What Would Kobe Bryant’s Legacy Be Had He Been in Michael Jordan’s Shoes?

Comparing players to Michael Jordan has been fodder for basketball fans and analysts for a while. Many people, including myself, have grown tired of it. A lot of times I wonder why we care so much. Why we've become so deeply invested in these players that when they're insulted or praised, we seem to almost take it personally. 

But if you're not neutral about these comparisons, and, in fact, you hold a strong belief, it's tough to restrain yourself. I'm a Kobe fan. I won't hide it. I've followed his career from the moment he entered the league and have truly enjoyed watching him mature and progress as a player. 

I'm also a fan of Jordan. I only started watching him play in his last few seasons, but was instantly an admirer. He was so athletic and smooth. The pull up jumper. The posterizing dunks. The way he methodically weaved his way through defenses. It was as if the gods had put him here to play basketball. 

I even got his DVD box set that contains classics like "Michael Jordan's Playground" and "Come Fly with Me."

But through repetitive analysis of both players, I eventually came to the conclusion that Kobe is the better player.

If you just look at their statistics, Jordan is ahead of Kobe in most important categories. His career ppg, spg, apg, rpg, and fg% are all better than Kobe's (although they're pretty close except for the ppg and fg% category).

However, I believe if Kobe had traveled the exact same path (same team, time period, coach, etc.) as Michael, he would have accomplished just as much, if not more. 

First of all, Michael went to college, which greatly enhanced his overall game. He was able to gently tinker with his skill set in an atmosphere with much less pressure than the NBA; gradually evolving at a pace that was more natural for a player. He joined a team (Bulls) with much less notoriety and was put into a position where he would ...

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