The guy with the most interesting perspective would definitely be Phil Jackson, who has coached both of them to multiple championships.
In his new book, Jackson doesn't shy away from the comparison.
"No question, Michael was a tougher, more intimidating defender. He could break through virtually any screen and shut down almost any player with his intense, laser-focused style of defense.
"In general, Kobe tends to rely more heavily on his flexibility and craftiness, but he takes a lot of gambles on defense and sometimes pays the price
"Jordan was also more naturally inclined to let the game come to him and not overplay his hand, whereas Kobe tends to force the action, especially when the game isn't going his way. When his shot is off, Kobe will pound away relentlessly until his luck turns. Michael, on the other hand, would shift his attention to defense or passing or setting screens to help the team win the game."
Jackson makes it pretty clear that he considers Jordan to be the better player, and by a significant margin.
It shouldn't really surprise anyone, however. Everything he says is pretty spot-on. Jordan was known for his defense. Kobe is an excellent defender, but isn't quite on MJ's level. And very few people have ever been able to score as well as Jordan.
It's certainly no knock on Kobe that he's not as good as Jordan. But many people (mostly Lakers fans) try to make the case for Kobe. Hopefully, Jackson's breakdown will let them know how ridiculous their argument is.