best counter

Your Ad Here
Just The Sports: The Difference Between Jordan and Kobe

Just The Sports

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Difference Between Jordan and Kobe

When ESPN hired Jemele Hill, what could they have been thinking? Maybe by bringing her to the Worldwide Leader they felt they were adding diversity to their sports coverage or maybe by killing the black and woman minority hiring birds with one stone, they were staving off lawsuits from the EEOC for at least another year. Or maybe they were just trying to hire another ignorant writer to go along with the others drawing a paycheck. If that is so, judging by her Kobe vs. Jordan article where she claimed Kobe was the better player after using only anecdotal evidence, Hill will fit in nicely at ESPN.

There is no doubt Kobe Bryant possesses the same physical tools as Michael Jordan did in his heyday, but there is an Evel Knievel-sized jump between athletic ability and playing ability and in the latter Jordan knows no peer. As a result of box scores being unavailable for the first 100 games of Jordan's career, I ended up chopping off 100 games from the start of both players' careers and only comparing the next 675 regular season games that they appeared in.

Even eliminating Bryant's rookie season and twenty-nine games of his second season, he got to a much slower start than did Jordan. It took him awhile to adjust to the NBA and establish himself as a force to be reckoned with and while he was doing that in his career, Jordan, in his career, formed a lead as far as points per game that Bryant will probably never be able to catch up with. Not only that but Jordan was a much more efficient scorer than Bryant since his true shooting percentage (58.6 TS% to 55.6 TS%) and points per shot attempt (1.17 PSA to 1.11) easily eclipse Bryant's numbers.

Furthermore, there are two very crucial attributes Jordan possessed that Bryant does not seem in danger of grasping. The first is consistency. Bryant has struggled with consistency his whole career with no end in sight and his standard deviations in points per game, effective field goal percentage, true shooting percentage, and points per shot attempt are all higher than Jordan's. Any NBA player is capable of exploding for a large number of points on a given night; the great players come close to their career averages every single night. Until that happens, Bryant will always be looking up to Jordan.

The second separator between Jordan and Bryant is durability. Other than the broken foot Jordan suffered in the 1985-86 season, the 17 games he played to finish off the 1994-95 season after his dream bubble of being a professional baseball player was burst, and the knee surgery he was forced to undergo in the 2001-02 season, he played at least 78 games in his other 12 seasons. Bryant has only played at least 78 regular season games four out of his ten complete seasons and this season the most he will be able to play in is 77 contests. Bryant's lack of durability and inability to avoid suspensions no doubt have an adverse effect on his consistency.

As for Bryant's recent scoring exploits, wake me up when he matches what Jordan did in the 1988-89 season when Jordan posted ten triple-doubles in eleven games. Then maybe I will take a claim that he is a better player than Jordan with a few more grains of salt than the one I hold in my hand right now.



Post a Comment

<< Home