Kobe or LeBron?
That was the question posed to Michael Jordan earlier this week. Now it's one thing when fans are debating, but this is Air Jordan. Everybody wants to "Be Like Mike". Jordan's word is sacred in the NBA. Every move Kobe makes, every soundbite, every jumpshot, every mannerism shoots to be like MJ. LeBron once wore his No. 23, as if it were a badge of honor. Kobe's No. 24 hopes to be one better.
"He's an immortal," Bryant said. "I mean it's just, everything that he's done, from a business aspect to the professionalism, to the work ethic, to the global appeal of the game is something that carries on for generations and generations."
"Five beats one every time I look at it," Jordan said. "And not that (LeBron) won't get five. He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one."
Friday, Lebron's response at the NBA's All-Star Weekend countered the Jordan reasoning.
"You know, at the end of the day, it doesn't define someone's career. If that's the case, then I would take (Bill) Russell over Jordan. But, I wouldn't take Russell over Jordan. Russell has eleven rings. Jordan has six. I'll take...I don't know...I'll take Robert Horry over Kobe. I wouldn't do that, but it's your personal opinion. Rings does not define someone's career. You look at a guy, like I said last night, like Jud Buechler, who has multiple rings. Charles Barkley does not have one ring. He's not better than Barkley. Patrick Ewing is one of the greatest of all-time. Reggie Miller is one of the greatest of all-time. you know, sometimes, it's the situation that you're in. It's the team that you're on and it's about timing as well. But I don't play the game and try to define who I am, or what guys say, or how they feel about me. It doesn't matter to me. I go on. I play for my family. I play for my teammates. I play for my coaching staff. and I play for the fans."
Lebron also insists the Jordan snub won't fuel his fire.
"My inspiration is the game that I love. I don't need no material for that. I don't need nobody to pick me or not," he said.
He is the best in the game today, but right now LeBron probably feels like the last kid picked on the playground.