Michael Jordan Is Only Player to Accomplish Nearly Impossible Feat 4 Different Years, Proving He’s the GOAT Over Kobe Bryant and LeBron James
Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James are widely recognized as the three best players in NBA history. The three have combined to win 15 championships, 12 Finals MVPs, and 10 regular-season MVPs. Jordan, Bryant, and LeBron are top-five scorers of all time as well.
However, Jordan is the only player in NBA history to accomplish a nearly impossible feat four different seasons, proving he’s the GOAT over Bryant and LeBron.
Michael Jordan is only player to win MVP, scoring title, championship and Finals MVP and make first-team All-Defensive squad in same season
Jordan is the only player in NBA history to win the regular-season MVP, scoring title, championship, and Finals MVP and make the first-team All-Defensive squad in the same campaign. The Chicago Bulls legend accomplished the grand feat four different times.
Jordan won five regular-season MVPs, 10 scoring titles, six championships, and six Finals MVPs and made nine All-Defensive teams during his storied run with the Bulls. Bryant won one regular-season MVP, two scoring titles, five rings, and two Finals MVPs with the Los Angeles Lakers, while LeBron has four regular-season MVPs, one scoring title, four championships, and four Finals MVPs with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Lakers.
Bryant made 12 All-Defensive teams during his Hall of Fame career. Meanwhile, LeBron has made six. While the Black Mamba and the King were superb defenders in their prime, they never won the Defensive Player of the Year Award like Jordan.
Michael Jordan won DPOY in 1988
Jordan won his lone Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1988. He averaged 3.2 steals and 1.6 blocks in 1987-88. MJ also won the steals title, scoring title, and MVP and led all guards in blocks per game.
Bryant and LeBron have finished top-three in Defensive Player of the Year voting, but they could never win the prestigious award. They are still two icons in the game of basketball and will always be revered, but Jordan’s ability to win every significant award possible separates him from Bryant and LeBron.
Superman not only went undefeated in the Finals, but he also won every individual trophy the NBA offers for a superstar. The UNC product was never in the running for Most Improved Player or Sixth Man of the Year since he wasn’t a role player.
Along with his five regular-season MVPs, six Finals MVPs, and one Defensive Player of the Year Award, Jordan won the 1984-85 Rookie of the Year Award and three All-Star Game MVPs.
Jordan, Bryant, and LeBron will likely always be linked. Jordan called himself Bryant’s “older brother” at Kobe’s public memorial at Staples Center, while LeBron looked up to Jordan as a kid and became inspired to be a basketball player because of Black Jesus. LBJ and Bean were also close friends before the latter died in 2020.
You can’t talk about the history of the NBA without mentioning Jordan, Bryant, and LeBron. Each basketball fan has their personal GOAT, which they are entitled to, but what isn’t up for debate is that Jordan, Bryant, and LeBron are legends.
MJ, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are all over NBA history
As aforementioned, Jordan, Bryant, and LeBron are top-five scorers in NBA history. Each player also holds a special place in league history.
Jordan is the all-time leader in points per game and player efficiency rating in the regular season and playoffs. His 63 points against the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 1986 playoffs are still the most points scored in a postseason game.
Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors during the 2005-06 season, the second-highest scoring game ever. Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 100 points will likely never be touched, but the fact that Bryant was only 19 points away from tying him is remarkable.
As for LeBron, he’s already passed Jordan and Bryant on the all-time scoring list and will probably pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the top spot. The Chosen One is the only player in NBA history to rank top-100 in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and 3-pointers. He’s also the only player to rank top-10 in points and assists.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference