On May 21st legendary NBA head coach Phil Jackson will have his book Eleven Rings: The Soul Of Success available for purchase. Excerpts already released can now put to bed the argument that Kobe Bryant is a better player than Michael Jordan though many fans already knew this.
Bryant has career averages of 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals, .5 blocks on 45.4 percent shooting, 33.6 percent from the three-point line and 83.8 percent from the free throw line. During the playoffs averages 25.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.4 steals, .7 blocks on 44.8 percent shooting, 33.1 percent from beyond the arc and 81.6 percent from the free throw line.
Accolades include five championship rings, two Finals MVP Awards, one MVP Award, name to 10 All-NBA First Teams, two All-NBA Second Teams, two All-NBA Third Teams, nine All-Defensive First Teams and three All-Defensive Second Teams.
In 15 seasons Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 steals, .8 blocks on 49.7 percent shooting, 32.7 percent from the three-point line and 83.5 percent from the free throw line. As for the playoffs he averaged 33.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2.1 steals, .9 blocks on 48.7 percent from the field, 33.2 percent from beyond the arc and 82.8 percent from the free throw line.
Won six championships, six Finals MVP Awards, five MVP Awards, a Defensive Player of the Year Award, name to 10 All-NBA First Teams, 1 All-NBA Second Team and 9 All-Defensive First Teams.
Stats aren’t able to tell the entire story as there’s no measure when it comes to leadership. Jackson did have this to say “one of the biggest differences between the two stars from my perspective was Michael’s superior skills as a leader. Though at times he could be hard on his teammates, Michael was masterful at controlling the emotional climate of the team with the power of his presence. Kobe had a long way to go before he could make that claim. He talked a good game, but he’d yet to experience the cold truth of leadership in his bones, as Michael had.”
He also explained how Jordan was the superior defensive player when Jackson said “no question, Michael was a tougher, more intimidating defender (than Bryant), he could break through virtually any screen and shut down almost any player with his intense, laser-focused style of defense.”
Interestingly enough Bryant went to Twitter with his response
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 17, 2013
Hypothetically speaking if Jordan had a teammate like Shaquille O’Neal there’s be no comparisons between the two guards and regardless Bryant is right when it comes to apples and oranges, he doesn’t come close. Jackson just made it official.