Kobe Bryant: Can He Move Behind Michael Jordan for Second-Greatest NBA Player?

Although ranking the all-time NBA greats is highly debatable, most analysts today feel that Michael Jordan is the greatest player in the history of the league.

This is a sentiment that I also believe in.

So why do most people feel this way?

Examining Jordan’s career and accomplishments brings to light why he is generally considered the greatest.

For instance, when most people think of Jordan, they think of amazing athleticism, his dominating scoring ability, clutch playmaking, and his multiple NBA championships.

And all of this is true.  His athleticism was important, as it enhanced his overall basketball skills, and led to the rising popularity of the game internationally (not to mention, it helped sell out arenas).

Jordan’s stock rose significantly when he won three more championships after his initial three-peat from 1991-1993. 

In addition to having a great all-around offensive game (rebounds, passing and shooting percentages), Jordan excelled on defense too. Over his career, he was selected to nine All-Defensive teams (all first-team honors) and won the Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Thus, in analyzing Jordan’s career, one gets the blueprint I use in evaluating NBA legends and determining where they rank compared to each other. The areas I look at are the following abilities: scoring, shooting, rebounding (per position), passing/play-making (per position), defense, athleticism, clutch, leadership and winning while playing a leading role.

Perhaps no player in NBA history has been compared more frequently to Michael Jordan than Kobe Bryant. It’s true that there are many similarities between the two: their height and size, their athletic ability, their low vocal tones, all-around abilities, the ability to win, and dominant post-up and mid-range games.

I have already written about why Kobe Bryant (especially ...

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