Regardless of whether Michael Jordan is the best player of all time, you have to argue that his career was a benchmark for many of today’s players. And now that Kobe Bryant is considered, arguably, the best player in the league, the question has to be asked: do his achievements exceed what Jordan did? Well, in at least four instances they do:
5. More All Star MVP Awards
While Jordan was always a sight to behold at an All Star Game, Bryant has passed him in terms of All Star MVP Awards. Michael won three All Star MVP Awards in his career (1988, 1996, 1998), while Bryant currently has won four (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011)
4. More points in one game
For all of his big single games (five games with over 60 points), Jordan never had a night like Kobe had on January 22, 2006 against the Toronto Raptors. With 81 points, Kobe had the second most points all time, only behind Wilt Chamberlin’s legendary 100 point game.
3. More All NBA Selections
In his fourteen seasons, Bryant has been selected to an All NBA Team more times then Jordan has in his entire career. Jordan was selected to a team 11 times (10 time First Team, one time Second Team), while Bryant has been selected 12 times (eight time First Team, two time Second Team, two time Third Team).
2. Most points scored at Madison Square Garden
It may not seem like a big deal, but a lot is made about having a big game under the bright lights of MSG. Michael Jordan has had a number of extremely memorable games in New York. Who can forget the one where he lit up the Knicks while having the flu? It may surprise you, though, to learn that Kobe holds the records for the most points in a single game at MSG. In a February 2009 game, Bryant put in 61 in a Lakers victory. Jordan was never able to do that.
1. More NBA finals appearances
All right, at this point in his career Jordan had won more championships than Bryant has (though he can tie Michael’s mark this season), but Bryant has seven appearances to Jordan’s six, with Bryant winning five and losing two. And before you bring up the Shaq thing, it’s not like Jordan had nobody’s around him in Chicago when he won his six.