Mike > Kobe ... 'Nuff Said!

Michael Jordan is the greatest player to ever step on the hardwood. You know that. I know that. Everyone with an ounce of Basketball IQ knows that.

Let it sink in. Best Ever.

And while LeBron James might take a shot at that title down the line (especially if he wins a few championships and improves on that career 72.8% free-throw percentage) Kobe Bryant had the chance to really make his voice heard in the argument of being the G.O.A.T.

Unfortunately for Bryant, the Boston Celtics hit the mute button. En route to clinching their 17th title, the Celtics shut down the league MVP to the tune of 25.6 PPG, 40-percent shooting from the field and 32-percent shooting from 3-point land.

And if you're feeling a sense of deja vu after watching Game 6, you're not the only one.

Just like he did in Game 5, Bryant began the game like he was shooting with a blowtorch. He shot 4-of-5 from the field including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. KB24's 13-point first quarter was eerily similar to his 15-point first quarter in Game 5.

And just like Game 5, that's where it ended.

Paul Pierce & Co. tied Kobe's hands with twine and shoved him in the freezer as his Laker teammates followed. Actually, they didn't, but they might as well have.

Kobe went basket-less from the 5:30 mark in the first quarter to the 7:07 mark of the 3rd. Bryant finished with a team-high 22 points on 7-of-22 shooting. That's not the stuff that champions are made of.

After knifing his way through the talent-heavy teams of the Western Conference, he was out-dueled by Paul Pierce. It seems so long ago when the man known as "The Truth" was almost run out of Beantown before Ray Allen came a-callin' and Minnesota Timberwolves exec Kevin McHale sent Kevin Garnett out east in exchange for Al Jefferson and Sebastian Telfair's high school highlight video.

Kobe is the best player in the NBA today, I understand that. He has the ability to light up scoreboards by making acrobatic shots and by throwing down thunderous dunks that a FatHead couldn't even capture. And yes, three championships, numerous All-Star appearances and a Most Valuable Player award put him in rarefied air (pun intended.)

All of that was thwarted thanks to stifling defense and a lack of production by his teammates. In the Game 6 loss Lamar Odom scored 14 points, Jordan Farmar had 12 and Pau Gasol pitched in with 11.

I would be more willing to cut Kobe some slack had he lit up the Celts despite the losing effort. Instead, he'll catch a lot of the blame and it will be well deserved. Where Jordan thrived in taking over games late after getting his teammates involved early, Bryant failed.

Instead of demanding the rock, Black Mamba deferred to Odom, Farmar, Gasol, Sasha Vujacic and Derrick Fisher. And he seemed intent on doing so, as if he wanted to show the world how much great he was by pantsing his teammates and proving to the world that the aforementioned Lakers would likely be jobless without Bryant's talent.

And even with that talent, the final score read 131-92. Shouldn't that score be a little closer since the best player in the world is playing on the team with 92 points? Shouldn't he have 40 of those himself?

Guess not. And that's where the Jordan comparisons should completely come to an end because Jordan never let his teammates hold him down.

Remember, this is the man who scored 63 in the (original) Garden before Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, John Paxson and Dennis Rodman were even in the team picture.

Did Jordan ever check down to see what Pip was doing? No. How about Ron Harper? Nope. What about Bill Cartwright? Don't worry, I'll wait.

The only times I saw No. 23 call a number other than his own was in 1993 when Johnny Jumpshot buried the Phoneix Suns and when Steve Kerr finished off the Utah Jazz in 1997.

That's it.

While Kobe & The Gang have a quiet plane ride home to L.A., Boston celebrates it's almost perfect sports year as they make their case for ESPN's Titletown USA competition.

Now that it's over, I can't help but wonder when the Kobe-to-Chicago for the No. 1 overall pick rumors will begin.

What, too soon?