Okay.... I'm going to put this whole debate to rest:
First and Foremost I am a fan of both Kobe and MJ. So I am not being biased at all by what I am about to say. Anyways.....KOBE
Whoever says that Kobe is not the most DOMINANT offensive 2 guard in the history of the game does not know what they are talking about. And by Kobe being the most dominant offensively does not automatically make him better than MJ! But, offensively skill-wise he is the better than MJ. I mean it really doesn't matter that the Toronto Raptors team sucked or even that the Lakers team back then sucked. The man scored 81 fing points in this era. Of course there's that whole debate on whether it is easier or harder to put up high scoring numbers after the 3 point era. Honestly I believe it is harder now even with having the 3 ball in this era's favor, especially because of all the rule changes in the paint. Not to taint Wilt Chamberlain's legacy, but I really think Bill Russell, Kareem, and a consistent free throw shooting Shaq could have done 100 in the same circumstance. I am only saying this because David Robinson did 71 in this era and I consider all 3 of those players to be more dominant than him. I mean it all goes back to the "he has shitty team" theory. When put in a situation where you have the freedom to carry your team and just go beserk, then obviously your best offensive player on the team will have high scores. This is because they are not thinking about "do my teammates think I'm a ballhog/selfish." They are just in scoring mode. But, let me emphasize the fact that it doesn't take anything away from the Kobe scoring 81.
I mean I'm a Detroit native and I remember Jerry Stackhouse consistently putting up huge numbers, like 30's and 40's. Not because he wanted to, but because he HAD to because he was on such a shitty Pistons team. Who the hell is Jerry Stackhouse anyways? (rhetorical question) But, that does not put him in the same caliber as Kobe, even if both are forced to put up numbers. I mean when Jordan scored 69 I believe he was a on a comparable team as Kobe when he scored 81. Kobe's definitely a better perimeter player and that's why he got to 81, Jordan's a better inside scorer. I hate to say this but because of that Jordan would not have been able to do 81 in Kobe's exact scenario. The majority of players that are on the single-game scoring record list were on mediocre teams, aside from Elgin Baylor's Lakers and David Robinson's Spurs(and that's stretching it with the Spurs). My whole thing is if you individually put all the great post players in the same era and circumstance as Wilt, I think the outcome of individuals scoring 100 would be a lot higher than if you put all the great perimeter guards and put them in Kobe's/Jordan's era and circumstance of scoring 81/69. I actually think I can safely say that there would be so few, I could count them on one hand. And that just proves Kobe's greatness as the best offensive guard of all time. Jordan
Hands down MJ is the better leader of the 2. He is better defensively. He is physically and mentally stronger. What I mean by mentally is not DRIVE/HUNGER, but how Jordan could sway the game in his favor by playing mind games with his opponents. Slightly better court vision, and slightly better passer. Most of you Jordan fanatics will disagree with me saying slightly but a huge variable is that MJ and Kobe were in completely different situations with their teams throughout their careers. I mean Jordan had a better supporting cast throughout his career so obviously his assist stats are going to be better than Kobe's. We can't really prove that with Kobe, maybe with his team he just won a championship with but that was one season. Not 2008 or 2009 Lakers.... 2008 the team was too weak, thus the loss to Boston. And 2009 they beat an unprepared/inexperienced Magic team, and Kobe really had his way with them (he scored 30 or more in 4 out of 5 games, and the game he didn't score 30 he scored 29 hahaha). And don't even try and say he had a "supporting cast" with the Kobe & Shaq Era or the time they had the Mailman and Payton. Because the Kobe & Shaq Era was literally just KOBE & SHAQ and as far as the Mailman and Payton, hate to say it they were just old. Just watch that series Finals with the Pistons. Maybe that's biased because I said that I was confident that Jordan could not have done 81, but I truly believe that when he did 69 he was in comparable scenario as Kobe. Plus I am 100% sure that Kobe is a better Perimeter player than MJ, Phil Jackson said the same.
Aside from all the hype of Jordan Brand and all of his other endorsements. And his legacy of evolving and innovating the game, Jordan is very comparable to Kobe. Obviously Jordan paved the way for Kobe. And by video clips and photos, it's clear to see that Kobe is a student of the game, because obviously he mimics and mirrors Jordan's moves. But, that's what Dr. J did for Jordan, maybe not as drastic as what Jordan did for Kobe. But, Jordan did say so himself that Dr. J inspired him, and not only on the free throw dunk. Basically Kobe took the fundamentals and mechanics of how Jordan offensively played the game and fine tuned it. Without Jordan there would be no Kobe and that's the truth.Final Verdict
Overall Kobe is better offensively than Jordan. But, as an overall player Jordan is the GOAT. Kobe plays the game, Jordan basically was the game. As corny as that sounds, Jordan would beat teams with his mind. He'd slowly but surely mentally break down his opponents. Let's just put it this way Kobe wins by his sheer own will, Jordan wins by his leadership. When Jordan passed the ball to the open Steve Kerr in Game 6 of the 97 Finals, Jordan could have made his own shot because he was having a great game (39 points). But, instead he passed it to his open teammate because he had faith in him. Now, Kobe passed the ball to Artest in Game 7 of the 2010 Finals in a similar situation. But, for sure Kobe was struggling, he ended the game with 23 points. And there was no way he was going to make his own shot with Boston's defense covering him. He passed the ball because he was struggling and Artest was open. If Kobe was not struggling and he was feeling it there is NO WAY he would of dished the ball out to an inconsistent perimeter shooter like Artest. Basketball is a team sport, and MJ knew how to implement and lead his teammates. Therefore in conclusion, JORDAN is the better player. As far as legacies go aside from Jordan innovating and evolving the game and paving the way..... Kobe and Jordan both have great stories to their legacies which are very admirable. On the side note Lebron has basically ended his legacy and him going to Miami is not admirable and shows he doesn't have a heart of a true champion like Kobe and Mike.