Few Kobe fans remember the miracles Jesus could work with a roundball.
Sports are big on hyperbole, but Denver Nuggets coach George Karl went steroidal and sacrilegious with his when, after losing the Western Conference Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers, he told reporters, "I think Jesus would have had trouble covering [Kobe Bryant]." There's no question that 24 is crazy nice, but we wouldn't go so far as to say he's a basketball god, or even the son of a basketball god. If we had to wager, we'd put money on J.C. completely shutting Black Mamba down. After all, Jesus is said to have turned water to wine. What's to prevent him from turning a well hydrated Kobe into a 60-percent-alcohol mess? Kobe might still spin and fade away, but the only rim he'd hit is the toilet bowl (and even that would be a feat with that much adult grape juice in him).
Jesus isn't the only one, either. Complex believes that figures from all major religions could make Kobe look like a D-League benchwarmer. Check it out as we pit them against 24 in a one-on-one showdown. It's holy war on the hardwood! Of course, if you're a dismayed Kobe Bryant fanatic, keep the faith. According to most religions, miracles do happen...
KOBE VS. CONFUCIUS
• Big C doesn't have the hops that he used to have, but he's definitely the wiser of the two. Confucius says: Slyly throw an elbow in Kobe's groin and walk away, letting him rant and rave until he gets himself ejected. Put that shit on a fortune cookie, sucka!
KOBE VS. MOHAMMED
• Remember how Kobe impressed LeBron James by waking up earlier than anyone else on Team USA to hit the weight room? Well, that kind of work ethic pales in comparison to Mohammed's self-discipline. When was the last time Kobe fasted for a month? Chew on that, Mamba!
KOBE VS. BUDDHA
• Buddha gave up all his worldly possessions and lived a life of selflessness. Kobe hogs the ball and gets his 40 by jacking up 55 shots. Which one do you think teammates would harder play for? Besides, you know Phil Jackson would sell Kobe out for a little Zen wisdom (or another book deal).
KOBE VS. MOSES
• Moses parted the Red Sea to help Jews escape slavery in Egypt. How hard do you think he'd find it to split his defender? Literally!
KOBE VS. VISHNU
• Kobe has been tested by defensive experts Bruce Bowen, Ron Artest, Shane Battier, and Raja Bell, but he's never tried to shoot with four hands in his face! You're our boy, Blue!
KOBE VS. APHRODITE
• It's no coincidence that the Greek goddess of love and beauty forgot her uniform in the locker room. She knows Kobe's weakness for attacking the rim.
KOBE VS. TOM CRUISE
• OK, Kobe could definitely serve Scientology's most recognizable advocate—but he wouldn't if he wants to work in Hollywood again.