words // Brandon Richard
Not one to duck a good Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant question, Phil Jackson has made his latest declaration in the ongoing debate. During a Q&A with the New York Post earlier this week, Jackson was asked if Kobe Bryant is the model for his latest superstar, Carmelo Anthony.
As candid as ever, Jackson responded by saying, "No. No one can approach that. I don’t expect anybody to be able to model their behavior after that, although Kobe modeled his behavior a lot about Michael Jordan, but he went beyond Michael in his attitude towards training, and I know Mike would probably question me saying that, but he did."
That doesn't necessarily mean Jackson thinks Bryant is better than Jordan. In fact, in his book Eleven Rings, Jackson wrote that he believes Jordan is superior as a leader, shooter and defender. So basically, Jackson is saying Kobe trains harder to not be as good as Jordan. Ouch.
If he stays healthy, Bryant should pass Jordan on the NBA's All-Time scoring list early this season. He's also already played 173 games more than Jordan, a little more than two seasons worth.
Does Bryant train harder than Jordan? Maybe. Many people with first hand accounts have stated that there were days when Jordan went straight from an all-nighter at the poker table to the arena. If you ask me, dropping 35 on dudes with no sleep and lungs full of cigar smoke only adds to his greatness. Perhaps Kobe went about things the wrong way.