Comparisons to Michael Jordan

Ever since Jordan left the NBA for the last time in 2003 the NBA has longed for another Michael Jordan.  While there are many players who have hit game winners, skyed through the air and made fade-away jump-shots, we’re yet to see someone dominate the NBA in the same fashion that Jordan has.

As a result many media outlets have resorted to presenting information in either a misleading way or blatantly lying in order to try and “create” another Jordan.  Before I start I’d like to say that yes, Michael Jordan is, in my opinion, the greatest NBA player ever and yes, he is my favourite basketball player ever.  While no-one has reached “the Jordan standard” yet, if some-one does in the future I will be more than happy to give them their credit.

Example 1: Kobe vs Michael Jordan

I’ve covered this example previously in my blog post on Kobe Bryant (which you can read here) but will re-state it for the purpose of this article.

Please note that the video compilation is fan made but I will be focusing on the audio that is spoken by various analysts and reporters from the main stream sports media.

“At the time of their 33rd birthday, is it Kobe that is more accomplished – outpacing Jordan in points, all star appearances and championships”

“Maybe even a better clutch player than Michael is….Kobe’s a better shooter than Michael Jordan and every bit the type of closer that Jordan was”

Let’s start off with the opening statement comparing Jordan and Kobe at their 33rd birthday. Is this a fair thing to do? Jordan entered the league at 21 years old where as Kobe entered the league at 18 years old. Therefore meaning that Kobe has already played 3 more years in the NBA than Jordan. Then we take into consideration that Jordan retired at the end of the 93 season and didn’t come back until the last 15 games of the 95-96 season so already we can see that Kobe has almost a 5 whole year advantage over Jordan when comparing them.  Jordan also sat out a large majority of his sophomore year with an injury, however, I chose not to include this as his name would still have been on the roster and he was still an active (signed) player in the NBA.

Furthermore let’s look at the breakdown of the analysis. They have chosen to use three categories to compare Kobe and Jordan; points, all star appearances and championships.  Kobe has been a very inefficient scorer throughout his career and this clearly was not taken into consideration when making the claim. Yes, he has more total points but he has played almost 5 years longer and been shooting with a lower percentage than Jordan has for that duration. Furthermore the analyst goes on to mention all-star game appearances. Since when did appearances in a exhibition game determine how great they were? Using that logic Kareem is the greatest of all time because he has the most all-star game appearances (19). Lastly the analyst states that Kobe has more championships than Jordan. As I covered previously in the article championships are a team achievement. It’s interesting to note that the analyst did not mention the number of finals MVPs that both players had at their respective ages, why do you think that is?

Let’s look at the second statement:

“Maybe even a better clutch player than Michael is….Kobe’s a better shooter than Michael Jordan and every bit the type of closer that Jordan was”

Well, the percentages don’t lie;

Jordan is 33 for 58 – 56.9% in the regular season and 9 for 18 – 50% in the playoffs when it pertains to being clutch

Kobe is 36 for 115 – 31.3% in the regular season and 7 for 27 – 25.9% in the playoffs when it pertains to being clutch.

Now for the remainder of the quote: ‘Kobe’s a better shooter than Michael Jordan.’ Kobe’s career FG% is .454, Jordan’s is .497. From 3-point range Kobe is .337, Jordan is .327. Kobe is shooting 1% higher from 3 point range while Jordan is shooting 4% higher from everywhere else inside the 3 point line. You do the math.

Example 2: LeBron James vs Michael Jordan

Again, the video is fan made one but I’ll be picking out extracts of the audio that is spoken.

“LeBron’s first 8 years compared to Jordan’s first 8 years you have 2 MVPs to 1”

“You have a man who does it more with the assists and rebounds”

“Assists wise, steals..”

“And probably the best defensive player of his era…”

The opening statement is an example of a blatant lie that the media tells.  LeBron was drafted in 2003 and therefore 8 years later brings us to 2011.  How many MVPs did LeBron win in that time; two (2009 & 2010).  Let’s look at Michael Jordan now who was drafted in 1985, 8 years later would bring us to 1993.  How many MVPs did Jordan win in that time; three! (1988, 1991 and 1992).  So as we can see, this statement is clearly not true.

The second statement “You have a man who does it more with the assists and rebounds” is true, after 8 years LeBron had racked up approximately 200 more assists and rebounds than Michael Jordan.  The third statement: “Assists wise, steals..” is only half true.  I’ve already stated that after 8 years LeBron had more career assists than Michael Jordan, however after the same period of time Jordan had 3 steals titles compared to LeBron’s 0, an average of 2.7 steals per game compared to LeBron’s 1.7 average and approximately 800 more stelas than LeBron!

Lastly, the final statement: “And probably the best defensive player of his era…”  I assume that the narrator defines LeBron’s ‘era’ as since 2003 (the year he was drafted) until the time that he made the statement which was 2011.  In that time LeBron has proved to be a great defender, and probably the best at the small forward position, however, I think Dwight Howard (drafted in 2004) who had racked up: 3 defensive player of the year awards, 3 rebounding titles and led the league in blocks per game twice would have something to say about that statement!


Do I hate LeBron and Kobe? No, in fact I am a fan of both of their games however I find it pretty amazing how the media can twist the truth or tell blatant lies about a player(s) and people believe it without doing their own research.  Hopefully this post has enlightened you to some of the strings that the media pulls!


4 thoughts on “Comparisons to Michael Jordan

  1. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and
    I’m impressed! Very useful information specially the closing part 🙂 I take care of such information a lot.
    I used to be seeking this certain information for a long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.


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