Formidable players during their respective careers, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant each set a series of records. However, there is one performance by the two men that is not close to being matched… In fact, no one has done it for almost 15 years!
This is nothing new, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan were absolute monsters offensively. We are talking about two full-backs with more than 30,000 career points each, accumulating twelve top scoring titles in the league and with respective peaks of 81 and 69 points on a meeting. And as if that was not enough, they also knew how to distribute the swells, with nearly 5 assists per game. Hello the ordeal to defend on them!
However, just as fantastic as they were on offense, both men were also real terrors in their own half. Very clingy in man to man, always ready to force the loss of ball, even to counter the adversary, the Mamba and MJ were guard dogs par excellence. Along with Jerry West, they are also the only members of a very prestigious club. The holy grail of two-way players, if you will!
Only 3 players won the scoring title and got named First Team All-Defense in the same season 💯
Michael Jordan did it NINE times.
Kobe Bryant did it twice.
Jerry West did it once.
That’s it. It’s been 14 years since anyone did it 🤯 Who’s your pick to join this Big Three? 👀 pic.twitter.com/swqPc39ioj
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 26, 2021
Only three players won the top scorer title and were named to the All-Defense First Team in the same season.
Michael Jordan has done it NINE times. Kobe Bryant has done it twice. Jerry West did it once.
And that’s all. It has been 14 years since nobody did it. 🤯
Jordan and Kobe, the best two-way players in history?
So there, good luck in joining them… Succeeding in obtaining one of these distinctions is already a feat in itself, a sign of real consistency. But do both simultaneously? Even a Kevin Durant, who nevertheless showed the Warriors that he could be a very serious defensive client, never succeeded. This shows how difficult it is to enter this VIP circle!
We can also wonder who could get there in the current league. Of all, Giannis Antetokounmpo seems the most obvious answer. The NBA champion already has a DPOY as well as several selections in defensive teams to his credit, and has even already signed a season at nearly 30 points average. Becoming a better scorer might be the next goal for him! Special mention also to Anthony Davis, who will have a say in whether he can stay healthy.
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were decidedly untouchable on the floors. Being as efficient in defense as in attack is what commands respect!