Michael Jordan May 2013Ever since Michael Jordan left the NBA for the final time in 2003, the league has longed for another MJ.

While there are many players who have hit game-winners, skied 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 favorite basketball player ever.

While no one has reached the "Jordan standard” yet, if someone does in the future I will be more than happy to give them their credit. As of right now, let's take a look at the current players Jordan has been compared to for being the GOAT.


Kobe Bryant


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, it is 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 is 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 whereas Kobe entered the league at 18 years old, therefore meaning that Kobe has already played three more years in the NBA than Jordan. Then we take into consideration that Jordan retired at the end of the 1993 season and didn’t come back until the last 15 games of the 1995-96 season.

So already, we can see that Kobe has almost a five 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 had more total points when they were both 33, but he has played almost five 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 an exhibition game determine how great they were? Using that logic, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 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 at that age. 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 is every bit the type of closer that Jordan was.


Well, the percentages don’t lie:

Jordan is 33-for-58, 56.9-percent in the regular season and 9-for-18, 50-percent in the playoffs when it pertains to being clutch. Meanwhile, Kobe is 36-for-115, 31.3-percent in the regular season and 7-for-27, 25.9-percent 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 field-goal percentage is 45.4; Jordan’s is 49.7. From three-point range, Kobe is 33.7; Jordan is 32.7. Kobe is shooting only one-percent higher from three-point range while Jordan is shooting four-percent higher from everywhere else inside the three-point line. You do the math.


LeBron James


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

LeBron’s first eight years compared to Jordan’s first eight years, you have two MVPs to one. 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 James was drafted in 2003, and therefore eight years later brings us to 2001. How many MVPs did LeBron win in that time? Two, in 2009 and 2010. Let’s look at Michael Jordan, who was drafted in 1985. Eight years later would bring us to 1993. How many MVPs did Jordan win in that time? Three, which were in 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 eight years, LeBron had racked up approximately 200 more assists and rebounds than Michael Jordan. But the third statement, ”Assists wise, steals . . .” is only half true.

I’ve already stated that after eight years, LeBron had more career assists than Michael Jordan, however after the same period of time, Jordan had three steals titles compared to LeBron’s zero, an average of 2.7 steals per game compared to LeBron’s 1.7 average. He approximately had 800 more steals 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 three Defensive Player of the Year awards, three rebounding titles and led the league in blocks per game twice would have something to say about that statement!


Conclusion


Kobe LeBron JordanDo 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 and then people believe it without doing their own research. Hopefully, this post has enlightened you to some of the strings that the media pulls!

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