LeBron James Michael Jordan
Photo: Chris Szagola; Beth A. Keiser / Associated Press

One of the hottest debates among NBA fans is who the greatest of all time is. LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant are the three names most commonly included in such debates. Former NBA player Kendall Gill had the opportunity to play against all of them. In an interview with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, he broke down the skills of each of them and ranked them.

According to Gill, Jordan was the most talented of the three. Kobe had to work very hard 24/7 just to get close to MJ. Though the late Lakers legend had more skills than him. And, finally, LeBron is the best athlete to play in the NBA, but he is behind Jordan and Bryant in terms of skills. That is how Gill ranks them: Jordan, Bryant, and James.

Per Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson:

“You got to understand that Kobe patterned a lot of his game from Michael. I mean, even from the way he talks in the early days. And Kobe refined his skills just like Michael’s. They both had a post up game. Both had an outside game. Both could take you off the dribble. Both mastered the triple threat position which was key in their games.

“But the one thing about Kobe is that – Kobe, if you really look at him, physically he’s doesn’t really blow you away. He’s talented. But not that talented. He was fast, but he wasn’t that fast. He’s quick, but he wasn’t that quick. But one thing about Kobe, he worked harder than everybody else. If you go back – you can YouTube it: The Mind of Kobe Bryant. And you can get inside this kid’s mind, he was so intelligent about what he was doing about the game. Now Kobe had to work his butt off 24/7 to even get close to Michael.

“Now Michael worked hard, but he didn’t have to work as hard as Kobe to be him. And that’s the difference. Michael was just Michael. Kobe had to work crazy to even get close to him. Michael in my opinion – and this from me playing against him, much better athlete than Kobe. Faster than Kobe. Stronger than Kobe. Quicker than Kobe. I’d say that Kobe had a little bit more skills than Michael. But Michael didn’t need that many skills, he mastered what he needed to master. Kobe had a few more moves. And this is me going against them one-on-one.

“Now let’s talk about LeBron. LeBron is just a physical freak of nature. 6’8” 260lbs, can jump out – in my opinion, LeBron is the best ATHLETE to play in the NBA. But skill wise, he is NOT on the level of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. I know he’s a three-time champion if he continues to be the all time leading scorer in the League, however he’s not on that with those guys as far as skills and that’s why I had to put it – this is me. I’m gonna go: Michael. Kobe. LeBron. That’s how I put ’em.”

Kendall Gill

Jordan won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, all of them in the span of eight years. Kobe had five titles with the Lakers. Meanwhile LeBron won three-two with the Miami Heat and one with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Listen to the full episode of the ‘Scoop B’ Radio episode with Kendall Gill: