Michael VS Kobe: A True NBA Fan's Debate

Santiago M. IlizaliturriContributor IJune 25, 2010


When I first joined Bleacher Report, I told myself, that my use of this site was not to disrespect someone’s opinion. Instead I’ll respectfully disagree, or admit to defeat in a debate when I am proven wrong. Also, to express myself with true and great detail, while not posting any putdowns, or offending anyone with my expression. Well I apologize but I think with this article, or “hater opinion”. I am about to go against my rule, just for now, I hope.    

Lately I have really been holding back on the Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant (who’s greater?) situation. My reasons are simple; one is because the facts don’t really matter to the opposing side. Second, because some of those involving themselves within the subject, catch hard feelings.

Everyone who is a true and loyal follower of NBA Basketball knows the facts and any non-bias person will admit to the truth. The facts on this matter (statistics, playoff success, or athleticism) won’t help Kobe or his followers, even if they were buying the rights to prove that #24 is greater than the legend in comparison. A blind man will look at you and tell you that he knows there will only be one Michael Jordan and Kobe will be Kobe.

I know I will get a lot of heat for this one, but one can only stay quiet for so long. The main reason to this is because I came across some comments on other articles regarding this subject and it really bothered me to see the reaction from some who claim to be true a “Lakers’ fan”. First of all, if you are a true fan of a sports’ team, you obviously are a fan of the sports organization in which your team belongs to. I am not saying you can switch your preference of teams back and forth. What I am saying is that you are always well aware of your team’s ranking and surroundings. Second (if you are a non-ignorant fan), you have no right to disrespect another person’s point of view or opinion. Yes, you can oppose their preference or opinion, but don’t label them as a “hater” for knowing their stuff.

  A disagreement is fine because when one disagrees, they oppose it with facts, most of the time in an article. Comments usually are used for one to compliment a writer’s work, give advice, agree/disagree, or to add some detail to the writer’s work. Most writers here put in countless hours of research to back up their opinion.

The reason for the “update” on what we are here (BR) for, is in response to many comments I’ve came across for articles regarding this Michael vs. Kobe debate. Here are a couple examples:

This comment was posted in theKobe's Best Finals Performances vs. Michael Jordan's! article:  

The reader states:

Wow an article by another Kobe hater, real original. Kobe is not better than MJ, he may never reach MJ's level but Kobe is certainly in the conversation and that's more than any other player can say. Typical that after any of the games where you say Kobe was good you basically put an asterisk that says he had Shaq and Pau...Well guess what genius, Jordan had Pippen who is one of the top10-15 small forwards to ever play the game.

I wonder if you would show so much hate to Magic who never won anything without Kareem and had Worthy for his last 3 titles. Or how about we put an asterisk next to Hakeem who had Clyde Drexler for both his titles. Bottom line is that Shaq would NEVER of won a title without Kobe playing out of his mind and without Dwayne Wade carrying him to a 4th ring.

How quick we all are to forget That Kobe always had monster Western Conference Finals to put his team in the position to even win rings. In game 1 vs the Spurs in 2001 playoffs Kobe went CRAZY for 45 points, in game 3 it was 39points.

It'll be quite funny watching blind Kobe haters try to write articles like this when Kobe wins his 6th, 7th and 8th rings. You'll still find a reason to hate.

The author replied with this:

shut it - kobe = 6/24 and 0/6 from threes - and two finals losses - he cannot hang with mj.

The reader “comes back” with this:

If it makes you feel any better Isaiah "he" or the Lakers lost 2 NBA Finals? You can't win every-time, in a 7 game series the better team wins plain and simple. Its just too bad that Kobe is celebrating in a parade and you're busy thinking about MJ who has long retired and 2 finals losses. Give it up man its Kobe's time and we were just treated into one of the best Finals that we will ever witness. 2 champions going at each other with the history involved. You're def. sipping on some haterade.


How I feel towards the reader’s comments:

He mentions Magic Johnson and how he always had a sidekick. Well, he did clinch his first ring without Kareem in that last finals’ game during his rookie year. In my opinion, Magic Johnson was the centerpiece to their success in the 80s.


 The reader AKA “Kobe fan” was wrong about Hakeem and Drexler. Hakeem did win his first title without Drexler in 1994. True NBA fans usually will argue with details they are well aware of. If you are too young to know what happened in the past, just do your homework on what you choose to argue about. 

I agree that in 2001 Kobe was unstoppable, during that Spurs' series he really left me in awe. As for now, It is Kobe’s (and his team's) time.

As for Jordan, there is no need to bother mentioning his great regular season, and playoff (pre-finals) performances. His six Finals’ MVPs, along with being undefeated in the Finals’, and huge performances in team wins is all that needs to be said.

My problem with (not all, but) many Kobe Bryant fans, is that they really aren't NBA fans, or true loyal LA fans. If you are a Kobe fan and admit that you are just that. I will truly respect you for being honest and for not disrespecting the thoughts of a person who could have wasted their time arguing with a “faker".

 A perfect example of a “faker” (band wagon hopper) is someone who wants to argue a great debate by just putting people down and calling them “haters” for the way they feel. I'll tell you this, when I choose to debate about something, the first thing I cancel out, (just not in this article) is being bias. You'll see me express my feelings on what or whom I am a fan of. But, I'll still try my best at not being one sided.  

I still think that it's more of the Kobe followers (including his press "buddies") that have really pushed buttons on this subject.

If you were to ask the so called "Kobe haters": Do they think Kobe is one of the all time greats?

 Without hesitation their answer will be yes, and mine too. Why? Well, Kobe stands out in the game’s history for going through constant criticism, drastic changes of teammates, personal issues, and injuries, yet he has managed to hold his own on the court. Also, his numbers are up there amongst the all time leaders in more than one category.     

I am not a fan of the guy, but I recognize he is great. My problem here is that when I mention that to some of his fans, they add on to my opinion by saying: “He is the best ever, better than Jordan, and the only reason his team wins". Yet, I can’t recall ever bringing up Michael during our “friendly” conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to represent the Jordan side either.  

I’m just trying to open some eyes here by letting you know that it is alright if you are a fan just from hearsay. If you are, just let it be known during a debate, and more than likely your argument will be “won” and done.

            There is no need to mention Jordan when Kobe is the subject at hand. Kobe is the present, Michael is a legend from the past.  Kobe can be whomever he wishes to be, and has every right, and dollar in the world to admit or deny who he is.

Here is my opinion as a “Kobe hater”  in which  you “fakers”  can go ahead and give me negative feedback for:

It's not Jordan's fault that Kobe chose to, speak & sound like Mike, shoot fade away jumpers like Mike, get coached like Mike, and pump his fist in the air like Mike.  Be happy that your team is the NBA Champions, and who cares about anything else!

            Well that’s all for now, and I am truly sorry if this article don’t make sense to you. I just hope it makes sense to some of our readers. Go ahead and let me know how you feel.