Michael Jordan says Kobe Bryant's five NBA titles elevate him above LeBron James. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Michael Jordan picks Kobe Bryant over LeBron James as the NBA's best player in an upcoming NBA TV special, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Jordan points to Bryant's five NBA titles as opposed to James' one championship in the program that will run Monday night.
"If you had to pick between the two, that would be a tough choice," Jordan, who won six while playing for the Bulls, told program host Ahmad Rashard, "but five beats one every time I look at it."
"And not that he won't get five," Jordan said of James. "He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one."
James responded that he doesn't play for "other people's approval."
"That doesn't matter to me," he said. "If you take Kobe one and then I go second . . . it doesn't matter. I don't really get too involved about what guys say about me, or if you take Kobe or if you take LeBron.
"As long as I'm on the floor and I try to make plays for my teammates, I don't do what I do for other people's approval."