The debate about which player is better out of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant has been going on for many years, and will probably still be going for many years to come. Michael Jordan played from 1985 through 2003, with breaks during 1993, 1994, and 2000. Kobe Bryant has been playing in the NBA since 1997, so Kobe has been playing for 4 more years than the length of Jordan’s career. In this article we will take a quick look at some of the most important stats for the two players. The interactive charts below show why I think that Michael Jordan was a much better NBA basketball player than Kobe Bryant. For simplicity’s sake, the seasons are numbered sequentially for each player even though the players played during different eras.
Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant Scoring Chart:
Sure Kobe has scored more total points than Michael Jordan, but it took him 4 more years to do it. When looking at the first 15 years of each player’s career, Michael Jordan outscored Kobe Bryant 32,292 to 27,868 – which is a difference of nearly 16%.
Interactive Chart of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant Turnover Ratio:
When looking at the turnover ratio (turnovers minus steals) of each player, we see that Michael Jordan has a sizable lead. Michael Jordan’s Running total at the end of 15 seasons is -410, while Kobe Bryant’s total is a whopping -1575 – nearly 4 times as many.
Running Total of Blocks by Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant:
When it came to defense, Jordan was certainly no slouch. At the end of 15 seasons, Michael Jordan had a total of 893 blocks, while Kobe Bryant had 576 – a difference of 317, or 55% of Kobe’s total.
Kobe Bryant is an extremely talented player and this article is not meant to take away any of his accomplishments. However, based on these facts it appears to me that Michael Jordan was the better overall player during his time in the NBA.
Data Source: ESPN