NBA Stats Comparisons: Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant
NBA Seasons Bryant (20), Jordan (15)
Bryant clearly played more seasons than Jordan – but he did come straight out of high school at the tender age of 18 while Jordan spent three years at North Carolina, joining the NBA when he was already 21. He also retired twice (from 1993-1995 and 1998-2001), whereas Bryant played continuously.
Championships Jordan (6), Bryant (5)
For a long time, Jordan had more championship rings than Bryant, as he helped steer his team to two separate “Three-peats” during the 90s. Compared to Bryant’s lone three straight amassed during the 2000 to 2002 stretch, which he capped off years later with a back-to-back in 2009 to 2010, trimming down Jordan’s lead to 1.
Season MVPs Jordan (5), Bryant (1)
This one is not even close. It’s a blowout.
Finals MVPs Jordan (6), Bryant (2)
Another rout in favor of Jordan, but to be fair, Bryant was playing alongside teammate Shaquille O’Neal (arguably the best player of the two) during 3 of his 5 championships and, not surprisingly, had little shot at that prize.
All-NBA Teams Bryant (15), Jordan (11)
With a total selection of 15, Bryant takes this one comfortably. However, only 11 of those are on the First Team – Jordan was on the First Team 10 out of the 11 times he was selected.
All-Defensive Teams Bryant (12), Jordan (9)
The All-Defensive Team lists the 10 best defensive players of the league, divided into two teams of 5. Making it to the list alone, speaks volumes about a player’s defensive prowess – the First Team is even better. Both “MJ” and Kobe have nine First Team selections.
Scoring Titles Jordan (10), Bryant (2)
Jordan led the league in scoring 10 out of the 15 seasons he played – including seven straight years of at least 30+ points per game. It’s also worth noting that he did so with very little 3-point field goals made. Kobe however, is ahead of Jordan on the All-Time Scoring List with 33,643 to Jordan’s 32,292, and supplanting him for 3rd place.
Playoffs Scoring Jordan (30.1 ppg), Bryant (25 ppg)
The postseason – and how a player performs there – is what truly matters. And despite the importance of defense and other intangibles, the league is ultimately based on who has the most points. Jordan is not only ahead in points per game, but also every other facet of scoring – his field goal percentage is .487 (Kobe is .448) with a .828 free throw percentage out of 9 attempts per game (Kobe is .816 at 7 attempts) and is an improved outside shooter at .332 (Kobe is a shade behind at .331).