brings up the rebuttal that Bryant’s supporters in this argument will bring up: Bryant had O’Neal and he came out of high school-it took him a while to develop, especially when he didn’t start right away.


I’ll give this to Bryant: scoring 81 points is incredible and against odds he took the Lakers to the playoffs without O’Neal. But his ego is his worst enemy.

Barkley never questioned Jordan’s drive. Neither did anyone else who played with him or watched him play.

The numbers prove it and the attitude on and off the court shows that Jordan is still the best player of all time and unless Bryant accomplishes never before seen feats over the remainder of his career, he is still just another comparison that just doesn’t match up.

Ontay Johnson can be reached at

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