HOUSTON — Vanilla vs. Chocolate. Less Filling vs. Tastes Great. Ginger vs. Mary Ann.
Maybe Michael Jordan was trying to light up a little rivalry fun on the eve of blowing out his 50 birthday candles on Sunday. Or maybe he’s just bored with his Bobcats on their way to another worst-in-the-NBA record (12-40).
For whatever reason, Jordan decided to weigh in on the hoop debate of our currents times and said in an NBA TV interview that he would take Kobe Bryant over LeBron James.
The deciding factor? Championship rings.
“Five beats one every time I look at it,” Jordan said. “And not that (James) won’t get five. He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one.”
It is, of course, the kind of classic debate that long has been the reason they put stools in bars and truthfully you can’t be very wrong with either choice. At this point Kobe has played 17 seasons in the league to collect his five championships, while LeBron seems to be just coming into his own in his 10th season in the league.
As a consensus choice as the greatest player of all time, we’re not here to question Jordan’s credentials on the topic. But we do have to wonder about his overly simplistic reasoning.
While championships should certainly figure into the overall evaluation any player’s career, should they be the difference makers?
Is is really fair to compare the breadth of Bryant’s 17 seasons to James at a time when he seems to be gathering confidence and might be starting a run of titles?
Five is bigger than one. We can’t argue with the math.
But by his own reasoning, that means Celtics’ immortal Bill Russell clearly gets the nod over Jordan himself. Eleven is bigger than six.
And while we’re at it, that happens to put Jordan behind Robert Horry. Seven is bigger than six, too.