It might seem weird that I only included analysis of three great players; Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron. But when you really think about it, while there have been many other great divisize players, they never had the crazed appeal these three seem to have. They play the most exciting position in the game, wingman, and are conspicuously more fun to watch than great power forwards or centers or even point guards. Forwards and centers can score, but with a limited range of motion and basic, relatively boring moves. Point guards rely on others to prove their worth.
Magic is up there as a scoring point guard, but fans of him obviously don't have a problem with Kobe (same franchise), and he played a different game than Jordan so the comparisons never seemed necessary and were tempered, even though they were contemporaries. I didn't live through that day and age when Magic and Jordan were the two top dogs in the league, so I don't really have a feel for that rivalry, but it hasn't really carried on as far as I know into today.
LeBron is a combination of Jordan and Magic in my opinion, and there's never been anyone like him, so it's hard to compare. Oscar Robertson would be a good choice, but he played in a completely different era and the generations don't mix.
Kobe and Jordan are so similar that it begs for comparison. LeBron and Kobe are "rival" contemporaries so that begs for comparison, especially because fans are forced to be fanatics on the fringe as I described in my previous "Basketball Anti-Christs" Post.