Louisville, Kentucky : Charron Elliott
The Michael Jordan Of My Generation
On Tuesday night the Los Angeles Lakers retired both the numbers eight and 24 in honor of the great Kobe Bean Bryant, also known as the “Black Mamba.”
For millennials like myself, who ironically happens to be 24, most of us were babies when Michael Jordan went on his last championship run. Jordan is considered by many older basketball fans to be the greatest player ever but after studying many of Bryant’s moves and even his celebrations he is most definitely the closest thing to MJ in my generation.
MJ vs Kobe Achievements
|Achievements||Kobe Bryant||Michael Jordan|
|Regular season MVP||1||5|
|All -Star MVP||3||4|
|Defensive Player of the Year||0||1|
|All- Defensive First Team||9||9|
|All-time scoring list Rank||3rd (33,643 pts.)||4th (32,292 pts.)|
|All- NBA First Team||11||10|
Michael Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 but I am sure Kobe will be in there as soon as he is eligible. Also, Michael Jordan won Rookie of the Year in 1985 and Kobe came into the NBA fresh out of high school in 1996. Kobe’s Lakers teams also lost twice in the Finals, once in 2004 to the Pistons and again in 2008 to the Celtics. MJ’s Bulls went to Finals six times and never lost nor went to a game seven in any Playoff series.
Both Kobe and Michael were coached by Phil Jackson during their championship runs. They also won Slam Dunk titles, Kobe in 1997, and Michael in both 1987 and 1988.
MJ versus Kobe Career Stats
|Career Stats (Per Game)||Kobe (regular season)||Kobe (playoffs)||MJ (regular seaon)||MJ (playoffs)|
|field goal percentage||0.447||0.448||0.497||0.487|
|field goals attempted||19.5||20.5||22.9||25.1|
|field goals made||8.7||9.2||11.4||12.2|
|3-point field goals made||1.4||1.3||0.5||0.8|
|player efficient rating||22.9||22.4||27.9||28.6|
|free throw percentage||0.837||0.816||0.835||0.828|
|free throw attempts||6.2||6||6.8||9.9|
|free throws made||7.4||7.4||8.2||8.2|
Obviously, MJ was the slightly better player overall but Kobe did score 81 points for his career-high and Michael scored 69. The crazy thing for both of these guys is how they scored so effectively without really using the three-point shot as much.
How Kobe Should Be Remembered
While he did model most of his game from Michael Jordan, I think Kobe should be remembered as someone who had a work ethic and obsession for the game of basketball that is unmatched. He was a guy who often studied the game and although he never went to college he’s quite intelligent and business minded.
The “Mamba Mentality” is something that could never be duplicated, especially considering the numerous injuries Kobe bounced back from toward the end of his 20-year career in the NBA. Bryant became the first player in NBA history to have two numbers retired from the same organization! So with that being said, thanks to Kobe for some of the greatest shots and dunks I have ever seen, and also some of the funniest commercials.