In his new memoir “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success” that will be out next Tuesday, Jackson finally compares Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as players. Jackson clearly favors MJ over Kobe.
Jackson has won 11 championship rings as a coach — six with the Chicago Bulls and five with the Lakers. He mostly avoided comparing MJ and Kobe — two of the greatest players ever, both of whom were star players on his teams — until now. That’s probably because he was still in the middle of his coaching career when he wrote his first book.
According to excerpts from the book shared by the Los Angeles Times, Jackson calls Jordan a “tougher, more intimidating defender,” and says Kobe sometimes forces the action. He also said Jordan had superior skills to Kobe as a leader.
“No question, Michael was a tougher, more intimidating defender. He could break through virtually any screen and shut down almost any player with his intense, laser-focused style of defense,” Jackson writes, per The Times.
“Kobe has learned a lot from studying Michael’s tricks, and we often used him as our secret weapon on defense when we needed to turn the direction of a game. In general, Kobe tends to rely more heavily on his flexibility and craftiness, but he takes a lot of gambles on defense and sometimes pays the price.”
Jackson also commented on Kobe’s 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors and noted the difference in shooting percentage between the two; Kobe is 45.4 percent for his career, whereas Jordan was 49.7.