|Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, 2003
LOS ANGELES -- If we really must go there again and again, insist on perpetuating a debate that always will hatch the same conclusion, the answer remains the same: NO. Kobe Bryant
is not Michael Jordan, never will be Michael Jordan, should end all designs of ever becoming Michael Jordan and should demand all media at the NBA Finals
to stop comparing him to Michael Jordan. It isn't a pro-Chicago bias driving my judgment that Jordan changed basketball, sport, television, style, fashion, endorsements, the elegant charm of mid-career retirement and the sex appeal of bald-headed men everywhere.
It's simply the truth. And it's nothing Bryant can match or eclipse the rest of his hoops life, even if he and the Lakers
avenge the Boston Celtics
the next two weeks and he wins his fifth league championship. An interesting argument? I suppose -- if you also like locking horns over whether Vince Vaughn has become a better actor than Robert DeNiro. One has done quite well for himself, of course, but beneath history's microscope, there is no parallel. Unless I missed something, MJ never had a "Fred Claus" moment.