For whatever reason sports analyst obsess over comparing present athletes to those who played in the past. Most of the time the athletes themselves avoid talking about the subject and would rather have their game speak for itself. It’s the rare times like these when the NBA’s past and present All-Stars make comparisons that we really pay attention to.
In an interview with USA Today Michael Jordan expressed his opinions on how he thinks he would fare in the NBA today. “It’s less physical and the rules have changed, obviously” Jordan said. “Based on these rules, if I had to play with my style of play, I’m pretty sure I would have fouled out or I would have been at the free throw line pretty often and I could have scored 100 points.”
Jordan won 6 NBA championships during his 13 year run with the Chicago Bulls. In his 17 years as a professional Jordan was a 14 time All-Star and a 5 time league MVP. When asked where he thinks Kobe Bryant ranks amongst the best players of all time Jordan answered, “It’s so hard to say…I think he is always going to be within the conversations of some of the greatest players who’ve played by the time he is finished. Where does he rank among those, if you are talking about positions? If you are talking about guards I would say he has got to be in the top 10.”
Bryant is entering his 14th season in the NBA. He has won 5 NBA championships with Los Angeles and his Lakers are favored to take home the hardware this year. At age 32, Bryant is a 12 time All-Star. The comparisons will only continue if Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers do win the NBA title this season.
This isn’t the first time that Jordan has been critical of the super stars currently playing in the NBA. Amidst the circus that was LeBron James’ “Decision” Jordan wasn’t shy to tell the press what he really thought of the whole debacle. “There’s no way, with hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry [Bird], called up Magic [Johnson] and said, “Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team. I was trying to beat those guys.”
At age 25, James is entering his 8th season in the NBA and is a 6 time NBA All-Star. His “Decision” led him to the Miami Heat, where he is trying to win his first NBA championship. James is a 2 time league MVP.
Until Bryant and James catch up with him in the ring category, Jordan is the undisputed best basketball player of all time. James can not even enter the conversation of being the best until he does win an NBA title. If Bryant does win his 6th NBA championship this season we will be hearing a lot more comparisons in the future. Can’t wait to see how this one plays out on the court.