Last Updated 04 Jan 2023

A Comparison Between Two NBA Superstars Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant

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"There's Michael Jordan and then there is the rest of us" - Magic Johnson. For years now, numerous people have debated over one simple thing-is Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant the greatest of all time? Watching either one of these superstars play on any given night is nothing less than spectacular and extraordinary. Both 6'6" shooting guards scored a bulk of points, dished out countless assists, and grabbed more rebounds than most centers could. Each player not only made a substantial impact for their franchise, but also more importantly, left a momentous mark on the sport of basketball.

Although both players are nothing short of phenomenal, there could simply only be one greatest player of all time. Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards is the greatest basketball player of all time, due to his amount of points scored, assists made and rebounds grabbed, leadership skills, and championships won, all completed during a very difficult era in basketball. One I reason I strongly believe Michael Jordan is better than Kobe Bryant is due to the fact that Jordan not only scored more points per game than Kobe Bryant, but also was a much more efficient scorer as well.

Coming into the National Basketball Association as a rookie out of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Jordan averaged an outstanding 28.2 PPG (points per game), which shooting 51.5% from the field, a percentage that most veterans cannot even think of shooting. Coming from Lower Merion High School in 1997, rookie Kobe Bryant was only able to score only 8.2 PPG, while shooting at a below-average rate of 38.2% from the field. Two seasons later, Michael Jordan was able to score 37.1 PPG, shooting 48.2% from the field, something a teenager could not even imagine while playing NBA 2K15. 37.1

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PPG still is the highest points per game average by any player in the NBA, with only former center Wilt Chamberlin almost squeaking by with 37.0 PPG in a season. Kobe Bryant on the other hand only scored 19.8 PPG in his 3rd season, while playing almost the same amount of minutes as Jordan played. During his 10th season however, Bryant was able to reach an astounding 35.4 PPG, but still good to surpass the Black Cat. Although Bryant recently passed Jordan on the NBA's all- time scoring list, Jordan played a total of fifteen seasons, while Bryant is in the middle of his nineteenth season.

At the end of his career, Michael Jordan led the league in scoring in ten different season, while so far, the Black Mamba has only led the league in two seasons. Another reason Michel Jordan is the GOAT (greatest of all time), as Detroit Piston guard Brandon Jennings would say, is due to the fact that while he was able to score an unfathomable number of points, he was still able to dish out a respectable number of assists, more than most point guards would at that time. As it is known by many, the main job of a traditional two guard, or shooting guard, in the NBA is to score points for the team.

While Jordan was able to score an amazing amount of points per game, he was still able to average 5.3 APG (assists per game) over his fifteen-season career. So far, Kobe Bryant is only averaging 4.8 assists per game is his nineteenth season in the NBA. In his rookie year, the spectacular Air Jordan was able to average nearly 6.0 APG, while Bryant only averaged about 2. During his career, Jordan was able to reach a maximum of 8.0 APG in the 1988-1989 season, a spectacular accomplishment considering the same he averaged 32.5 PPG! Kobe Bryant's maximum APG so far is 6.9; close, but not close enough.

In Bryant's defense however, he has been playing much better team basketball in the last few years than he ever has. Overall, having a shooting guard like Jordan averaging in the 30s for points and still able to find open teammates that are able to score is nothing short of admirable. Aside from points and assists, rebounding is a crucial part of the game. An offensive rebound for example, can lead to a second chance opportunity for your team. A defensive rebound gives your team possession of the ball, giving you a chance to score.

Over his career, Jordan was able to grab 6.2 RPG (rebounds per game), while Kobe Bryant has only grabbed 5.3 RPG. While shooting guards are not known, as well as not expected, to get rebounds, Michael Jordan did not seem to care. Although grabbing the ball off of the backboard was primarily a center or power forward's task, Jordan was still found in the paint, jumping over and higher than 6'11" or 7'0" players, fighting for the rebound like it was his last opportunity. In 1988-1989, the same season he averaged 8.0 APG as well as 32.5 PPG, he also averaged 8.0 RPG. Kobe Bryant maximum RPG as of now remains at 6.9, still exemplary for a shooting guard however.

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