Kobe Bryant may have surpassed Michael Jordan in the all-time scoring chart, but let's be honest, the Black Mamba hasn't quite topped His Airness in overall greatness. Not only did the Los Angeles Lakers star take three more seasons to beat the 32,292 point tally of MJ, he also trails his idol in nearly every statistical category from points to rebounds to steals and even blocks.
Jordan's career field goal accuracy stands at 49.7 percent, whereas Bryant's is at 45.4. The one area where critics have always given Bryant the edge over Jordan is three-point shooting. But guess what? His career 3P accuracy is 33.5%, and MJ's is slightly inferior at 32.7.
The only thing working in Bryant's favor is that he is 36 and still playing, while Jordan's active no more. He signed a $48.5 million contract extension with the Lakers last year, meaning he would remain in the NBA for the current 2014/15 season and the next one. The question is what can he do in this season and a half to come at par – or even surpass – Jordan as the greatest ever? Is that target still reachable for him or will he have to suffice with just “one of the greatest” tags so often doled out to whoever falls short of the Jordan benchmark?
In light of that, here are four things that the Lakers' #24 could possibly doto become better than the Bulls' #23:
Take The Lakers To The Playoff
The one thing Jordan couldn't accomplish was lead the Washington Wizards to the playoffs in his final two seasons in the capital. This Lakers side is arguably even worse than those Wizards. If Bryant can somehow will them to a post-season appearance, it would definitely make the twilight of his career better than MJ's.
Win His Sixth Ring
Rings are holy grails, and as of right now, Jordan has six and Bryant five. If he desires parity with the greatest, he has to win another championship -if not with the Lakers - then with someone else.
Win Another MVP Title
Jordan is a five-time NBA MVP, whereas Bryant only has one Maurice Podoloff trophy. Moreover, Jordan was the finals MVP on each of the six occasions he won the NBA championship. Bryant famously was Shaq's sidekick in his first three. While the title of Finals MVP might not be in his reach, but he can, in theory, clinch the regular season MVP title. Why? That's because MVP trophy is easier to win when you are the only superstar on your roster. If Bryant gets some decent help next season and cuts down on his volume shooting, he could have a claim to be the regular season's best, even at 37.
Become Less Snarky And a Better Teammate
As competitive as he was, Jordan very rarely allowed his emotions to get the better of him when his teammates couldn't match his level. Bryant, on the other hand, has become overly critical of his fellow Lakers to an extent that it is now starting to hurt their team chemistry – if it ever existed. Such is his distrust in his teammates that he refuses to pass them the ball and tries doing everything all by himself.
Last week, he shot a deep three when all five Sacramento defenders were defending him and when his other four teammates were all unguarded. As a result of him ignoring his teammates, along with his do it myself attitude, his field goal accuracy for the season has fallen to a career low of 38.7 percent. Differences with teammates are actually nothing new for him. Remember his squabbles with Shaq and Karl Malone? If he keeps on giving his teammates the cold shoulder, it could stick in people's memories, and he might forever be known as a bad teammate.