Debates about the greatest players in the history of the NBA have been going on forever and will continue to do so until the end of time. Though everyone has their opinion, Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan and Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant are on nearly everyone’s short list.
So too is LeBron James, who ignited discussion by sharing the feeling he had of being the greatest player of all time after defeating the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals.
As for Bryant and Jordan, finding the difference in talent level is splitting hairs. Phil Jackson has done his best to discuss how they compare and differ, but they still represent a level that very few are able to attain.
Someone who recognizes this is Warriors star Kevin Durant. While speaking about the players he watches the most film on, Durant declared that Jordan and Bryant are superior to anyone else in NBA history, via Shams Charania of The Athletic:
“But watching Kobe and Mike, I’m like, ‘How do you not realize how good these dudes are?’ How do you not say they’re by far better than anybody who’s played the game? Just by the way they move, how fluid they are.”
Words like these coming from someone the caliber of Durant likely means far more than the average person. Durant is a regular season and NBA Finals MVP who is climbing high up the ranks of the all-time greats himself, so he sees the game in a different way than almost anyone else. Viewing Kobe and Jordan in that light just shows how great both legends really are.
Durant focused on the way both stars moved on the court and their fluidity. Bryant and Jordan were supreme athletes, but they were also extremely intelligent players who used every move and trick to get to their spots on the court and dominate the game.
Respect from their peers is something that players in all sports strive for, and Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan have the ultimate respect from the NBA greats.
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