Michael Jordan takes Kobe Bryant over LeBron James in all-time rankings

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In 2013, Michael Jordan picked Kobe Bryant over LeBron James: “Five beats one every time I look at it.”

LeBron has since reached five more NBA Finals and won two more titles.

So, Jordan has updated his stance – though only slightly.

Jordan, via Bay Area HQ:

Would I rank LeBron over Kobe in terms of best of all-time? No. There’s something about five that beats three. Now he may be better than that, but Kobe won five championships. LeBron won three.

“Count the ringz” is such a lazy argument. Nobody thinks seven-time champion Robert Horry is better than LeBron and Kobe. Titles matter and should matter, but they’re only one factor of many.

I’d rank LeBron well ahead of Kobe on their total body of work, even considering Kobe’s championship advantage. LeBron has been the best player in the league for nearly a decade. Kobe held the title for, maybe, a few years. Like Kobe, LeBron has consistently led his teams deep into the playoffs. Context matters.

It’s also unsurprising Jordan would rank the player who built his whole game as a Jordan tribute and is retired with a legacy securely below Jordan’s over the player with at least a chance of surpassing Jordan.