A story that seems to never end is the comparison between two of the greatest players in NBA history, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. The two are constantly compared due to their similar styles as well as accomplishments.
One major similarity between the two is their mindset as both are known as maniacal competitors. Kobe, however, identified a major a difference between he and Jordan in a Q&A article with USA Today’s Sam Amick:
That’s a big misconception of my competitiveness. People look at my competitive spirit, and they automatically attach it to the thing that’s most similar, most easily recognizable, which is Michael’s competitive spirit. I’m different. I enjoy building. I enjoy the process of putting the puzzle together, and then the byproduct of that, the consequence of that, is beating somebody. That becomes the cherry on top, the icing on the cake. But the thing that’s most enjoyable to me is not actually beating you. It’s the process of coming up with the blueprint of beating you that I enjoy. That’s a huge flip, so for me I enjoy building. I enjoy coming up. So the transition for me is a little different than it is for other guys.
In December, Kobe passed Jordan for third on the all-time scoring list, when he sank in two free throws in the second quarter of a Lakers game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He now sits behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928).
Although Kobe is out for the rest of the season, he has made it very clear that he intends on returning next season for the final year of his contract and, possibly, of his career. He still sits one championship behind Jordan, but the Lakers have made it clear that they won’t sacrifice the future of the franchise to make one last run for Kobe.