By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
Michael Jordan. LeBron James. And the late, great Kobe Bryant. These three NBA greats will forever be linked to one another for their incredible basketball ability, their championship pedigree and their sheer will to win. Combined, the three players have won 15 NBA titles, 12 NBA Finals MVP Awards and 10 league MVP Awards.
But who is the greatest among this trio? Who’s second? Who’s third? Obviously, these are very subjective questions, and even their individual résumés may be subject to interpretation. Below is a statistical overview of each player, followed by some supporting facts that may help sway your decision. Let us know who YOU think is the greatest of the three: Jordan, Bryant or James!
THE CASE FOR MJ: Six for six in NBA championships. His deal with Nike revolutionized the business of basketball. Also won an NCAA championship with North Carolina (1982). An NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, tied for most of all time (with Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Gary Payton). 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. 10x league scoring champion.
THE CASE FOR KOBE: An All-Star Game starter for an NBA record 18 straight seasons. Once scored 81 points in a game, the second-highest single-game total ever (behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100). An NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, tied for most of all time (with Jordan, Kevin Garnett and Gary Payton). 2x league scoring champion.
THE CASE FOR LEBRON: Only player to lead three different teams to NBA titles. Poised to become the only player in league history with 10,000 career rebounds and 10,000 career assists. Currently has 98 triple doubles (Jordan had 28 in his career, Bryant had 21). 5x NBA All-Defensive First Team selection. 1x league scoring champion. Led NBA in assists in 2020.
# # #