Michael Jordan said that he prefers Kobe over LeBron. The reasoning? The rings: Kobe has five; LeBron has one.
“Five beats one every time I look at it,” Jordan said. “And not that (James) won’t get five. He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one.”
The greatest basketball player of all-time has stirred up the Kobe or LeBron conversation. Jordan did say it was a hard choice but the rings were the deciding factor. It’s an interesting take on it from his statement though, as he says LeBron may get more rings than Kobe when it’s all said and done. Why take Kobe then? What angle is Michael using to make the choice? His front office stance, or whom he would rather team with?
As a teammate you would clearly think Jordan would prefer the unselfish LeBron and his Magic Johnson type game. LeBron has no problem deferring to others. He has averaged more assists than Kobe over his career, and is a better rebounder. LeBron is a bigger, stronger, faster, and smarter. Kobe is called the Black Mamba for a reason. He is a scorer first. He goes for the kill strike, he takes over games, he doesn’t defer in crunch time. These attributes would certainly clash with Jordan’s attributes. Both Jordan and Kobe are hot heads. Both demand respect and will chew out those who make mistakes. A personality clash would surely ensue if these two were teammates.
As for a front office choice, LeBron is younger and has more years left. This isn’t a question of both in their prime. Jordan said five rings to one. He is talking right now. Kobe does have five rings, all with Phil Jackson as his head coach. Kobe, since taking a major role, hasn’t advanced past the Western Conference Semifinals. How much weight do you add to Phil Jackson being the head coach for those five rings? LeBron carried a horrible Cleveland team to the Finals. LeBron is 1-1 with the Heat in Finals appearances, making it there without the legendary Zen master. Kobe is still averaging 26.8 points per game at 34 and carrying this dysfunctional Lakers team on his back. LeBron is only 28 and is arguably the most athletic athlete in any sport. His body should hold up better than Kobe’s, as he has a lager frame and doesn’t get banged around inside like Kobe does. The advantage is still LeBron, which makes Jordan’s statement more perplexing.
One thing is for sure: LeBron was not worried about Jordan’s comment. “It doesn’t matter to me. If you take Kobe one and I go second, it doesn’t matter. I don’t get too involved in 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 make plays for my teammates, I don’t do what I do for other people’s approval,” James said during the Heat’s pregame shoot around Thursday night.
Jordan, who turns 50 on Sunday, has been in the headlines as of late. Last week, Antwan Jamison made the statement that MJ could still score double digits if teamed with Kobe or LeBron. It is an interesting thought put out by Jamison. Jordan though seems to let us in on who he would rather team with to get those double-digit outputs. By Steve Kish