Monday 18th December 2017,
The Hoop Doctors

Phil Jackson Compares Jordan to Kobe in Upcoming Memoir; Jordan Comes Out On Top

The closest thing we’ve seen to Michael Jordan has been Kobe Bryant. And I don’t mean from a basketball skillset standpoint, I mean from an emulation point of view. Ever since he entered the league in 1996, Kobe has walked, talked, pointed, chewed gum, shot free throws and fade-aways just like Mike. The similarities were astonishing as it’s clear Kobe studied Jordan while growing up.

Ironically, Phil Jackson had the opportunity to coach both of the aforementioned in their respective prime. While he was an active coach, Phil never seemed willing to answer questions where he was asked to compare the two. I understand his hesitancy because that wouldn’t benefit anyone aside from fans.

However, things have changed and Phil has decided to open up a bit. Jackson is releasing a memoir where he goes into detail about the two. These excerpts are courtesy of the LA Times and it sounds like Kobe falls short in many areas in comparison to Jordan, in Phil’s opinion.

“Michael was more charismatic and gregarious than Kobe. He loved hanging out with his teammates and security guards, playing cards, smoking cigars, and joking around,” Jackson said in the book, which was obtained in advance by The Times.

“Kobe is different. He was reserved as a teenager, in part because he was younger than the other players and hadn’t developed strong social skills in college. When Kobe first joined the Lakers, he avoided fraternizing with his teammates. But his inclination to keep to himself shifted as he grew older. Increasingly, Kobe put more energy into getting to know the other players, especially when the team was on the road.”

“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,”

“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.”

“Michael was more likely to break through his attackers with power and strength, while Kobe often tries to finesse his way through mass pileups,” Jackson wrote. “Michael was stronger, with bigger shoulders and a sturdier frame. He also had large hands that allowed him to control the ball better and make subtle fakes.

“Jordan was also more naturally inclined to let the game come to him and not overplay his hand, whereas Kobe tends to force the action, especially when the game isn’t going his way. When his shot is off, Kobe will pound away relentlessly until his luck turns. Michael, on the other hand, would shift his attention to defense or passing or setting screens to help the team win the game.”

So in every way imaginable, Phil seems to think Michael was better than Kobe. Both personally and professionally. That’s pretty telling. So is the fact that the above probably aren’t even the tip of the iceberg of what he will share.

Kevin Burke of The Kevin Burke Project brings provocative, thought provoking content about basketball as only he can. Kevin also hosts The Hoop Doctors weekly podcast show, which you can subscribe to for free on iTunes. Follow Kevin on Twitter and Facebook

Like this Article? Share it!

  • Love Kobe!! Air Jordan is the best ever!


    Not to be overlooked: In his time, MJ enjoyed tremendous support from sportswriters and the press in general. Currently, Kobe doesn’t!

  • Michael McCray

    All this is true but Jordan looked better doing it. Perfect form, the leaping ability, the swagger. Jordan not only did the unimaginable, but he look so good doing it. Tongue wagging, bald head shinning and when he took flight he’s the only player I’ve ever seen, that you could see the entire sole of is shoes.

  • CandyMan

    That being said Lebron is better then Kobe as well lol

  • zen

    Refreshing to read an article not kissing Kobe’s butthole and tell it how it is. “Like” very much.

  • It may be a little early to know, but when all the careers are over, I think the conversation will be Michael, and LeBron with Kobe being mentioned as “Yeah, he was good, but…”

    • All I see here is more MJ ass kissing as usual,thus these commits and bias opinions don’t surprise me from a bunch Bulls & MJ ass kissers are jealous of the fact that the Bulls will probably never win another championship unless the other 30 + teams fade from existance. As far as LaBron goes,he doesn’t in anyway compare in pure talent and skill to either MJ or Kobe,as his game is primarily based on pure power and strength,similar to that of Shag,both of whom merely overpowered their opposition. When anyone goes off flipping their lips about the best ever,I suggest you idiots go back and review the playing careers of Dr. J,Magic and Kareem whom by the way,accumulated six(6) league MVP’s,more than any other player including
      MJ. That to me represents the greatest player in NBA history,period.

  • Trooper from the Chi

    I’ve been saying the exact same thing for years! Phil has just added subtle facts that clarifies any questions!

  • Kobe is the only player close too Jordan. But there will never be a player whom was a better student than Jordan was to the game, that’s why he is the greatness of all time.

  • Kaysspot

    I have watched a lot of basketball. Have seen the top players and I can honestly say that Kobe Bryant belongs up there with the 5 best players.How in Gods name can you even compare Lebron to Kobe. Lebron is a flopper, its not the way Kobe plays.Kobe can play any position in the team but Lebron will find a way to get fouled so that he can throw the ball. Phil Jackson is not one of the best coaches in the NBA either so whats the big deal if the old man likes MJ more than Kobe? It means nothing.
    Kareem was a great player. Can you ppl remember this? KOBE IS NOT A CHEATER OR A FLOPPER OR FLIPPER. Kobe is a wonderful Basketball Player.

  • jimdags

    kobe fans,were you at?hehehe

    • Fev

      Really is hard to compare the two,Michael and Kobe. What we all know from history is: every time something is created, something else is created better. They use 2 play on regular rims, then they came out with break-away-rims right? So with that being said, Kobe studied MJ and perfected his game. MJ 63 points in his era/ Kobe 81 in two days time. The difference is this, L James, Melo, and or K Durrant are all capable of putting up 63 points, but no other one thru five will ever put up 81 points again.