In his latest book entitled Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success, legendary head coach Phil Jackson compared the two most decorated players he coached, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Many say that Kobe Bryant is the closest thing to Michael Jordan, in terms of mentality, production, and the drive to win. But in the book, Phil Jackson closely addresses the idea that Jordan and Bryant are similar, and according to him, there are some significant differences between the two.
Jackson gave the nod to Jordan over Bryant in a variety of important departments. All of which are important to the greatness of a player. While not insulting to Kobe’s and his abilities, he did say that Jordan was superior in several departments. He said that Jordan was a better leader, a more fierce defender, and overall a more team oriented player on and off the court. Jackson also discusses his ill will towards Bryant when the allegations of rape were brought against the five time champion in 2003. Bryant was found not guilty of the charges brought against him.
Jordan and Bryant are both great players in their own rights. Combined, the two have accounted for all of Jackson’s eleven rings. Many will take the excerpts from the book as shots towards Kobe, but Kobe himself will probably tell you that a lot of things said about him are true. Kobe has always acknowledged that Jordan is the greatest player of all time, and it did take Bryant a little while to carve out his niche in the NBA. But once he found himself, he exploded, and became the closest thing to Jordan. While no one will probably ever reach the heights that Jordan did, Bryant has still established himself as one of the greats of all time.