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Jordan Greater Than Kobe

I’m usually one to jump in the “Kobe versus Jordan” argument, even though some things in last year’s Celtics/Lakers tussle essentially settled it. Thanks to a great find at ESPN’s TrueHoop blog, I think the discussion is even more over than it was last summer.

A post at the Basketball Reference blog — well, like the title says — confirmed what most already knew or believed: Michael is the superior player, even when it comes to a strictly statistical analysis. There’s a lot of higher math going on in the post — eek — with intimidating phrases like “Pythagorean expectation” thrown in for good measure.

But what all the number crunching came down to is this:

In other words — and this should be obvious — when we watch Kobe play, we’re seeing a far lesser version of Michael Jordan in action. Similar in style and mannerism, maybe, but when we translate the statistics for era, it becomes very clear that Jordan was actually the one “playing chess” while Bryant “plays checkers.”

Checkmate to Mister Jordan.