That’s right. I am comparing an NBA player to an MLB player and everyone will realize that the comparison is not far fetched. 38 year old Derek Jeter is currently in his 18th season leading the league in total hits with a batting average of .324. This comes after years of ridicule and claims that Jeter has been affected by father time and lost his touch. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Just last season, Kobe Bryant virtually led the NBA in scoring. Over the last few seasons, people have started to call Kobe old and conclude that his skills have diminished due to old age. These “old” guys are leading their respective leagues in categories that “old” guys should not be able to lead in.
The Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Yankees have been two of the most hated franchises in all of sports for a very long time. The amount of championships won between the two is largely to do with the amount of hatred they receive from sports fans. Jeter and Bryant have both been the faces of these two hated teams for the past decade. Because of this, they both have received undeserving ridicule and never have been fully appreciated for the things they have accomplished.
Both players have watched others come and go. They’ve also watched other players join other teams in hopes of being able to compete with them for league supremacy. Whether the Yankees or Lakers win the championship, each year they both remain extremely relevant and you can never count them out.
Guess what? They even have historic rivalries with the same exact city. When people are debating what is the greatest rivalry in sports, most either state The Yankees vs. The Redsox or The Lakers and The Celtics. These rivalries are greatly historic, while Derek and Kobe have definitely made their marks in the books.
The personal achievements are also amazing for both players. Jeter is a 13 time MLB All-star, a 5 time gold glover, rookie of the year, All-star MVP, World Series MVP. The list goes on and on. Kobe Bryant is a 14 time NBA All-star, 2 time finals MVP, 2008 NBA MVP, 2 time scoring champion. Again, the list goes on and on.
Derek Jeter recently became 11th on the all time hits list with 3,255. Over the past few seasons, he has rapidly passed some of the all time greats on this historic list. Same goes for Kobe Bryant on the NBA’s all time scoring list. Last season, Kobe became 5th on the list with 29,484. Both players are the youngest to reach these ranks and present a serious threat of passing other greats on both lists.
These two greats will probably never be fully appreciated for the things they have accomplished in sports, but will always be respected by everyone. Obviously these two have gotten older in age, but neither one of them is ready to hear that right now. They are still huge competitors and both still lead their team to championship contention each and every season.
Last but certainly not least and probably the greatest comparison between Derek Jeter and Kobe Bryant? They both are 5-time champions. As a lifetime long Yankee and Lakers fan, I certainly hope they both can increase that aspect of the comparison.