Bill Simmons, in his ESPN chat this week:
Grant (Chicago): Can someone put an end to all the "Kobe is as good as MJ talk." Kobe wins one championship (i'm assuming the Lakers win) without Shaq and he's all of a sudden as good as MJ? I don't get it, Kobe hasn't even had one season that would crack any of MJ's top 10. Not to mention that Kobe isn't mentally tough enough to have gotten through those physical eastern conference playoffs in the 90s.
Bill Simmons: It's such an absurd argument that it's not even worth writing about. Kobe has shown flashes of MJ-dom, and he definitely dipped into those waters in the playoffs, but Jordan played at that level for 10 solid years, and he was doing it during an era when players got pounded and they didn't have the hand-check rules. I have written this before but I honestly believe that, if the MJ from '87 to '93 played with the rules in place from '05 to '08, he would have averaged 45 a game
John Hollinger, in his ESPN chat today:
david I (manhattan): How many total titles with this current roster will it take to truly put Kobe in the same sentence with MJ and not get many arguments?
John Hollinger: At least three. Possibly more. I'm sorry, but I just want to puke anytime somebody compares a contemporary player to Jordan. There's no comparison at all. That's no disrespect to Kobe, who will likely go down as the second-best SG of all time. But MJ was absurdly good.
There are people who think Kobe is MJ's equal or superior. Those people don't know anything about basketball.