I have often wondered why those of us who love sports are so intent on comparing some players’ athletic prowess with that of their predecessors … is it just so difficult for us to believe that more than one athlete has amazing talent and statistics?
Because there IS no comparison between the totally awesome Kobe Bryant (my fav) and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan (Kobe’s fav).
We all know that Michael Jordan has pure, raw talent. His motivation, as he told the world during his speech at the Hall of Fame Induction this year, was to be “the best” in order to spite all of the people that he believes tried to hold him back, or who failed to give him his “props.” In order to accomplish this, Jordan knew that he needed to win championships. For Jordan, it was just that simple. He is, after all, pretty easy to understand since he is so simple.
Kobe Bryant wants to be the best at the game of basketball because he loves and respects the game. Kobe knows the rules, inside and out, and his head is always in the game. He is an intelligent player who acts as the primary connection between head coach Phil Jackson and the rest of the players on his team. Yes, Kobe is motivated by winning championships. He desires, like many great men and women, to leave his mark on the game, but not because someone in his past said that he wasn’t good enough.
These two players did not enter the NBA under the same circumstances. Michael Jordan played college basketball for the great Dean Smith of the UNC Tar (gasp) Heels, and had three years of the best preparation available for his esteemed NBA career. Everyone knows how many NBA’ers sat under the tutelage of Coach Smith. On the other hand, Kobe Bryant was so totally awesome that he was drafted into the NBA at the tender age of 17, right out of high school. He has told reporters that he was not even old enough to legally sign his own NBA contract…because he was not yet 18. Wow, he must have impressed someone.
Jordan and Bryant’s mentors and/ or idols of the game are not the same. Jordan had a completely different set of players to look up to, and emulate. Kobe? Well, he emulated Jordan. Why, then, would anyone compare the two? And why would anyone decide that it is a negative thing that Kobe would want to be like someone who played the game of basketball the way Michael Jordan did? Hmmm … this just makes no sense.
Throughout time, people have sought to leave a legacy for those who would come behind them. Michael Jordan is not the deep-thinking type of person who says that he hopes to influence younger players, but most of the greats of the game say just that. They’ve paved the way for younger players to play smarter, negotiate better salaries and endorsement deals, and they have helped influence greater team diversity, etc. Kobe attempts to nurture the players on his team. Jordan was never accused of such a thing.
I admire both of these players, and I appreciate their personal and professional attributes. I am, however, Kobe’s biggest fan. That might be the number one, and final, reason why THERE IS NO COMPARISON between KOBE BRYANT and Michael Jordan. Period.
I’m just sayin…