Not just from online, but also from friends and co-workers, we, somehow, get into a "heated" debate on who's better, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan.  Whenever something like this happens, lots of numbers get thrown, such as how many rings Kobe has or championship appearances at his age and how many more he's likely to get by the time he retires.  Most numbers thrown are individual accomplishments, such as scoring titles, MVP, All-Star selection, etc.

I don't think those numbers matter much.  Because there is no doubt that both are great players.  They are admired by basketball fans all over the world because of the skills they bring to the game.  Although they are not from the same generation, each can be referred to as the greatest basketball player of their time.

And I think that's the key distinction: the greatest basketball player of their time.  Now granted that Kobe's time is not yet over,  Michael Jordan's era is replete with some of the best players the game has ever known.  The likes of Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Reggie Miller, young Shaq, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, teammate Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, young Jason Kidd, and David Robinson are the big names when Michael played.  I'm sure I missed other players.  But the point is, during Michael's time, the guys I listed are his competition.  And they are pretty damn good.

Here is the kicker.  None of these guys bested Michael Jordan.  During regular games throughout a season, maybe someone did.  But not during the playoffs or championships.  When the game counted, Michael Jordan outshined his competition.  He slapped the bitches around and sent them home packing.

The first time that Michael Jordan won a ring was against my beloved LA Lakers in the 1990-91 season.  That Laker was led by Magic Johnson.  It wasn't the complete 80s Lakers because Pat Riley, Michael Cooper, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had just retired.  Still, A.C. Greene, Byron Scott, and James Worthy were in the team.  That's a great way to begin a reign, by taking it from the current king (or kings).

Let's take a look at the players in Kobe's time: Shaq, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, teammate Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kevin Garnet, Paul Pierce, Steve Nash.  I'm sure many more that I'm missing.  These guys are no slouch.  All have their own fan-following.  All are key members of their team.  And all are no doubt great basketball players.

I mention the respective contemporary players to Jordan and Kobe because they are a much better indicator of who's better between the two basketball stars.  A head-to-head comparison of Kobe vs Jordan is useless because basketball is a sport that is about competition than just raw numbers.  Who a player beats tells a lot about how good that player is.

So the question is, are Kobe Bryant's competitors the same caliber as Michael Jordan's bitches?  Personally, I don't think so.  But exploring that question sheds a better light than scoring titles.

BTW, here is the latest chart that I saw comparing Jordan and Kobe:
Who is GOAT?
Via: Medical Insurance