Is Kobe Bryant better than Michael Jordan?
While many mourn the death of Bryant, who died in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California along with his daughter and seven other passengers on Sunday, January 26, the conversation of the greatest of all time is still ‘a thing.’
Look no further than someone who knows both of their games.
Enter former NBA player and current NBC Sports Chicago analyst, Kendall Gill.
Gill once told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast that Kobe Bryant could have MJ beat in one area.
“I’d say the biggest difference is that Kobe is probably just a little bit better of a three-point shooter than Michael,” Kendall Gill told me on Scoop B Radio.
“It was just a little bit better, not a great deal but just a little bit better and Michael was a much better defender than Kobe, and I know Kobe made a lot of defensive teams but he wasn’t the same defensively as Michael. Michael could just flat out shut you down if he wanted to. I really didn’t get that sense when I played against Kobe.”
Kendall Gill was the fifth pick in the 1990 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets.
Gill posted 13 points, 4 rebounds and averaged close to 2 steals per game during his career.
A defensive player no doubt, Gill once posted 11 steals in a regular-season game against the Miami Heat in 1999.
Gill has also had the distinction of guarding some pretty big names during his career.
Add Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant to that elite list.
His duels with MJ and Kobe were worth watching, particularly during Gill’s days with the New Jersey Nets where he went toe to toe with MJ who was on his quest for a second three-peat and a younger Kobe Bryant who was figuring things out with Shaquille O’Neal and the dynasty that would become the Los Angeles Lakers.
In addition to winning five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVP awards and a regular-season MVP in 2008, Kobe Bryant is currently listed number four on the NBA’s scoring list with 33,643 points.
Michael Jordan has six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards, ten scoring titles, five MVP awards and much more.
Both players have been said to play a lot alike and many say that they play on the court like they play in practice. Retired NBA champ, Horace Grant, who played with MJ in Chicago and Bryant in LA once told me that Jordan was the devil.
“Man let me tell you, we thought this guy was just the devil,” Horace Grant told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“This guy practiced so hard and if you weren’t on his team in practice you were his enemy,” Grant told Scoop B Radio.
“And that’s how driven this man was and that’s why you can say that he was the best player that ever played this game.”