There are some very easy ways to start a heated debate in any corner of the globe. Spark up a discussion on religion or politics or both and watch the sparks fly. But if you’d prefer something a little more civil yet just as engaging then simply suggest that Kobe Bryant is better than Michael Jordan.
No matter where you stand on the topic you’re sure to have a strong opinion. Of course most would assume you’re talking about the greatest to ever play the game if those two names are in the discussion. Then there’s a chance you’ll get another name or two tossed out to rival both Bryant and MJ for the title of G.O.A.T.
While we love to debate such subjective topics it’s really something only fans care about. To Bryant winning rings is all that matters. He knows there is no possible way to achieve universal acknowledgement as the best ever. He said as much when talking to a psychology class at UC Santa Barbara recently.
“It’s impossible. Even with Jordan, some people say he’s not the best ever. Some say it’s Magic or Bill Russell. That’s not a goal worth shooting for. I just want to win as many as I can.”
Now you can read between the lines a little bit here. I don’t doubt for a second that Bryant is sincere in his desire to win rather than gain an imaginary title. Still, it goes without saying that you can’t even enter the greatest discussion without having a serious collection of rings.
Until Jordan started hanging banners as often as interior decorators do drapes his name wasn’t even considered among the legendary men that preceded him in the NBA. You’ve got to have the rings in order to get a seat at the table for all-time great status.
Therefore it’s almost as if Bryant, in the most subtle manner, is saying he doesn’t want to be discussed as the greatest unless he has more rings than #23.
Of course if that’s the true measuring stick then Bill Russell has an untouchable ring count.
No matter his motivations Bryant is driven in his quest for more titles. So you can basically take the imaginary title of greatest ever and hang that on the crownless head of LeBron James as it seems that’s what he’s truly after. Guys like Bryant will only settle for the tangible rings and the immortal banners that hang from NBA rafters high above.