Cagayan De Oro, Philippines (PressExposure) July 14, 2009 -- "Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another." That statement may be true but it is human nature to compare and to ascertain the best especially when it comes to sports. In almost all sports exists rivals either between opposing teams or between individual players and most commonly between so called legends and current players. In basketball for example, there are multiple rivals especially between idols in the NBA celebrity all star games including the Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'neal, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James rival and the commonly debated on Kobe and Jordan rival. Many sports legends like Michael Jordan have become the benchmark in measuring the skill and ability of players. "Who is the next Jordan?" is a question commonly asked and practically everyone has their own opinion. Though the two may seem to be rivals for the "greatest basketball player of all time" title, both Bryant and Jordan have been known to posses the ability to take control of the game and lead their teams to either victory or defeat. Both NBA celebrities all stars are also in the same range of financial earnings- around $45M. They also share the same coach, are the same height and play the same offense. Who is better though?
Individual basketball players are usually compared and ranked in terms of accomplishment and personal statistics. Accomplishment wise, Jordan beats Bryant by a mile with five MVP (Most valuable player) awards while Kobe just earned his first. Kobe hasn't yet earned the title "Defensive Player of the year" which Jordan won in 1988. In his fifteen year career, Michael walked away with a total of five scoring titles from the NBA celebrity all star games whereas Kobe only has two in his thirteen years. Does the two year difference really count? Can Kobe achieve all that Jordan did in two years? It seems unlikely.
When it comes to personal statistics, the same remains to be true-Jordan surpasses Kobe with fewer turnovers, more assists, steals and rebounds, and higher average points scored per game. Many argue that the two NBA all star players aren't in the same category to be compared, somewhat like comparing a heavyweight boxer with a featherweight, Michael being so influential in the basketball world and in sports in general and Bryant still a growing player in the NBA celebrity all star games.
Jordan's contemporary and former team-mate Scottie Pippen, also considered another NBA celebrity summed up the two NBA players' rivalry perfectly when he said:
"To say who's the greatest player of all time - you may have to give that to Michael right now because of what he was able to accomplish in the game as an individual, from a team standpoint," revealed Pippen. "He was at the top in every aspect of the game - offensively as well as defensively. Has Kobe met that yet? No. Will he? Maybe not. But does that make him less of a player than Michael was? No it does not. I think he's the best player in the league right now in my eyes still. I know LeBron has shown great signs of being great and he's definitely a better all around player than Kobe, but I think Kobe is definitely the greatest player in this generation."