Former Lakers All-Star thinks fans would be comparing Kobe Bryant, not LeBron James, to Michael Jordan if he were still alive

David Akerman
3 Min Read

LeBron James and Michael Jordan are often viewed as the two greatest players to ever play the game of basketball, but former Los Angeles Lakers champion Byron Scott recently offered some interesting comments about that debate.

He thinks that fans would be comparing late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, not James, to Jordan if the five-time champion were still alive today.

“I think they would probably be talking about more Michael and Kobe,” Scott told Brandon Robinson. “I think, like you said, his untimely death — I think a lot of people forgot how great Kobe was. And let’s not take anything away from LeBron James. I think LeBron James is one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen.”

Scott’s words are certainly interesting, though people might argue that Bryant’s death reminded people of how great he was. People continue to remember Bryant, who died in a helicopter accident in January 2020, to this day.

Former Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson recently said that Bryant is “definitely my G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time)” while speaking about the 18-time All-Star’s influence. The two spent a couple of seasons as teammates on the Lakers.

Four-time NBA champion Andre Iguodala recently said that he wouldn’t have made the 2012 U.S. Olympic team that won a gold medal had Bryant not labeled him as the best defender in the league.

At his Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony earlier this month, Pau Gasol offered a touching tribute to Bryant.

It’s clear that Bryant’s influence still lives on to this day and will continue to live on for years, as he’s a main source of inspiration for plenty of young players across the world.

He spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers and averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while knocking down 44.7 percent of his shots from the field and 32.9 percent of his 3-pointers.

As for James, he’s set to play his 21st NBA season in the 2023-24 campaign and is still one of the league’s best. He holds career averages of 27.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest. The four-time champ became the league’s all-time leading scorer this past year, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the list.

A Chicago Bulls legend, Jordan is a 14-time All-Star, six-time champion, six-time Finals MVP and five-time league MVP. Plenty of people consider him to be the best to ever play the game.

At the end of the day, the debate about who the greatest player of all time will always come down to fans’ opinions.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.