Battling tougher defenses puts Jordan...

Battling tougher defenses puts Jordan ahead of Kobe

There are 32 comments on the Newsday story from Mar 25, 2007, titled Battling tougher defenses puts Jordan ahead of Kobe. In it, Newsday reports that:

Never mind 65, 60, and 50 . To me, 20 is the most impressive number linked to Kobe Bryant's scoring spree.

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stephen r winters

Louisville, KY

#1 Mar 25, 2007
mj never had to battle double until he recieved the ball. jordan had the advantage of clear outs. defenders in the low post had to stay on the weak side of the lane when jordan was strong side which allowed him to work one on one in the post.
Andy in CA

Woodland Hills, CA

#2 Mar 25, 2007
What a rediculous statement, "tougher defenses puts Jordan ahead of Kobe." OK here's my Headline with your rationale: Battling Better Athletes and Zone Defenses Puts Kobe Ahead Of Jordon.
The real fact is Mike was better posting and around the rim. Kobe is better away from the basket and more creative than Mike. Mike couldn't do this from all over the court.
Ken Buger you stink

United States

#3 Mar 25, 2007
Tougher defense makes Jordan better than Kobe????? What a bunch of b.s.
So let me guess, Mr. Buger, Wilt's era was no defense, right?? It's just disturbing how people don't see facts and starts making excuses. Hands down, Clearly,Kobe is a more superior athlete than Jordan. Yes, Jordan did it with a much superior cast of teammates, he had Pippen, he had Rodman, He had Steve Kurr, he had a whole bunch of good role players.
Mr, Buger, you can make a case for anything and steer it the direction you want, but facts are facts, and Kobe is clearly better than Jordan

Arlington, VA

#4 Mar 25, 2007
Ken Berger your an idiot! MJ never had to deal with zone defenses! Jordan played in an era where the game was dominated by the big men and there weren't as many dominant perimter players! look what kobe is going up against players like Dwayne Wade, lebron, carmelo, ai, ray allen, michael red, gilbert arenas and the list goes on! And you just said yourself MJ had a huge officiating edge over kobe so he got cheap calls which kobe didn't. He scored 81 points in a game, whats MJ's career high 69? not to mention he scored 61 in 3 quarters against a team that went to the finals! he outscored them 61-60! i am not saying kobe a better basketball player than MJ, but he sure is a better scorer than jordan

Easthampton, MA

#5 Mar 25, 2007
Jordan played in a hands-on era of perimeter defense. Bryant has benefited from the relatively recent crackdown on grabbing, clutching and hand-checking on the perimeter.
Clearly, Bryant would have been an all-time great in any era. But the fact is, he wouldn't be this great if those guarding him were allowed to play defense.
Going by what the he said in the first paragraph, I think the writer should have said "allowed to GRAB, CLUTCH, and HAND-CHECK." as opposed to "allowed to play DEFENSE." Does he think these are the same thing?
R Kimble

United States

#6 Mar 25, 2007
The era Jordan played in had tougher defenses, but that doesn't mean that Jordan didn't get the benefit of the doubt every time a defender brushed up against him.

Jordan enjoyed these new perimeter rules before they were actually in the books.

Tustin, CA

#7 Mar 25, 2007
Ken, No one is saying whose better Kobe or Michael. But just like with Wilt, Elgin, Michael, when they played in the time, rules were rules and that's the way it was. So why try and say Micheal would have done more if he had the hand check rule? He didn't and he's still great. Kobe does in his time and he is still great, and his opponents are playing defense by today rules,(and he is still unstoppable) So don't lessen Kobe's greatness because you and many like you hate him and are obviously jealous of his God given ability - DON'T HATE GET THERAPY... therapy.

San Jose, CA

#8 Mar 25, 2007
I understand what you're saying about kobe and the defense being at lot less tougher these days than when jordan played. but you are forgetting one other HUGE alteration in the defense. The ability to play zone.....Jordan was not allowed to get double teamed BEFORE he got the ball. which means he was allowed to do an iso play and catch the ball and operate before anyone from the weakside came, and considering that he spent his greatest years as a guy who shot jumpers and fadeaways like kobe does now, that gave him a HUGE advantage over kobe. True, kobe can drive to the hole with more ease than jordan because of the lack of hand checks, physical defense, etc. but when it comes to jump shooting, which is kobe's game now, and jordan's game during the last 6 or 7 years, physical defense means nothing on a fadeaway, but being double teamed before you can get the ball,, to sum up:

Jordan's 50 point string was in the 80's when he was a predominantly go-to-the-hole type of scorer. the physical defense would hinder him.

Kobe's 50 point string is in 2007 when he's a predominantly jump-shooting type of scorer...the double teams before he gets the ball because of the rule changes hinder considering the amazing field goal percentage kobe is shooting, i think it is AT LEAST as great as jordan's string of games.....although of course, jordan is still the best player ever.
Tony Duran - Ventura CA

Thousand Oaks, CA

#9 Mar 25, 2007
"Jordan played in a hands-on era of perimeter defense. Bryant has benefited from the relatively recent crackdown on grabbing, clutching and hand-checking on the perimeter."
Mr. Berger I agree with your statement to a certain extent however, you fail to mention that on the flip side, Jordan didn't face the zone defenses and permiter double and triple teams that Kobe faces today.

London, UK

#10 Mar 25, 2007
Hang on -- what about the fact Kobe's playing at a time when
a) zone defenses are allowed
b) defenses are generally more sophisticated, with more careful scouting
c) the average athletic ability of defenders being twice what it was in Jordan's time

(c) is a pretty damn big deal -- when Jordan was around, the only guys who could match his jets were Drexler, Richmond and Dr. J. And the good doctor didn't play defense. Starks etc.*had* to use their hands to play defense because they couldn't keep up with him.


#11 Mar 25, 2007
have you ever seen jordan play? dont give me that crap about the rules change, you can just as easily say that with zone defenses and better athletes defense today is better than ever. kobe gets knocked around all the time and doesnt get calls. not only that, Kobe shoots from the outside and does his scoring from all over the place. even if guys could play more physical with him, it wouldnt matter because he could still just rise up and shoot. dont try to say that jordan is a better player than kobe because he is not. but i dont think you really know the game of basketball or what it takes to be a scorer. you just go by what everyone else says and say that the rules make kobe a better player. Kobe was scoring 50 when jordan was playing in the league. now he is just better and is more consistent about it. whats amazing is that he never gets tired. jordan could never do this. just like he could never score 80 or even 70 points.

United States

#12 Mar 25, 2007
Funny you should write that Kobe doesn't get preferential treatment, but in the same breath you say that the rules today are geared towards (KB) the offensive player.

Watch the games again and see how many times KB24 gets thumped in the paint and on the perimeter, yet doesn't get the D.Wade calls.

To me, that is the closing gap between what you call "today's rules" and yester-decades "real rules."

Give credit where credit is due.

Eugene, OR

#13 Mar 26, 2007
True enough, except for two things:

1. Watch a few Lakers games. Watch a few Heat games (once Wade gets back). Wade gets those touch fouls. Kobe fights through contact time and time again, and doesn't often get those touch foul calls. As you mentioned, he doesn't benefit from the whistles the way Jordan did, and that includes the perimiter fouls they're calling now. Kobe works very hard for every foul call he receives.

2. Jordan never played against a zone defense. A look at Kobe's worst game of this season makes the point. The Piston's played zone against Kobe in Detroit, and made it really tough on him. The zone defense makes him work harder, and it allows for the double and even triple team. Michael never dealt with that.

Considering that Kobe deals with more contact than most in this league, I don't think it makes sense to say that he benefits from the rule changes nearly as much as if we were talking about D-Wade. Throw in the fact that MJ didn't have to worry about zone defenses, and at the very most, the defensive challenge against them both is about equal. Some might say the lack of zone defense gave MJ a slight advantage.
Jeff Schmitt

Dubuque, IA

#14 Mar 26, 2007

You are aware that Dwane Casey was banned from the NCAA after being accused of mailing cash to a recruit, right? While Casey did a decent job with a poorly-constructed Timberwolves roster (it is no accident that the Wolves have lost 19 of their last 29 games since Casey was fired with a .500 record), I simply can't see Kentucky hiring the guy who took the fall for Eddie Sutton.

Toronto, Canada

#15 Mar 26, 2007
Hey Ken Berger, did you read what MJ's coach just said when comparing MJ to Kobe? MJ gets his points in the perimeter or at the post (meaning the defense is not that tight coz you can get to the perimeter or post so easily), while Kobe gets his from ANY angle, be it inside or outside the perimeter or at the post. Now tell me, who's in a better position to judge the two. Phil Jackson or you?

Dover, NH

#16 Mar 26, 2007
Hey i dont know if you know this but the NBA can play Zone defense now. They can double Kobe without the ball. Did you watch the Golden State game? When jordan played they couldnt run a whole time around after him. And dont tell me guys dont touch people anymore. Kobe has a hand on him just about the whole game. The players are bigger stonger and faster, and the defense of todays game is much better.

United States

#17 Mar 26, 2007
yea, but guys now in the nba are also bigger than their were in the 80-90s when Jordan played...
Curt Wilson

Bakersfield, CA

#18 Mar 26, 2007
You are correct about the fact that Jordan played in an era where defenders could use their hands, but he also played in a era where there was no zone defense. Last night the Warriors doubled Kobe before he even touched the ball, teams couldn't do that in the 80's.

Lawrence, KS

#19 Mar 27, 2007
Tough debate, I love Kobe, I love MJ. Right now Kobe is hands down, best player in the league, no question about it. IS he better than Jordan was? Not as good of an all around player as Jordan. Greg anthony said it best the other day, Kobe has more talent than jordan on the offensive end. He can shoot ridiculously better than jordan. I would say they are pretty even with their driving ability but If you watch old jordan highlights you still gotta give the edge to jordan, I dont see kobe with the types of highlights jordan had. But the shooting is what puts Kobe ahead in offensive ability. Defensively I think jordan has the edge, and greg anthony's point was Jordan knew how to win better and wasn't as selfish when he figured out how to use his teammates. Plus factor in that back when jordan played the defense was tougher. Yes it was tougher, the refs let you play and the defense was more intense. Now adays you can shot fake and jump in to the defender and draw a foul no matter what. If Jordan lifted weights and trained like Kobe does now, would that of made him even tougher, cause jordan didnt start lifting tell 91-92, and he didnt lift for his legs. I can't even imagine. Honestly another big factor that you can tell is present is when Jordan played I got the feeling watching that his teammates loved his competitiveness and killer instinct and it gave them confidence, now as good as Kobe is I feel like his teammates do the opposite, when Kobe is trying to score I get the feeling his teammates just think he is being selfish and dont really feed off him, that is a huge difference.

Indianapolis, IN

#20 Apr 6, 2007
What!, Kobe wouldn't be as great if opponents were allowed to play defense!?? I've seen Kobe hit impossible shots while wearing the defenders like a jersey! MJ's top 4 scoring games came in o.t, one was is double o.t. Kobe is better offensively than MJ,period! MJ is not the best either, no one is!

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