• Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the NBA's best of all time
  • A lot of players have been compared to him over the years
  • Perhaps the closest to Jordan is the late Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest of all time when it comes to basketball.

The six-time NBA champion and five-time NBA MVP left such a lasting impact on the league that even before he left the game for good, people were already scrambling to find his successor.

Those days, if you were a young, talented shooting guard around the 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7 range, chances are you’d be labeled as the second-coming of “His Airness.”

A lot of times, however, it didn’t pan out. Many were branded as such, but nobody could really ever match what Jordan could do on the court and nobody came close to the star power he had off the court.

In honor of MJ’s 58th birthday, here are five players who were hailed as “The next Michael Jordan.”

Harold Miner

Harold Miner NBAE via

Harold Miner became a standout at the University of South Carolina from 1989-1992, right around the time that Jordan started becoming the biggest star in the NBA.

As such, the 6-foot-5 two-guard earned the nickname "Baby Jordan" and was eventually drafted by the Miami Heat in 1992.

Like Jordan, Miner would also win two NBA Slam Dunk Contests, but that’s essentially where the similarities end. He retired from the NBA in 1996 due to knee injuries. He averaged 9.0 points in his career.

Grant Hill

Former Duke star Grant Hill responded to Jalen Rose's comments
Hill wrote a lengthy response to Rose's Duke comments. Reuters

In 1994, the Detroit Pistons drafted a 6-foot-8 swingman by the name of Grant Hill. The Duke standout possessed a versatile offensive game and a solid defensive skill set that, of course, drew comparisons to Jordan.

During his time in Detroit, Hill did appear to be a franchise-changing star as he averaged 21.6 points to go along with 8.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game in six seasons.

Unfortunately for Hill, a lingering ankle injury would keep him from playing to his potential. He would retire in 2013 after stints with the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers.

For his career, Hill normed 16.7 points, 6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists.

Jerry Stackhouse

Jerry Stackhouse

Jerry Stackhouse had all the makings of being the next Michael Jordan. The North Carolina native was a 6-foot-6 guard, who also played for the University of North Carolina.

In 1995, Stackhouse was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers and made an immediate impact, scoring 19.2 points and 20.2 points respectively in his first two seasons.

In his third season, Stackhouse ended up getting traded by the Sixers as the franchise decided to go all-in on sophomore star Allen Iverson.

Stackhouse would end up in Detroit for five seasons. He would then go and play, conveniently enough, alongside Jordan with the Wizards from 2002-2003.

Stackhouse would have stints in Dallas, Milwaukee, Miami, Atlanta and Brooklyn before retiring in 2013. He averaged 16.9 points in his 18-year NBA career.

Vince Carter

Vince Carter Allen Iverson
Vince Carter and Allen Iverson battled each other in the 2nd round of Eastern Conference NBA Playoffs 2001. Getty Images/Nathaniel S. Butler

Another former Tar Heel to carry the burden of being labeled the second coming of Jordan is Vince Carter.

Being a 6-foot-6 swingman with elite dunking ability, it was easy to see why people were quick to hail Carter as such.

To his credit, Carter is easily the second-most decorated player on this list. He essentially rejuvenated the Toronto Raptors franchise and led them to two playoff appearances in 2000 and 2001.

Carter would continue to be a 20+ PPG scorer in five seasons with the New Jersey Nets and would remain a key contributor in his time with Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Sacramento and Atlanta.

He played a remarkable 22 seasons in the NBA and averaged 16.7 points throughout his career.

Kobe Bryant

Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan - Chicago Bulls; Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers
Scottie Pippen (L) and Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls try to stop Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers (C) as he leads a fast break during their 01 February game in Los Angeles, CA. Bryant and three other Lakers scored 20 or more points, leading their team to a 112-87 win. Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Images

Perhaps no other player received more comparisons to Jordan than the late great Kobe Bryant.

According to people close to both MJ and Kobe, the two shared the same competitive drive and the same championship mentality.

Bryant may not have reached the same level of success that Jordan did in his career, but what he was able to do during his time in the NBA is still remarkable. That’s why he’s widely regarded as one of the best players to ever play in the league.

In 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, he won five NBA championships, two finals MVP honors, a regular-season MVP nod, 18 All-Star appearances, and countless other achievements and accolades.

He wasn’t the next Michael Jordan, but he was the first and only Kobe Bryant.