For all his media posturing and noncommittal product endorsements, Michael Jordan was an average guy with an above-average ability to play basketball. We liked him because we could relate to him, even when we knew he was making hundreds of millions of dollars selling shoes, Coke, and kids movies.
Lebron James and Kobe Bryant possess Jordan’s hoop talent, but not nearly the same off-the-court following.
Bryant has been labeled the heir apparent to MJ since the late ’90s, when he began to show flashes of brilliance while still a teenager. Athletically, it’s hard to argue with what Kobe brings to the table. He has Jordan’s size, skill set, and desire to win.
Yet for all on-court accomplishments, Kobe’s personality is prickly and tough to relate to for some people.