Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time, and he may well be the best player for his sport out of anyone, ever. He did things on the court that were amazing, and he did them with class. Parents didn't have to worry about their kids having a role model like MJ. MJ is worth a bundle, but I don't believe it was ever all about money. He went to baseball to follow through a dream, leaving a ton of money on the table in basketball. The way he played on the court, the guy LIVED for competition. I was never a big Jordan fan, but I can't deny anything I typed above about him. He scored 30+ almost nightly, WITHOUT being selfish. He had no weaknesses in his game. He played defense as good as anyone at the time.
Kobe is awesome, but he's not MJ. They both had good supporting casts. If MJ had someone like Shaq in his prime or Gasol right now, could you imagine what he'd be able to do without his center being Luc Longley?
I remember some months ago they interviewed some of the greats, like MJ, Magic, Bird, Barkley and asked if they'd all join up with each other to smash the league, and they all said NO way. We hated each other on the court. They loved the competition and the fans did too.
Thats why the NBA used to be freaking awesome and a lot of fun to watch... I still watch, but I doubt it will ever get to that way again.