Originally written on StraitPinkie.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Lakers
There have been many instances where Phil Jackson was asked who he thought was better, Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. Since Jackson coached both superstars he would know better than others who try and weigh in on this issue. When he coached MJ they won six NBA titles together and just one less when Phil was in L.A. with Kobe. Countless times he was asked and as per usual Phil would give a noncommittal answer. It was almost as if the media was waiting for Jackson’s true answer like a woman waiting for her boyfriend to propose. Well Jackson finally popped the question…. er I mean answered the question in his new book called “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success.” Overall Jackson believes that Jordan is better than Kobe. In his book he says that Jordan was a better leader than Bryant. In his book Phil writes, “One of the biggest differences between the two stars from my perspective was Michael’s superior skills as a leader. Though at times he could be hard on his teammates, Michael was masterful at controlling the emotional climate of the team with the power of his presence.  Kobe had a long way to go before he could make that claim. He talked a good game, but he’d yet to experience the cold truth of leadership in his bones, as Michael had in his bones.” Okay so Jordan one Kobe zero. One the defensive side again votes in the direction of MJ. Jackson in his book says, “No question, Michael was a tougher, more intimidating defender. He could break through virtually any screen and shut down almost any player with his intense, laser-focused style of defense. In general, Kobe tends to rely more heavily on his flexibility and craftiness, but he takes a lot of gambles on defense and sometimes pays the price.” Jordan two, Kobe zero. Switching to the offensive side of things Jackson again prefers Jordan’s overall offensive production. Jackson compares them as he writes, “Jordan was also more naturally inclined to let the game come to him and not overplay his hand, whereas Kobe tends to force the action, especially when the game isn’t going his way. When his shot is off, Kobe will pound away relentlessly until his luck turns. Michael, on the other hand, would shift his attention to defense or passing or setting screens to help the team win the game.” Jordan three, Kobe zero. Even though Bryant did try to follow in Jordan’s footsteps with the he played on the court and even the way he spoke to the media. The two were different in how they interacted with their teammates. Phil says, “Michael was more charismatic and gregarious than Kobe. He loved hanging out with his teammates and security guards, playing cards, smoking cigars, and joking around. Kobe is different. He was reserved as a teenager, in part because he was younger than the other players and hadn’t developed strong social skills in college. When Kobe first joined the Lakers, he avoided fraternizing with his teammates. But his inclination to keep to himself shifted as he grew older. Increasingly, Kobe put more energy into getting to know the other players, especially when the team was on the road.” I wonder what will be going in Kobe’s mind as he reads Phil’s book. These words from Jackson might just fuel Bryant even more while he is trying to rehab from when he tore his Achilles tendon. Not that Bryant needs anymore motivation, but Jackson’s words could be “bulletin board” material in Bryant’s house. With that being said I totally agree with Phil. Each generation believes the players they watched were the greatest of all time. I grew up watching MJ and to this day I think Jordan is hands down the best basketball player in the history of the NBA. What say you? Who is better MJ or Kobe?
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

Report: Browns interested in drafting Marcus Mariota

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

WATCH: South Alabama coach bloodied after kick to the face

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

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.

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.