For a long time, I refused to believe it. It couldn't be true. I had long held to the belief that there would never be a more perfect jumper than MJ's. It couldn't be. Could it?
But over time, I came to understand.
Kobe Bryant has the best jump shot in the history of the NBA.
I have no trouble claiming that Kobe works harder on his jumper than anyone else in the league. It's flawless. It's perfect in every way, really. Extension, measure, release, it's essentially the ideal.
What separates it from Jordan's is the fact that Kobe doesn't rely on the kickout nearly as much as Jordan did. That nasty little kickout created just enough separation to prevent anyone from blocking MJ's shot, and ensured a foul on anyone attempting to. Kobe doesn't need it. Think about that. His timing and form is so perfectly molded that there's no need for him to create separation. He's just capable of popping it in your face, no matter how close you're defending him.
What's even more amazing is the fact that he has the same form from 10 feet as he does from 40. During that insane game against the Suns where he went down swinging, he was still shooting with perfect form. Which makes that shooting performance that much more amazing.
In the long list of things people will say in the history books about Bryant, his jumper may be his single greatest piece of art.