Michael Jordan vs Kobe Bryant: Head-To-Head

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Who’s the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T)? National Basketball Association (NBA) fans have difficulty answering this question because it has always been Michael Jordan vs Kobe Bryant. 

Although they played in different eras, MJ playing between 1984 and 2003 and Kobe between 1996 and 2016, they were towering figures for their teams and the sport. 

Who’s better? Let’s compare their statistics – championship rings, awards, points, and head-to-head meets.

Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant’s Career

MJ played 15 seasons in the NBA. He was drafted into the league in 1984 as a first-round third-overall pick by the Chicago Bulls. He had two stints at the franchise. The first was between 1984 to 1993, after which he announced his retirement. The shooting guard explained that he’d lost motivation and didn’t have anything else to fight for.

“I’ve always told myself that if I lose the motivation to play, I’d walk away from the game of basketball. I’ve achieved a lot in a short amount of time. At this time, I’ve reached the pinnacle of my career, so I have nothing else to prove.” Michael Jordan said in a press conference.

He tried his hand in Minor League Baseball for the next two years. In 1995, he returned to the Chicago Bulls and played until 1998. MJ announced a second retirement. Three years later, he returned and played for the Washington Wizards for two years. In 2003, he retired, for real, from basketball. 

Kobe Bryant never had retirement stints in his 20 seasons in the NBA. He was drafted as a first-round 13th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996 but was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. This was the only team he represented. 

Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant’s Record

The two played in the shooting guard position and accumulated impressive numbers. MJ played a total of 1,072 games, while Kobe played 1,346. Let’s take a closer look at their stats, starting with Kobe.

Kobe Bryant scored a total of 33,643 points, made 8,378 free throws and 4,010 turnovers, the most in his position. Some of his other prolific records include making a 45.4% field goal percentage, a .837 free throw percentage and 33.7% on 3-pointers. As he was known, the Black Mamba scored 25 points per game.

Kobe played in the playoffs 15 times. Here’re his stats: 

  • He scored 25.6 points per game,
  • Free throw percentage of 81.6
  • 33.1% on the 3-points
  • Scored total points of 5,640
  • Total games 220

Michael Jordan dominated him on points per game and field goal percentage. He made 30.1 points per game, an NBA record and 49.7% field goal percentage. MJ scored fewer points, 32,292.  

When it comes to the playoffs, Michael Jordan was a beast. He played in 13 playoffs. Look at his stats.

  • Total points of 5,987
  • Total games 179
  • Free throw percentage of 82.8
  • 33.2% on the 3-points
  • 33.4 points per game, the most in the NBA playoffs history.

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Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan’s Championships

Who won more championship rings? Michael Jordan edged Kobe Bryant on this. He has 6 championship rings to Kobe’s 5.

MJ’s first NBA Championship came in 1991. He won two more, in 1992 and 1993, in the famous three-peat. His next three came between 1995 and 1998 in another three-peat by the Chicago Bulls. He’s the only player in the history of the NBA to have two three-peats. 

Kobe won his titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.

MJ played in six NBA finals and won in all, while Kobe played in seven and won five.

Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant Awards & Accolades

Both players collected numerous awards during their careers. Take a look at some of them.

Michael Jordan Awards

  • Ten times NBA scoring champion 
  • 14 times NBA All-Star NBA Defensive Player of the Year 
  • 6 times NBA Most Valuable Player in the finals
  • 5 times NBA Most Valuable Player
  • NBA Rookie of the Year

Kobe Bryant Awards

  • Five times NBA champion 
  • NBA Most Valuable Player
  • Two Times NBA scoring champion
  • Four Times Most Valuable Player NBA All-Star Game
  • Eleven Times All-NBA First Team
  • Two times NBA Finals MVP 
  • Eighteen Times NBA All-Star 

It’s fair to say that both players left impressive records. Many people still look back on their days when they’re talking about the NBA and how they changed the game.

If you want to get some Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant apparel, check out Amazon.  

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