The Mythical Bar Set by Michael Jordan

Kobe Bryant is the closest NBA player thus far to reach similar monumental accomplishments as Michael Jordan on the court. Both Jordan and Bryant have also been able to influence an entire community of basketball fanatics through wealthy endorsement deals with Nike.

Jordan essentially created the basketball shoe phenomenon, in which average Joe’s go to their local Nike store and purchase $100-plus shoes just for the brand name. Brand Jordan has essentially become one of the most successful shoe products in history, as it generates over $1 billion in revenue for Nike.

In addition to the ridiculous endorsement deals Jordan has secured, his salary earnings are the highest by any NBA player in history. During Jordan’s 1997-1998 season, he earned $33.1 million for the highest salary in a single NBA season. The only player to come close to that figure is Kobe Bryant, as he will earn $30.5 million for the 2013-2014 season.

The first comparison that comes to mind between Jordan and Bryant is the number of rings that each player has, and Jordan has the upper hand with a total of six rings, one more than Bryant. But rings are not the sole indicator that determines the quality and success of an individual.

The characteristic that distinguishes Michael Jordan from any other athlete was his ability to make the players around him so much better. Jordan was a fearless leader on the court, but his ability to facilitate and control the basketball with his teammates makes him the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jordan influenced his teammates to become better than what their initial capabilities seemed to be through his continuous accomplishments as a player, such as being the NBA scoring champion for ten seasons and being selected for the All-NBA Defensive First Team nine times.

Next: Basketball Excellence

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