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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Kobe – the End is Near

Everyone loves making sports comparisons. The hypothetical what ifs? What if we could break down space and time and put these two teams, two athletes against one another, head to head. Ali vs Mayweather, today’s Patriots vs the undefeated Dolphins, the 1996 Bulls vs the current Warriors.
One of the most famous sports comparisons that’s made by the media, and even embraced by the athletes, is Kobe versus Jordan. While Michael Jordan has by far the greater individual statistics, Kobe is virtually the only modern day player than has been able to replicate Jordan’s numbers. Kobe Bryant has five Larry O’Brien Championship trophies in seven appearances, 15 all-star appearances, 1.5 steals per game, 4.8 assists per game, and 26 points per game. On the other hand, Jordan has six Larry O’Brien Championship trophies in six appearances, 14 all-star appearances, 2.2 steals per game, 5.3 assists per game, and 30 points per game. Yes, Jordan’s numbers are slightly better, but today’s NBA is arguably more competitive with a higher level of talent than in the 90’s. Athleticism in the NBA today is incomparable to the 90’s. In turn, defenses are quicker and stronger than ever before.
But Kobe’s statistics aren’t the only thing that makes him comparable to Jordan; even his attitude and style of play are practically identical. Both athletes have a fire-breathing tenacity that won’t accept losing as the answer, each with almost maniacal egos that crush anyone in the way of success. Both have the relentless and painstaking attitudes that winning is the only way to live.  
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Having said that, shared similarities are not always positive in nature. Another feature in their distinctive personalities is the absence of self-reflection and personal objectivity. Kobe is virtually a clone of the washed up Michael Jordan that finished his career in Washington. Both use the tactics of belittling and insulting teammates in hopes of motivating them to perform better. When personal performance slumps, Jordan and Kobe are the first to point fingers in the direction of management or teammates.
Honestly though, it’s sad to see Kobe going out in a similar fashion to Jordan: the outbursts at practice, the shooting woes, and the frequent flashes of basketball mortality displayed in virtually every game. In Kobe’s career he’s shot almost 50% field goals, but this season he is shooting an all-time low of 31%. Similar to Kobe, Jordan hit shooting slumps at the same time in his career.
Despite the drop off, Bryant seems to think he can go head-to-head with the best players in the game. It was a sad sight to see when Kobe tried to match Steph Curry’s shooting performance in the recent Warriors vs Lakers game. The result: Kobe shooting 1-14 from the field. Instead of acknowledging his deteriorating play, Bryant blamed the loss on his teammates, stating they need to give him more options.

Jordan caused the same circus during his time at the Wizards. In Jordan’s mind, the lack of success was management’s fault or his teammates. Eventually, he isolated himself from the whole team, just like we’re witnessing with Kobe Bryant today. The funny thing is, Jordan is still delusional when it comes to self-awareness. Like Kobe, he too probably believes he could outscore Stephen Curry, the best shooter in the game.
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It’s awful to see greatness come to an end, but Father Time beats every opponent he faces. The sad thing is, both Kobe and Jordan still think they are winning this battle.