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Michael Jordan Once Got Honest on Kobe Bryant vs LeBron James Debate: “In Terms of Dominance in the Game of Basketball at This Stage, It’s LeBron. But..”

Published 08/19/2022, 10:00 AM EDT

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Michael Jordan’s greatness is well etched in the NBA annals. The Bulls icon dazzled NBA fans for several years with his ability to glide in the air. He dominated the 1990s, leading his team to six NBA titles in that decade and cementing an unparalleled legacy.

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Only two players in the past few decades have molded a legendary career that has drawn parallels to Michael Jordan: Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Bryant’s comparison to Jordan is natural given his game, which made him appear to be a clone of his idol. Furthermore, the competitive mentality and the hunger to perfect their craft were apparent in both the legends.


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While LeBron James’ game is diametrically opposed to Jordan’s. However, The King’s dominance over the last decade was bound to attract comparisons to Jordan’s dominance during his days with the Bulls.

These comparisons are inherent in any sport and will persist. Regardless, the three players have cemented their position among the NBA greats forever. These legends have exhibited what it’s like to be at the pinnacle of basketball through their skills and illustrious careers.

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When Jordan retired in 2003, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant were regarded as the league’s biggest stars for the years that followed. And, as one might expect, the debate over which of the two is better quickly became a heated subject.

The two had numerous matchups in which they gave each other a run for their money. Although Kobe and LeBron never locked horns in the NBA Finals, the debate lingered on. Interestingly, even Michael Jordan was put on the spot to choose the better player of the two.

Michael Jordan once declared who of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James he believes is better

Kobe Bryant vs LeBron James has been a long-running debate. Both players have massive fan bases that will back their favorite player over the other. Ahmad Rashad once put Michael Jordan on the spot and asked him to name who he thought was the superior player between the two.

He initially attempted to escape the discussion by sarcastically naming Kevin Durant, but then turned serious and voiced his thoughts.


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“In terms of dominance of the game of basketball at this stage, it’s LeBron (James),” he said. “Championship-wise, it’s Kobe Bryant,” Jordan added.

The Bulls legend went on to elaborate his response, claiming that Kobe Bryant was willing to go to any length to win. He went on to add that Kobe was cursed with the same thing as him. Jordan meant that he and Kobe were cursed with the winning mindset and the desire to get better each day.

“If you had to pick between the two, that would be a tough choice but five beats one,” Jordan added.


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It’s worth noting that this interview took place in 2013. Kobe was nearly three years away from winning his fifth NBA championship, while LeBron had just won his first with the Miami Heat. Today, James still trails Kobe in the number of championships won, with four. That means Jordan’s preference today will almost certainly be the same as five beats four.


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LeBron James is 37 years old and will be entering his 20th season as an NBA player. He, though, shows no signs of slowing down. This means it won’t be surprising if he surpasses Kobe’s title total. Or perhaps win two more NBA titles and get level with Michael Jordan.

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Written by:

Ritvik Malhotra


One take at a time

Ritvik is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Ritvik has finally got his foot in the door as a professional sports writer. He previously interned at another media house where he authored over 150 soccer articles, but he is now writing about his primary obsession, basketball.
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Edited by:

Pritam Priyedarshi