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Avery Johnson: Kobe “could be 1-A” to Jordan’s 1-B

Kobe Bryant with Michael Jordan

LOS ANGELES - MARCH 28: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers stands with Michael Jordan #23 of the Washington Wizards during the NBA game at Staples Center on March 28, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 108-94. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright 2003 NBAE (Photo by: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

Nathaniel S. Butler

In a story that’s sure to invite no comments below, Avery Johnson today essentially said he believes Kobe Bryant to be “as great” as Michael Jordan. From the New York Post:

"[Bryant] could arguably be 1. In some polls, he’ll be 2,” the Nets coach said yesterday about the players he has seen since he entered the NBA in 1988. “He could be 1-A and Jordan can be 1-B or Jordan, some polls they’ll be flipped.

“Fortunately I had a chance to play against both of them and now played and coached against Kobe. And boy, sometimes they’re looking like the same player.”


I’m sure none of you have any comments about this.

Bryant recently passed John Havlicek for 11th and should he keep up his expected production, will likely finish this season in the top six. With so many years in front of him, he’s got a shot at reaching Jordan. If he were to continue to average his career average of 25 points a game (not likely), it would take him a little more than 3 seasons to get there, playing 82 games a year. It’s out there but not unreasonable given Bryant’s work ethic. He will very likely end up with six rings to match Jordan, only one MVP but many, many people feel he deserves more.

So on this Sunday night after the Lakers won another uninspired game against the Nets, that’s the question: Is Avery Johnson nuts, or does he have a point? Has Bryant hit the point where we really need to start looking at whether he’s as good as Jordan or not?