By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Since he broke into the NBA as an 18-year-old high school phenom in 1996, Kobe Bryant has continually found himself compared to Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player ever. As a result, whenever Bryant reaches a milestone in his career, statisticians are quick to compare his progress with Jordan's.
Bryant's most important achievement has been earning three world championship rings by age 24—to Jordan's zippo. Michael's Chicago Bulls teams blew in his early years, much as they do now. Those Who Like Mike would argue that Bryant plays alongside Shaq, arguably the most dominant basketball player ever, while MJ labored with the likes of Luc Longley and Bill Cartwright.
But with his most recent accomplishment, Bryant has inarguably beaten MJ again.
When he faced the cameras Friday to admit he had committed adultery, Bryant was just 24. Jordan didn't hit the same mark until October 2002, when he was 39, and issued a public statement confirming he'd broken the same vow.
The next thing to watch for is the age of each when the dutiful wife files for divorce. Juanita Jordan sought to end her marriage to MJ 10 months before her husband admitted to the affair, then rescinded it and finally called it quits for good earlier this month; MJ is 40. Even if Marina High grad Vanessa Cornejo Urbieta Laine Bryant stays with Kobe that long, Bryant will only be 25.
In fact, to hear another disgraced Laker wife tell it, the writing may have been on the wall when the Bryants bought their palatial Newport Coast home. Appearing on Fox 11's Good Day L.A. on Monday, Angela Worthy, who dumped "Big Game" James Worthy after it was revealed he was a regular client of a Portland prostitute, said big homes like the Bryants' tend to separate couples; real trouble follows. She explained that they start divvying up rooms for their own offices and other personal spaces and, next thing you know, they're living separate lives.
As Angela told the morning anchorbats, when she learned the Bryants had purchased the gigantic pad, she fought the urge to call Vanessa and say, "Watch out!"