ESPN: Team: Los Angeles Lakers (’96-present)
Titles: 3 (2000, 2001, 2002)
Honors: 10-time All-Star
The player: As close as it gets to MJ. He’s still just 29, so his legacy has yet to be written. But his credentials already are legit, starting with the three rings he won while teamed with Shaq.
He was the fastest player to 20,000 points — scoring 81 in a single game — and is one of the best two-way players at any position.
Like Jordan, Bryant does everything well. He can carry a team offensively for long stretches, defend the other team’s best player, hit outside shots, create for others, slash to the rim, excel in transition and win playoff games.
He is the prototypical shooting guard, with a killer instinct and nearly unlimited range on his shot. And he’s getting better.
Considered by many to be the best all-around player in the NBA today, Bryant has at least a glimmer of hope of challenging Jordan for the top spot before it’s all said and done.