We always like to do comparisons in almost every walk of life from cars to jobs but one of the biggest comparisons must lie in the realm of sports. This past week started the new NBA season and with that was the anniversary of Michael Jordan's first professional game with the Chicago Bulls 25 years ago, which also sparked a never ending debate over who was the better player Jordan or Kobe Bryant.
While most credit Jordan with revitalizing the NBA to an entirely new generation of people who normally didn't watch basketball (much like Tiger Woods did with golf), Jordan also crossed marketed with Nike shoes and 2 McDonald hamburgers named after him. At the time we have never seen anyone like him and many felt that we would never see another Jordan till Kobe came around. Comparisons started flying with Kobe's arrival to the NBA, but many have made an interesting statement about great players surrounding Jordan but not Kobe.
To this point I must disagree, Kobe had a number of players that helped him win championships as did Jordan. Jordan's main "go-to" player was Scottie Pippen, who was great but in many ways did not get the recognition he deserved from being in the shadow of Jordan. Kobe eventually had Shaquille O'Neal who holds the record for most All-Star games and stood in the shadow of Kobe. If O'Neal will be the next Pippen remains to be seen as O'Neal continues his path without Kobe.
But the main question on most fans of the NBA is who would win in a Jordan vs. Kobe one on one match up? Jordan has stated a number of times that he would beat Kobe in a one on one match up, but would he really? I am reminded of the film Rocky Balboa where the film placed a computer generated Balboa against the top boxers of the time. Aside from a time-machine, this would be the only way to pit Jordan and Kobe at the same age on a one on one match-up to find out who is the better player.
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