Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/15/13
In the NBA and, really, any professional league, money doesn’t talk when it comes to greatness, and championships create the chatter. That’s why, for Michael Jordan — the best player in NBA history — Kobe Bryant gets the nod over LeBron James. In an interview on NBA TV,  Jordan was asked whether he would favor James or Bryant. His selection is No. 24′s  five championships over No. 6′s only title. “Five beats one every time I look at it,” Jordan said. “And that [James] won’t get five. He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one.” While the former Bulls star’s math is precise, the current Miami Heat star does not receive the credit he should be getting. In Thursday night’s 110-100 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, James scored 39 points. But the big news was that the game marked the end of his impressive record-setting streak of high scoring and efficiency. Until that point, James had six straight games of scoring at least 30 points and shooting 60 percent from the field — something that has never been done before in the NBA. Thursday night’s performance isn’t the argument — it is just an example of what No. 6 has displayed throughout his nine-year campaign in the NBA. James, who turned 28 in December, still has a lot of miles left to catch up to Kobe’s five championships. Prior to his championship in 2012, James had his back against the wall as he turned away from his native land for South Beach. With the Cleveland Cavaliers, general manager Danny Ferry reeled in players such as Antawn Jamison, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Shaquille O’Neal, but to be a champion, there must be a complete team. The Cleveland Cavaliers were only equipped with James and complimentary pieces, which ultimately led him to join Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Pat Riley in Miami. Currently, the 28-year-old James is averaging  27. 3 points (third in NBA), 8.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists in 38.5 minutes per game. In the past, he has been right around those numbers, but the pieces that Riley has added are substantial. Whether or not James can lead the Heat to “not four, not five, not six, but seven titles” remains to be seen, but at the steady rate at which the all-around athlete is pursuing the goal, all signs look to be a bright flame in the fire. Bryant has spent his Lakers days with many talented figures around him, including 15-time NBA All-Star O’Neal, three-time All-Star Glen Rice and buzzer-beater phenomenon Robert Horry. Recently, he sits next to many intriguing players in 39-year-old point guard Steve Nash and one of NBA’s top centers in Dwight Howard. But Bryant’s 26.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists are all LaLa Land has to show for that setup. Jordan does present an accurate case, but in today’s NBA, Bryant and James have shifted roles. The Lakers great is declining in Los Angeles in the same way that James failed to reach the top in Cleveland, and James finds himself with an immense future in front of him, and the tools to show why he could be called the best.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

New Jersey Devils fire trail-blazing radio analyst Sherry Ross

Report: Chris Paul, Spurs may have ‘mutual interest’ in deal

Antonio Brown tweets great reaction to relaxed celebration rules

Report: Timberwolves interested in signing Derrick Rose

Report: NFL teams raising ‘concerns’ over games in London

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doctors unsure whether Isaiah Thomas needs hip surgery

NBA will bring All-Star Game back to Charlotte in 2019

Chelsea cancels Premier League victory parade amid Manchester attack

Rob Gronkowski on field for start of OTAs

Report: Myles Garrett sidelined with minor injury at OTAs

Homer Simpson to be inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker