I was only old enough to recall Michael Jordan’s second 3-peat but as a sports enthusiast I have studied all of his stats, watched all of the tape on Michael Jordan that I could get my hands on, and on top of all of that I saw him in those last 3 years in Chicago and to this today nothing compares to those 3 years. That last 3-peat were the best 3 years of sports I have ever witnessed. Dominance, that is what Michael Jordan led those Bulls teams to, dominance, the sports world hadn’t seen a dominance like Jordan’s Bulls since John Wooden won 11 championships in 12 years with UCLA.
I love Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, these are to gifted athletes, top 10 all-time NBA players in my opinion, but Michael Jordan is MICHAEL JORDAN! Magic Johnson and Larry Bird took the NBA off of tape delay and made the game more exciting, but Michael Jordan made the NBA what it is today. Michael Jordan was the perfect basketball player, there was nothing he could not do. At 6’6, 220 pounds, he was able to post up bigs, crossover smaller guards, and dunk on/shoot over anyone; not to mention that he was phenomenal on defense.
Now, I have always been a Kobe Bryant fan because he approaches the game much like Michael, he is an assassin, he has an all-time great hunger to win. Kobe Bryant has evolved his offensive game in a way no one (including Michael Jordan) has ever done. Kobe has always been a decent jump shooter but in his early years he was an erratic player, he made more explosive plays. Now, Kobe is more conservative, he has suffered more injuries that Michael ever had. Kobe has become a back-to-the-basket player, his go-to move is the turn around jumper or his signature fade away jumper but Kobe is still always a risk to penetrate to the hole and make an explosive play.
Kobe has won 5 championships, 2 Finals MVPs, won NBA MVP. Kobe is a guaranteed first ballot Hall Of Famer, and he is one of the top 5 NBA players ever in my opinion but he’s not Jordan. He admits that he idolized Jordan growing up and he has developed into a near mirror-image of Michael Jordan. Like Mike, Kobe has a killer instinct and he’s a born leader but what will always be a blemish in the argument of Kobe being better than Jordan is Kobe’s first 3 championships. Michael Jordan has had 6 NBA Finals appearances, 6 NBA Championships, and 6 NBA Finals MVPs. From Kobe’s 7 Finals appearances he has lost 2, and Shaquille O’Neal was the MVP of Kobe’s first 3 championships.
I have witnessed (no pun intended) LeBron James’ entire career, from him being overly ridiculed by the media to him choking in the Finals to him dominating the NBA in a way no one has done since Jordan. LeBron is a physical freak of nature, he is built like Karl Malone, he runs like Derrick Rose, he jumps like Michael Jordan, and he has the vision of Magic Johnson. With all of that LeBron has an advantage over every NBA player ever! LeBron from the age of 18 has been compared to Jordan but with all of those intangibles he is not as good as Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant to me. I look at Kobe and Michael and I see students of the game, I see there killer instinct, I see there strive for perfection. Sometimes the NBA just seems too easy for LeBron. I look at LeBron and he should be the greatest ever. As great as LeBron is I much too often get this feeling that he doesn’t give his best effort every game. Kobe plays with the chip on his shoulder for being the 16th draft pick, Michael has the chip on his shoulder from being cut from the basketball team in high school. LeBron needs a chip on his shoulder.
I am sure that after this post I will get the “LeBron hater” responses, but that is far from the case, I look at LeBron being 28 with a championship and 3 (going on 4) MVPs under his belt, he is in line with the path Michael took.With that said, LeBron needs to find that killer instinct, I am starting to see it after this current stretch he’s going through where he has scored 30 points in the last 6 games and averaging 60% from the field. I would be surprised to see LeBron not win the MVP and another championship this year. It just feels like this is LeBron’s time, LeBron has a chance to do what Jordan did in the 90s. Carmelo can be Ewing, Kevin Durant can be Malone (making Westbrook Stockton essentially), and Derrick Rose is Barkley because LeBron might just prevent them all from ever winning a championship.
Another thing people often forget about Michael Jordan is that the teams that he had weren’t exactly All-Star teams, it was Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and a ton of role players. When I say role players, yes there was Dennis Rodman and Horace Grant, but there was also Luc Longley, Scott Williams, Rusty LaRue, and many more no-names. He won 6 championships with this type of help. The one thing I give LeBron is that he carried that 2007 Cavaliers team to the Finals, albeit they got swept by the Spurs, the fact that he got them there is incredible but you cannot compare the talent on any of Jordan’s Bulls teams to any of LeBron’s or Kobe’s championship teams.
The bottom-line is Michael Jeffery Jordan is the greatest NBA player ever and always will be, STOP COMPARING HIM TO OTHERS!!