Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan: Two Legacies Divided By Hate

"Kobe Bryant will never be Michael Jordan."

That is a line often repeated by fans of Jordan, and to be honest, there is plenty of truth found in that train of thought.

Jordan was one of the most efficient players in NBA history outside of Wilt Chamberlain, and even if Bryant surpasses Jordan's number of championships won, it's unlikely he will ever scale the wall of public perception.

But should Bryant's own sterling legacy be held in a lesser light just because he doesn't measure up to the standard Jordan has set?

Most fans of Jordan, as well as anti-Bryant factions, consider it to be a large gap between Jordan and Bryant but doesn't that same chasm exist between Bryant and any current NBA shooting guard?

Consider this:

Some people feel Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has a decent chance of eclipsing Bryant's legacy. Yet, Bryant has an edge in career points scored, assists, and rebounds.

And besides the assists category, it's not even close.

Granted, Bryant has played double the number of seasons as Wade, but is it fair to speculate on where Wade could end up without respecting where Bryant stands right now?

Bryant has amassed 25,970 career points, five NBA championships, two Finals' MVP awards, one league MVP, and eight first team all-defense awards, but some people still find room to argue his accomplishments?

I can understand fans of Jordan wanting to maintain a reasonable distance between the legacies of "his airness" and Bryant, but regardless of how much hate is thrown in Bryant's direction, his career speaks for itself.

One large point of contention has been the similarity in Jordan and Bryant's game, yet for some reason Bryant's success has been diminished because his skill set favors Jordan's.

The thing is, while observers are quick to point out the similarities in Jordan and Bryant's game, th...

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