Full Court Press – MJ vs. Kobe, Bulls Chances without Rose, Brooklyn Nets

Welcome to this week’s edition of Full Court Press where we will cover:

  • The New Look Nets
  • The Bulls Chances without Rose
  • Whether Kobe is Even Close to MJ

Brooklyn’s Finest

We all knew it was coming, but on April 30th, the Nets officially changed cities and names, and will now be called the Brooklyn Nets.  The move comes after a fifth consecutive losing season for the franchise, but hopefully a new city, new logo, and new jerseys (not New Jersey), can give them new life. Word on the street is that Jay-Z, part owner of the team, had a hand in designing the new logo.  The darker look is supposed to be reminiscent of the Brooklyn Subway signs from the 1950’s (the last decade that Brooklyn housed a sports franchise).

A Rose by Any Other Name

The Chicago Bulls, owners of the best regular season record in the NBA this year, will have to play the rest of the playoffs without their star and reigning league MVP, Derrick Rose.  Playing without Rose is something that the Bulls are used to, considering the fact that their superstar missed 27 games due to injury this year, but their 18-9 record without him shows that they aren’t playing their best ball when he’s not on the court.  The Bulls’ first playoff game without him, ended in a loss, but how will the rest of the series (and the playoffs, for that matter) shake out for the Bulls?

[ad name=”GAS-Blog-Banner”]

The Roseless Bulls should work out the kinks and get by the Sixers, although what was sure to be a sweep before the injury will likely extend to six, maybe even seven games.  From there they will face the winner of the Celtics/Hawks series, and in our opinion, that’s where the ride stops.  The Bulls might have the defense to slow down either Boston or Atlanta, but they will be hard pressed to find the scoring necessary to pull out the series win.  Thankfully for the Bulls, this wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime team, and if Rose can fully recover next season, they should be right back in the championship discussions.

Has Kobe Reached MJ Status?

Nobody, save for the most insane sports analyst, would dare claim that Kobe Bryant was better than Michael Jordan.  Both players have won multiple titles, served as the face of the franchise and even the league, and were the best players at their positions during their tenure in the league.  So why is it so insane that anyone places Kobe on the same pedestal as Jordan?  Let’s dive into the numbers and see how everything shakes out.

Per Game Averages

Points

Assists

Rebounds

Steals

Blocks

Kobe

25.4

4.7

5.3

1.5

0.5

MJ

30.1

5.3

6.2

2.3

0.8

Kobe’s per-game averages pale in comparison to Jordan’s.  He trails in every major category by a significant margin, especially points per game.  There never has been, nor will there ever be, a player who can score like Mike did.  The closest active player to MJ’s scoring average is LeBron at 27.6 PPG, but he is already in his prime, and as long as he stays in a system where he has to share the touches with people like Bosh and Wade, we wouldn’t expect his numbers to increase significantly.

Awards & Achievements

NBA Titles

Finals MVP’s

League MVP’s

Scoring Titles

Kobe

5

2

1

2

MJ

6

6

5

10

When we look at regular & post-season awards, Michael takes the cake here too. He has more NBA Titles (although Kobe is still playing and might match him here), more Finals MVP’s (no way Kobe can catch), more League MVP’s (again, no way for Kobe to catch), and infinitely more scoring titles.

The only reason the people compare Kobe to Michael, is that Jordan has been out of the league for so long, we sometimes forget just how good he was.  Kobe is fresh on everyone’s minds where MJ has been out of the league since 2003 (1998 if you don’t count those atrocious years with Washington).  So with more than a decade separating Mike from our memories and only some grainy non-HD footage to remember him by, it’s easy for us to compare other players to him.  But look at the numbers and try to make an argument that any player today should be compared to Jordan – it can’t be done.

About Aaron Garcia

Aaron is an avid sports fan who passionately follows the NFL, NBA and MLB, in addition to NCAA Sports. He is an Arizona State University grad who loves the Dodgers and the Patriots.