Michael Jordan: I’d take Kobe Bryant over LeBron James, but LeBron can get there
Michael Jordan likes to measure success by championships, and why wouldn’t he? Jordan won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls and is considered by most to be the greatest basketball player to ever live. And because of championships, MJ says he would take Kobe Bryant over LeBron James at the moment.
“If you had to pick between the two, that would be a tough choice,” Jordan told NBA TV in an interview that will air on Monday, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “but five beats one every time I look at it.”
LeBron is playing at a higher level than any player in the league right now. In fact, his recent streak of at least 30 points and over 60% shooting from the field is unmatched in NBA history. However, Jordan is obviously looking at the overall picture. If he had to choose a player to join the Bobcats right now, I’m sure he would choose LeBron over Kobe.
“And not that (James) won’t get five,” Jordan continued. “He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one.”
What other response can Jordan give? He’s certainly not going to downplay the importance of championship rings, because doing so would downplay what he accomplished throughout his career. When asked about MJ’s comments, LeBron didn’t offer much.
“That doesn’t matter to me,” James said. “If you take Kobe one and then I go second … it doesn’t matter. I don’t really get too involved about what guys say about me, or if you take Kobe or if you take LeBron.
“As long as I’m on the floor and I try to make plays for my teammates, I don’t do what I do for other people’s approval.”
Bottom line: Kobe has played nearly twice as many seasons in the NBA as LeBron. If they both retired today, it’s obvious who would have had the better career. But that’s not the case. Kobe is nearing the back end of his career and LeBron may be just getting started.