Year: 2002

A lot of people could (and do) make an argument that Kobe is the greatest threat to MJ's reign. Kobe has five rings, MJ has six. Kobe has 15 All-Star appearances, Jordan has 14. Kobe's a 12-time All-Defensive selection, Michael made the squad nine times and won Defensive Player of the Year in 1988.

We'd argue that Mamba's still not as great a scoring threat as MJ, but the real reason that we believe Kobe hasn't made it to Mike's level is outlined in their MVP comparisons. The argument that MJ makes all those around him better isn't just empty bullshit; the dude has five MVP's (to Mamba's one) and took home Finals MVP awards in all six of his appearances (not to mention he won them all). By comparison Kobe "only" brought home two Finals MVPs and lost the Finals twice (something we're sure just eats at a player as competitive as Bryant). This is not to say that Kobe isn't a legend, it's just evidence of how elevated Jordan's status is. There's also truth behind the argument that MJ never had a Shaq, though it's bullshit to imply that Kobe's nothing without big Diesel.