Tuesday 01st September 2015,
The Hoop Doctors

The Nextology of Michael Jordan: Part VIII – Kobe Bryant

The Hoop Doctors love Michael Jordan. That’s got to be pretty obvious to everyone by now. So in honor of Michael, and to discourage the media from pretending to be clairvoyant in the future when it comes to comparing young ballers to the greatest to ever play, every week I will be shining a little light on each of the media’s shortcomings when it has come to these ridiculous and presumptuous predictions.

These posts are not intended to disrespect any of the players compared to Jordan in any way. They all had excellent careers and were or are tremendous basketball players. It is not your fault someone with very little knowledge of the game or even the skill to play this game decided to call you the “Next Jordan”. Part VIII to my series called “The Nextology of Michael Jordan” will be looking at Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant:

But to take a good look at how different their careers were, I think you always have to start off by taking a birds eye view of the comparison by checking out their individual career stats. Here is the statistical comparison below in this chart:

K.B. Stats: 25.2 ppg 5.3 rpg 4.6 apg 1.5 spg 0.5 bpg .455 FG% .340 3P% .840 FT%
M.J. Stats: 30.1 ppg 6.2 rpg 5.3 apg 2.4 spg 0.8 bpg .497 FG% .327 3P% .835 FT%

From the feedback we have received thus far on this series it seems everyone reading is anxiously awaiting our final installment, the comparison to Kobe Bryant. We can make this as simple or as complicated as we want. The simple question is ‘who would win in a game of one-on-one between Michael and Kobe? Curiously, this exact question was asked recently of Jordan at a development camp he runs. This link has his answer…..I tend not to argue with the greatest ever, so i’ll take that as fact. Let’s move on to the more complicated version then, shall we?


When looking at the on-court statistical comparison between the two, it is quite simply not even a contest. Quite a few Kobe fans (many of which were not old enough to watch and appreciate Jordan in his prime), will try and tell you that the statistics are an unfair comparison since Kobe came into the NBA straight out of high school and in his first couple of years did not receive the same playing time as Michael did. While I will grant them that fact, it must be duly noted that Kobe has been in the league for 13 years now, and has only had 3 seasons where he averaged over 30 points per game. Jordan on the other hand had 8 of his first 13 seasons averaging over 30 points per game. Let’s forget point scoring for a minute though, because regardless of how it plays out, Michael and Kobe are both prolific scorers. Kobe has proven that fact by scoring 81 points in one contest against the Toronto Raptors in January of 2006. In that same season of 2005-06 Kobe also put up huge scoring numbers of 35.4 ppg on the year, which was quite close close to Jordan’s phenomenal 37.1 ppg in 1986-87.

So where else is Kobe trailing Michael statistically? A lot of fans would probably key in on the fact that Michael Jordan was a better passer and outperformed Kobe quite a bit in the assists column, or they might notice that Jordan had a better field goal percentage therefore saying he was a better scorer. But where I would like to focus is on the defensive end. Kobe is a great defender, and he proved as much the last two summer’s playing for Team USA often taking it upon himself to shut down the opposing countries biggest scorers. But has it translated for Kobe to his defensive play in the NBA? We all know Michael Jordan was a 9 time NBA All-defensive First Team selection and in 1988 was voted in as Defensive Player of the Year, and for good reason. Kobe has great numbers defensively, but if you look at how Kobe trails Michael significantly in defensive rebounding, steals, and blocks you start to get a flavor for the intensity Jordan brought to both ends of the floor. Kobe is a good defender, but he definitely is a much better offensive player, and on some nights leaves nothing to be desired on the defensive end. Michael Jordan was probably one of the most offensively and defensively balanced players to ever play the game. He rarely, if ever, took a night of defensively.


One of The Hoop Doctors readers last week when we did the Dwyane Wade comparison was kind enough to point out that of all the players compared to Jordan in this series, Dwayne Wade was the only player who has won an NBA Finals MVP Award. I would like to point out that Jordan has 6 of them, but regardless the point was well taken. Performing on the NBA’s greatest stage, the NBA Finals, and winning an award recognizing your achievement towards your contribution to your team’s success is the ultimate praise given out by the league. So to be clear, Kobe Bryant has three NBA Championships but due to the fact he played alongside the Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal, he doesn’t have any NBA Finals MVP awards as Shaq back then was clearly the dominant force driving the Lakers success. Kobe does however have a long list of awards and achievements during his career worth noting. Here is a comparison of the two player’s accolades:

Awards Bryant Jordan
Championships 3 6
MVP 1 5
Finals MVP 0 6
Defensive Player 0 1
Rookie of Year 0 1
All-star 11 14
Scoring Title 2 10
All-NBA First Team 6 10
All-Defensive First 6 9
All-star MVP 3 3
Slam Dunk Title 1 2

I realize that Kobe’s career is far from over, but after 13 seasons in the league I think the above table of awards, really speaks for itself when you are looking to compare Kobe Bryant to Michael Jordan. Kobe is a great player with many accolades, however Michael Jordan is in a whole other universe, as the greatest player to ever play this game.


Lately there has been a lot of talk about how Kobe Bryant is the only player in the game today that has the same level of fierce competitiveness that Michael Jordan had. You know that feeling you got watching Michael play that told you he hated to lose more than anything in the world, and would do whatever it took to make sure he was a winner. Although Kobe early in his career was often labeled as selfish and only concerned with his own personal glory, over the years he has taken some huge strides towards involving teammates, and putting the team winning games before his own personal success. But regardless of how fierce a competitor Kobe is, I can’t help but think about how he ran Phil Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal out of LA a few years ago. At the time Phil was still the best Coach in the league, and Shaq was still the most dominant center and arguably the most dominant player in the league. When you really get down to comparing Kobe’s competitive edge with that of Michael Jordan you have to wonder, would MJ have ever turned away Phil Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal, regardless of his off-the-court relationships with the two? I highly doubt it. Michael loved to win too much.

The other comparison I often hear with Kobe Bryant in the last two seasons since L.A.’s rejuvenation, is that Kobe makes his team better like Michael Jordan. As far as intangibles go, I think this is a ridiculous statement. Michael Jordan in his prime was a leader that players wanted to follow. He was a guy that lead by example and his teammates followed. He was a player that did make everyone around him better, regardless of the quality of his supporting cast. When Michael did have a good supporting cast they set the record for most wins by any team ever in an NBA season at 72 wins. Kobe on the other hand is more often than not criticized by teammates after they leave LA about being a tough teammate to play with, both on and off the court. People often neglect the fact that when crunching the numbers throughout Kobe’s career the Lakers lowest winning percentages have come when Kobe averages more than 30 points a game.

So that is it for the series “The Nextology of Michael Jordan”……for now…..Why? Because the media has proven one thing over the years…although I cringe at the thought of another player being compared to Michael Jordan in the future by the media, it is bound to happen. I just hope to hell they at least wait until his career is over and done with before they pull out their lab coats and start dissecting his performances.

Tell us your thoughts below on Kobe Bryant being called ‘The Next Jordan’…..Thanks for tuning in….

Links to Other ‘Nextology’ Posts:

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  • Will

    Props to the Lakers and congrats to Kobe on his 5th ring

  • RTG

    – Bruce Blitz June 21, 2010 4:30pm CT

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGbuEjt-KIc&playnext_from=TL&videos=Gk9CDjr6pGQ (to watch it on youtube).

    First of all folks, let me say that in my opinion this shouldn’t even be needed if you watched Michael Jordan’s career and have seen Kobe’s so far. Jordan was by far more consistently dominant and effective, that it’s really a true insult that this is needed. Thank the media and certain Kobe fans for this breakdown though, I hope you enjoy, this took a lot of time….

    When you combine the playoffs and regular season, Michael Jordan played in 1,251 games, Kobe Bryant has played in 1,219. Let’s see if Kobe has even come close to accomplishing what Michael Jordan accomplished…..

    You can’t deny facts folks, don’t even try….

    Rookie of the Year
    Michael Jordan: Yes
    Kobe Bryant: No

    In his rookie year, Michael Jordan led his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.

    All-Rookie First Team
    Michael Jordan: Yes
    Kobe Bryant: No

    Kobe Bryant was voted to the All-Star team his rookie year for some reason, even though he didn’t make the All-Rookie First Team…

    Regular season & Playoffs combined
    Games with 12 or more assists
    Michael Air Jordan: 32
    Kobe Bryant: 19

    Regular season & Playoffs combined
    Games with 10 or more assists:
    Michael Air Jordan: 87
    Kobe Bean Bryant: 74

    Regular season & Playoffs combined
    Games with 5 or more assists:
    Michael Air Jordan: 663
    Kobe Bean Bryant: 593

    Regular season & Playoffs combined
    Games with less than 3 assists:
    Michael Air Jordan: 179
    Kobe Bryant: 261

    Regular season & Playoffs combined
    Games with less than 2 assists:
    Michael Air Jordan: 61
    Kobe Bryant: 142

    Regular season & Playoffs combined
    Games with 0 assists:
    Michael Air Jordan: 7
    Kobe Bryant: 57

    Regular season & Playoffs combined
    Games with at least 15 rebounds:
    Michael Air Jordan: 10
    Kobe Bryant: 5

    Regular season & Playoffs combined
    Games with at least 12 rebounds:
    Michael Air Jordan: 66
    Kobe Bryant: 29

    Percentage of points scored on free throws:
    Michael Air Jordan: 22.9%
    Kobe Bryant: 25.1%

    Record in games with 30+ shot attempts
    Michael Air Jordan: 72-57 (.558)
    Kobe Bean Bryant: 46-61 (.368)
    Michael Jordan shot his team to wins, Kobe Bryant shoots his team out of wins.

    Seasons with at least 200 steals:
    Michael Air Jordan: 6
    Kobe Bryant: 0

    Seasons with at least 150 steals:
    Michael Air Jordan: 9
    Kobe Bryant: 2

    Seasons with at least 100 blocks:
    Michael Air Jordan: 2
    Kobe Bryant: 0

    Seasons with at least 75 blocks:
    Michael Air Jordan: 4
    Kobe Bryant: 0

    Defensive Player of the Year awards
    Michael Jordan: 1
    Kobe Bryant: 0

    Michael averaged 35 points per game when he won defensive player of the year. The next closest scorer to win it had 27 ppg. Guards rarely receive Defensive Player of the Year. Think about the level of energy it takes to lead the league in scoring, and be the league’s best defender.

    Regular season & Playoffs combined
    40 point or higher games
    MJ: 211
    Kobe: 115

    Regular season & Playoffs combined
    30 point or higher games
    MJ: 671
    Kobe: 415

    Career Player Efficiency Rating
    Michael Jordan: 27.91
    Kobe Bryant: 23.50

    Olympic Gold Medals
    Michael Jordan: 2
    Kobe Bryant: 1

    Michael Jordan is one of three players to win an Olympic gold as both an amateur (1984) and professional (1992). The other players are Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin, who did it with him.

    All Star Game:
    Jordan’s 40 points in 1988 is still the second most points in an All-Star Game behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 42. Jordan also recorded the only All-Star Game triple double in NBA history in 1997.

    Scoring titles
    Michael Jordan: 10
    Kobe Bryant: 2

    Of course Jordan has the most scoring titles in NBA history. He also led the league in total points his rookie season, but was third in scoring average. He is the only player besides Wilt Chamberlain to score 3,000 points in a season.

    Steals titles
    Michael Jordan: 3
    Kobe Bryant: 0

    Jordan was the first player in NBA history to lead the league in both scoring and steals. He achieved this feat three times. The only other player to do it is Allen Iverson.

    Jordan was the first player in NBA history to record 200 steals and 100 blocks in a season. He performed this feat in back-to-back seasons, making him the only player to achieve it multiple times. Hakeem Olajuwon and Scottie Pippen later achieved 200 steals and 100 blocks in one season.

    Jordan is the fourth player in NBA history to win a scoring title and an NBA championship in the same season, which he did all six times.

    In 1996, Jordan became the second player in NBA history to sweep the MVP awards (regular season, NBA Finals, All-Star Game) after Willis Reed. He would sweep them again in 1998, making him the only player to do it multiple times.

    Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to the best regular season and combined regular season and postseason records in NBA history.

    Michael Jordan scored in double digits in all but one game as a Chicago Bull out of 1,109 total games.

    Michael Jordan game winning shot attempts was 33 out of 58, which is a 56.9% shooting percentage, while Kobe has attempted more game winners, and 82 games’s website has a lest strict criteria, according to the facts, Kobe is a 27% career shooter in game winning situations.

    Michael Jordan has the most known game winning shots of any player in NBA history. He has by far the highest conversion rate in the clutch.

    Kobe Bryant is not among the top 100 players all time in assists per game.
    Michael Jordan is. He’s #80 in assists per game and #35 in assists.

    Michael Jordan is #3 all time in rebounding by a guard (behind Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson).

    Michael Jordan is #3 all time in steals per game, Kobe is #37 all time in steals per game.
    Michael Jordan is #2 all time in total steals, Kobe Bryant is #28 all time in total steals.

    Michael Jordan is #1 all time in blocks by a guard. Kobe Bryant isn’t even in the top 10 all time blocks by a guard.

    Kobe Bryant is not among the top 10 players all time in points per game.
    Michael Jordan is #1 all time in points per game and #3 in points.

    Seasons over 30 points per game:
    Michael Jordan: 8
    Kobe Bryant: 2

    Seasons over 32 points per game:
    Michael Jordan: 5
    Kobe Bryant: 1

    In NBA history, there are 13 50 point games with under 50% shooting, and Kobe Bryant is responsible for 6 of them.

    Kobe Bryant also has:
    2nd worst known game score for a player scoring 10+ points. (5-21 shooting)
    2nd worst known game score for a player scoring 30+ points. (11-29)
    Worst and 4th worst known game scores for a player scoring 40+ points. (17-47, 12-30)

    Regular season
    Seasons under 50% shooting
    Kobe Bryant: 14
    Michael Jordan: 9

    Seasons under 48% shooting:
    Kobe Bryant: 14
    Michael Jordan: 5

    Seasons over 50% shooting:
    Kobe Bryant: 0
    Michael Jordan: 6

    Seasons over 52% shooting:
    Kobe Bryant: 0
    Michael Jordan: 4

    Regular season
    Games with under 50% shooting
    Michael Jordan: 489
    Kobe Bryant: 623

    Regular season
    Games with under 48% shooting
    Michael Jordan: 458
    Kobe Bryant: 599

    Regular season
    Games with under 46% shooting
    Michael Jordan: 388
    Kobe Bryant: 530

    Regular season
    Games with under 44% shooting
    Michael Jordan: 296
    Kobe Bryant: 452

    Regular season
    Games with under 42% shooting
    Michael Jordan: 234
    Kobe Bryant: 393

    Regular season
    Games with under 40% shooting
    Michael Jordan: 158
    Kobe Bryant: 317

    Regular season
    Games with under 35% shooting
    Michael Jordan: 88
    Kobe Bryant: 192

    Regular season
    Games with under 30% shooting
    Michael Jordan: 41
    Kobe Bryant: 97

    Regular season
    Games with 60% or better shooting
    Michael “Air” Jordan: 173
    Kobe “Bean” Bryant: 123

    Regular season
    Games with 50% or better shooting
    Michael “Air” Jordan: 556
    Kobe “Bean” Bryant: 393

    Regular season
    Games with 20 shots made on 60% or better shooting
    MJ: 16
    Kobe: 3

    Regular season
    Games with 50 points & less than 10 free throw attempts
    MJ: 3
    Kobe: 1

    Regular season
    Games with 40 points and under 50% shooting
    MJ: 29
    Kobe: 43
    Yes, that’s right, almost half of Kobe’s 40 point games involved missing more shots than made ones.

    Regular season
    50 point games with under 50% shooting
    Michael Jordan: 1 of his 31 games (15-31, 48%)
    Kobe Bryant: 6 of his 24 games

    Regular season
    50 point games with under 45% shooting
    Michael Jordan: 0
    Kobe Bryant: 3

    NBA Playoffs
    50 point or higher games
    Kobe: 1
    MJ: 8

    NBA Playoffs
    40 point or higher games
    Kobe: 11
    MJ: 38

    NBA Playoffs
    30 point or higher games
    Kobe: 78
    MJ: 109

    NBA Playoff runs under 50% shooting:
    Kobe: 13 (every year)
    MJ: 8

    NBA Playoff runs over 50% shooting:
    Kobe Bryant: 0 (never)
    Michael Jordan: 5

    NBA Playoff runs under 48% shooting:
    Kobe Bryant: 12
    Michael Jordan: 6

    NBA Playoff runs over 48% shooting:
    Kobe Bryant: 1
    Michael Jordan: 7

    NBA Playoff runs under 46% shooting:
    Kobe Bryant: 9
    Michael Jordan: 3

    NBA Playoff runs under 44% shooting:
    Kobe Bryant: 6
    Michael Jordan: 2

    NBA Playoff runs over 30ppg:
    Kobe Bryant: 4
    Michael Jordan: 12

    NBA Playoff runs over 32ppg:
    Kobe Bryant: 2
    Michael Jordan: 8

    NBA Playoff runs over 34ppg:
    Kobe Bryant: 0 (never)
    Michael Jordan: 7

    NBA Finals averages for their careers:
    Michael Jordan 33.6ppg 6.0reb 5.9ast 48.0%fg 36.8%3pt ?
    Kobe Bryant 25.3ppg 5.7reb 5.0ast 41.2%fg 31.3%3pt
    Pau Gasol 17.3ppg 10.4reb 3.2ast 1.7blk 52.8%fg
    Scottie Pippen 18.9ppg 8.3reb 5.9ast 40.9%fg 25.9%3pt
    Shaq (as a Laker) 33.6ppg 14.1reb 3.0ast 2.4blk 60.2%fg
    Kobe (with Shaq) 22.1ppg 5.2reb 4.6ast, 1.0blk 41.6%fg

    Kobe has been out performed by teammates in 5 out of his 7 NBA Finals appearances, Michael Jordan was never out performed by a teammate. Michael Jordan never had a teammate average over 20.0ppg in any NBA Finals who shot a higher percentage than him, Kobe’s had a teammate do this 4 times (Gasol doesn’t get enough shot attempts or it would be 7 times).

    Michael Jordan consistently raised his team’s level of play, while Kobe Bryant hinders his team’s level of play by consistently missing so many shots. Michael Jordan carried his team consistently, and on the flip side Kobe Bryant’s team carries him consistently.

    Record as team leader
    Michael Air Jordan: 640-290 (.688)
    Kobe Bean Bryant: 300-224 (.573)

    Postseason as team leader
    Michael Air Jordan: Missed postseason 0 times in 13 seasons
    Kobe Bryant: Missed postseason 1 time in 6 seasons

    NBA Finals Most Valuable Player awards
    Michael Jordan: 6 in 6 tries
    Kobe Bryant: 2 in 7 tries

    As you can see, it would take Kobe 3 full careers to truly eclipse Michael Jordan. He’s so far off he has absolutely no chance to pass Michael Air Jordan whatsoever…

    • Anklesnap

      @RTG, That is amazing, thanks for the stats, we may need a follow up post just to analyze those.


      Doc Anklesnap

      • RTG

        @Anklesnap, yea this guy bruce blitz have some more amazing comparisons with MJ vs larry and wilt … no need to mentioned MJ won them both but with more fight then bryant.

  • http://www.surveymagnet.com Survey Magnet

    We have an interesting debate about this topic going on at the following link:


    Come join the discussion.

  • Kevin

    Interesting posts and comments,well here is my assessment regarding the comparison of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant first…….to attack Kobe as being “quote”selfish and seeking glory for himself just shows how uniformed some people are on Michael Jordan before his championship days…..I of course was a huge fan of MJ like everyone else but,I have almost every game on VHS that Michael Jordan ever played when he was with the Bulls, and going back over those tapes guess who was the “BIGGEST BALLHOG” in the league at that time???? You guessed it Mr. Michael Jordan, some of you must’ve forgot,MJ wouldnt pas that ball to anyone…. and everyone,his teammates,coaches,fans,and even other teams talked about it and complained about it all the time and why was that?

    It was because he didnt trust his teammates!!!!! Kobe didnt pass the ball for the same reasons and judging by the way that some of his teammates in previous and current years have played…….I would have done the same thing!!!!!!!! So how about that comparison…some of you must have forgotten MJ has had plenty of 18 and 22 point games and didnt always score in the 30’s his whole career. Number 2……MJ was stripped on many occasions by other teams when bringing the ball up the floor I dont need anyone to look up the stats on that……I have it on video……..Number 3 your right Kobe was not givin the time that MJ was alloted to better himself sooner, who knows Kobe may have gotten 7 championships by now,remember coach Dale Harris with the Lakers during an interview…. someone asked him why not let Kobe play more his response?? ” He wanted to bring Kobe “along” ……………what if Doug Collins had said “I want to bring Jordan along??????

    Number 4.. When asked who he thought was the closest thing to him in the NBA MJ himself said and I quote” KOBE BRYANT !!! Number 5.. Name one game where MJ scored 81 points against an opposing team?? “Im not saying that he couldnt”………what I am saying is that …KOBE DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kobe now has 5 titles and poised to get a 6th!!! Kobe got his first title sooner than MJ did a………,granted he had Shaq but the point is Kobe was a major force and contibutor to Laker championships!!!!

    So when comparing Kobe to MJ there are some things that Kobe hasnt been givin credit for with out being “hated on” mostly because people dont want him to succeed MJ!!! Let me conclude with this………..if you take the time to be “objective’ and dont hate and if you look deep into what Kobe Bryant HAAAAAAASSSSS accomplished……….. you WILL FIND that in FACT he has some records…..that MJ has never achieved one being …..most points scored in a single game!!!!! And there is more just dig……. and give it up to MJ he was the best of his generation but Kobe is the best of his period. Two fantastic players one was allowed to grow at a faster pace…….consider it

  • http://twitter.com/Kingdomdad Filip Lizanna

    will this ever be updated? 

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