Gary Payton definitively picks Michael Jordan over Kobe Bryant and claims he was the better scorer and also the greater player.
The debate between whether or not Michael Jordan could ever be surpassed in terms of greatness by Kobe Bryant isn’t one that is much of a debate in all honesty. Even diehard Kobe fans would give the edge to Jordan, a player who simply won more and had more accolades to his name than the Lakers legend did.
When it comes to who the better scorer was however, the narrative shifts quite a bit. It’s well known that Kobe Bryant is one of, if not the most, skilled basketball player to have ever played the game. Many like to give Michael Jordan the edge in this discussion as well as they believe the remix couldn’t possibly be better than the original.
There’s no doubt that Kobe definitively had a deeper bag than the 6x champ. Everything from his footwork to his range, ‘Bean’ had any and everything a score-first guard needed to be the best player on the floor.
Gary Payton talks about Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
Gary Payton had several duels with Michael Jordan over the years, with them meeting in the 1996 NBA Finals for a 6-game series. He also played with Kobe Bryant while on the disappointing 2004 Lakers squad. So, it makes sense that he would be quite knowledgeable when talking about these two legends.
When it comes to explaining why Jordan is a getter scorer than Bryant, Payton says it’s due to their difference in shot selection. The former, according to him, wouldn’t ever settle for a low percentage shot and would try to get to the rim to initiate contact before settling for the mid-range.
Kobe on the other hand, would simply raise up from 19 feet for a contested deep 2, when he could’ve gotten to the rack. This slight difference is what separates the two in ‘The Glove’s’ perspective.
View this post on Instagram
This has some partial truth to it but at the same time, disregards, Bryant’s first 12 years in the league. In all of these season, Kobe Bryant was more than happy to take it to the rack and finish through contact for a higher percentage shot. Michael Jordan also stopped taking it to the hole during his final years with the Bulls as he mastered the mid-range in this time.