Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kobe vs. LeBron: A Comparison of Two NBA Greats


King James and the Black Mamba. Undoubtedly two of the greatest NBA players of all-time. If you are looking for a solid LeBron/Kobe comparison, you've come to the right place. Through this article, I will explain as objectively as possible why we can (and should) conclude that LeBron James is a better player than Kobe Bryant.

First, let’s look at regular statistics and season awards. LeBron has won three MVP awards, Kobe has won only one. This alone gives LeBron a big edge in their respective regular season performances.

Second, LeBron made an immediate impact in the NBA and transformed the Cavaliers, a perennially terrible team, into a legitimate title contender. He won Rookie of the Year award; Kobe averaged less than 8 PPG in his rookie season. Not to mention Kobe has played with All-Stars and Hall of Famers for most of his career.

Essentially all awards (NBA first team, etc.) that Kobe has more of can be attributed to his longer tenure in the league so those are a wash considering James is acquiring those awards at a comparable rate, if not faster. 

Now here is a side-by-side comparison of their career regular season per game averages:

Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Points
25.4
27.6
Rebounds
5.3
7.2
Assists
4.7
6.9
Steals
1.5
1.7
Blocks
0.5
0.8
FG %
0.453
0.483
Statistics courtesy of basketball-reference.com

The stats speak for themselves.

Defensively, it’s not much of a comparison. LeBron can guard virtually every position on the floor. Admittedly, it may be easy to be mesmerized by Kobe’s 11 All-Defensive team awards but remember what his own coach, the legendary Phil Jackson, said about Bryant’s defense in Jackson’s book:  “The voters have been seduced by his remarkable athleticism and spectacular steals, but he hasn’t played sound, fundamental defense.” Over their respective careers, LeBron averages more defensive rebounds per game, steals per game, and blocks per game.

Kobe fans are eager to point out playoff performances, and before delving into the quality of LBJ and Kobe’s playoffs, let’s look at their playoff statistics:

Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Points
25.6
28.1
Rebounds
5.1
8.5
Assists
4.7
6.9
Steals
1.4
1.7
Blocks
0.7
1.0
FG %
0.448
0.462
Statistics courtesy of basketball-reference.com

Just like in the regular season, LeBron is ahead in every single category.

As we all know, there is one main reason NBA fans and analysts do not unanimously agree that LeBron is better: NBA championships (or in LeBron's case, lack thereof).

As NBA great Chris Mullin pointed out, in order to win a championship all of the stars (literally and figuratively) have to align right. A championship is a team effort and Kobe has played with three great big men -- Shaq, Gasol, Bynum -- compared to LeBron, who has played with Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Joel Anthony.

Even if LeBron never wins a ring, you cannot default to Kobe as the greater player. Robert Horry has won seven titles and Karl Malone has won zero. No one in their right mind would say Horry is better. Derek Fisher has won five rings (and may get another this year), does that mean he is as good as Kobe and better than LeBron? And they are only a few examples. Adam Morrison has played in as many playoff games as he has won championships (2). There may be a correlation between championships and greatness, but a direct one? If so, the Celtics have the seven greatest players of all time – and Larry Bird isn’t one of them.

The reality is, as good as Wade and Bosh are, it is easier to succeed as a scorer when you have offensive role players and dominant post presences, which Bryant had. Look at the Spurs of the 00s and the original Big Three. The 2008 Celtics for example, had a great scorer (Pierce) and shooter (Allen) to complement some of the league’s best big men (Garnett and Perkins). LeBron has a big time scorer to compete with in Wade whereas Kobe has played with Gasol, Bynum, and O’Neal. 

Career player efficiency rating (PER) also helps give more of the story. Here is a comparison of Kobe and LeBron and players two have played with.

PER
PER
LeBron James
27.2
Shaquille O’Neal
26.4
Dwyane Wade
25.7
Kobe Bryant
23.4
Chris Bosh
20.9
Pau Gasol
21.9
Statistics courtesy of basketball-reference.com

James has the second highest PER all-time (behind Jordan), Shaq is third, and Kobe is 18th.

Dwelling on championships a little more (because that is really the only argument that can be made for Kobe), let’s look at Kobe’s five rings.

During the three-peat, he was the second best player on the team. Shaquille O’Neal was by far the greater player and perhaps the most dominant player of his era. To say that Kobe had “help” is an underestimation. He was playing with one of the greatest players of all-time and didn’t win a single Finals MVP award during the three-peat.

If LeBron had played with O’Neal in his prime, LBJ would have at least won three rings. Why would that tandem have been more successful? LeBron is a scorer and a facilitator. Kobe may make tough shots, but it’s because he chooses to take so many tough shots. LeBron generally seeks the best shot whether or not it’s him, and if he had Shaq down low, the duo would have been virtually unstoppable.

Kobe’s fourth ring in 2009 was the one he contributed most (and earned Finals MVP honors). His 2010 Finals MVP was merely by reputation – he performed abysmally. Without going into a complete analysis, just remember he shot 29.3% in the fourth quarter of those Finals. (LeBron shot 33.3% in the fourth quarter of the 2011 Finals.)

LeBron’s 2007 playoff domination was more impressive than any of Kobe’s during his rings. The Cavs may have lost to the Spurs in the Finals, but LeBron’s performances were some of the best the NBA has ever seen. He led a comeback in the Conference Finals against the Pistons when the Cavs were down 0-2. The most memorable one was when LeBron scored the final 25 points in a double overtime victory against the Pistons, one of the best defensive teams, no less. This list has that game as the fourth best playoff performance of all-time. While I would argue it should be higher, note Kobe doesn’t even sniff the top 10.

Keep in mind this incredible 2007 performance occurred when the second and third best players on the Cavaliers were Larry Hughes and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Moral of the story: LeBron singlehandedly took the Cavaliers to the Finals. The season before he was in the league, they were 17-65. Compare that to Kobe, who was a primary (or secondary) option for most of his career. Again, LeBron (while on the Cavs) was the only sensible option. Teams tried to hone in on him and just about nobody could guard him. In Miami, he has to share shots with Wade and Bosh – but he still has great games. Look no further into the past than Game 4 of the 2012 Conference Semifinals against the Pacers. In one of the most important games in LeBron’s playoff career, down two games to one, he had a monster 40-18-9 game in a big win.

In terms of “clutchness,” there is more than just that double OT performance against the Pistons and his recent brilliance against the Pacers. Kobe is instinctually given the nod, but we need to look at the facts, not the GM polls. After all, GMs picked Kwame Brown, Sam Bowie, and Greg Oden over the likes of Tony Parker, Michael Jordan, and Kevin Durant.

According to Chasing 23LeBron shoots better (41%), than Kobe (26%), in the final 24 seconds of a playoff game (fourth quarter and overtime). The argument that Kobe has taken more shots when it counts doesn’t work, either. LeBron shoots a potential game-winning/tying shot once every 8.25 playoff games and Kobe shoots one every 8.68 games.

How about this shot to beat the Magic when the Cavs were down 2 points in the Conference Finals? LeBron has done his work in the clutch. There is no reason to choose Kobe over him when it matters “most.” In the playoffs, LeBron has made only two less game-tying/winning shots (5 total) than Kobe (7) in less than half as many attempts. Opposing defenses know LeBron is probably going to drive it down their throat and there is still nothing they can do about it. Kobe, on the other hand, does things like shoots 2 of 10 in the fourth quarter and then blames Pau.The reality is that The Myth of Playoff Kobe is just that: a myth.

Before Kobe/Laker Nation gets all over me, remember I started my article saying they are two of the greatest players of all time. LeBron’s “decision” and proclamation of winning title after title were stupid moves on his part, but as basketball fans we should realize we are watching one of the most amazing talents to ever to hit the basketball court. And yes, a talent greater than Kobe Bryant.


If you liked this comparison, check out our series of comparisons that includes: LeBron vs. Jordan, Jordan vs. Kobe, and Kobe vs. Duncan.

150 comments:

  1. I like. Lebron > Kobe. But I do have much respect for Kobe's work ethic. And less respect for Lebron's acting skills. But nonetheless, I agree with you, when it matters most, Lebron is better.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words. And I agree, LeBron's acting is annoying; however, I find Kobe's constant complaining to the refs even more annoying.

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  2. though one could make the argument that Lebron has scored more per game in his career because Kobe is playing with more superstars on his team, like you mentioned. So naturally his ppg will be less than a guy who has only started playing with other superstars just last year. Lebron singlehandedly carried the Cavs, so his stats will naturally be higher. I don't think career stats can be an indicator. But yes, that shooting percentage in 4th quarter and OT was a good point to bring in.

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  3. wanna read this article again when Lebron wins no rings

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    1. Too late for that. He is now an NBA Champion.

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  4. Overall really solid analysis. Yeah, LeBron is an amazing player - one of the best talents to ever play in the NBA, no doubt. He also has several great playoff performances to his name. However, I still feel that Kobe is the greater player.
    Kobe has 5 championship rings to his name. He won 3 with shaq in his prime, and then 2 with Gasol. Admittedly, LeBron would have probably won with Shaq in his prime as well, but this is irrelevant, because its hypothetical. These are the facts: In 2009 and in 2010, Kobe was easily the best player on his team when they won two championships. Gasol is a 4 time all star, which makes him a very good player, but that's not even as many as Scottie Pippen or many other "sidekicks". Yes, in Game 7 of the NBA finals, Kobe shot 6-24, but he made just enough good plays at the end (pass to Artest, several J's, free throws..) to pull out the win. His jumper was off, but he found other ways to contribute in one ugly game - remember, he grabbed 14 boards, and nearly everybody else shot like garbage too, on both teams. Meanwhile, LeBron stunk it up in the finals last year. Sure, his shooting % may have been better than Kobe, but on how many shots? How many nice passes did he make? What did he do to contribute? Well, not much. In the 4th quarter of game 4, essentially a series clinching game for Miami, Lebron pulled off a statline of 8/9/7, with a 2/2/2 in the 4th quarter. What's scary is that the stats weren't the issue... it was his overall tentativeness and fear of the moment. He shot 3-11 in the game. The star player took ELEVEN shots in a playoff game?! To me, that really hurts LeBron. Now, of course rings alone don't make you a great player. You're right that Horry and Fish have rings and aren't better than LeBron (although I'd argue they are far greater than many players that have their stats because of the rings and HOW they performed in those multiple playoff games). But in a close comparison such as LeBron and Kobe, Kobe's rings and HOW we got them should be valued more, in my opinion, than LeBron's better stats.
    Do I believe that one day he will overcome this, and win a ring or a few while playing great basketball in the finals? I do. And that day, we can assess his career again and possibly say he is greater than kobe. Until then, I just don't think he can be greater than Kobe, Jordan, or many other players who showed up in the finals.

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    1. Thank you for the read. Again, I understand it may be difficult to say LBJ is better considering he has yet to win a title but his completeness otherwise puts him over the top. It's similar to comparing Karl Malone with most other PFs not named Tim Duncan.

      Kobe in the playoffs isn't as impressive as people make him out to be, which is why his impact in the titles wasn't as great as LeBron's 07 performance, even though LeBron lost in the Finals. This is an edge I give him that some people may disagree with. Titles come down to a team effort and a big man. Kobe has played with good and great big man. LeBron has not. Granted he played badly last year in the Finals, but that was one time.

      It is an interesting discussion to have now, but I agree with you that it will be better to assess these two players after their careers are over. It just says that much more about LeBron that we can make very strong arguments in favor of LBJ.

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  5. This article sounds as biased as possible. You can't go around throwing out lebron stats and assume that he is better than Kobe. At this current point in his career, he is undoubtly better than Kobe, but shouldn't he be. Kobe is 33 at the end of his career, lebron is in his prime. Same instance of Kobe versus Mike. Knowing what you know now, if you wanted to win a championship who would you draft, lebron lacks heart which is why he will never win a championship. Kobe did play with Shaquille but if you ever watched Any of those playoff games you would instantly see that it was 1a and 1b. Without Kobe there isn't anyway those championships would have been won, research the stat lines for Kobe in those games. Gasol and Bunum aren't great big men they are average at best. As for winning moments, don't judge by the number, because the attempts are a huge difference, Lebron''s numbers should be higher because defers all the shots to other team mates. He lacks the clutch gene. Lebron is statistically in a league of his own, he is more Oscar Robertson than Jordan. As remember Kobe was put on a playoff championship contending team, he was drafted to the worst team in the nba. There was an all star guard name Eddie jones playing in front of Bryant. Lebron teams had the best record in the nba multiple times and choked in the playoffs, check season averages to see who didnt show up. That would be lebron, the other team mates numbers didn't change from the regular season. Lebron is a premadonna who thinks he will be handed a championship. Sorry that's something you have to earn. Steve Nash won MVP two years Kobe should have won it, playing with lacks of smush Parker. Lebron will go down as the 3rd best player of all time. Behind mike and Kobe. Lebron currently has 3 superstars on his team and he will still fail to get it done. Stop making excuses for the under achiever. Lebron has proved multiple years that he is a quitter. Check those stats you have in 10 years and then look at the variances, at this point in the debate Kobe looking at the careers kobe is the better player, from a career standpoint. Currently in the nba lebron is performing better than the 33 year Old man. Let's see if lebron fails to get a title again.

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    1. Thanks for the read and snide comment.. In the entire article I compared both players in their primes/career as a whole. Career per game statistics should favor Kobe. That's what I thought going into writing this. They did not. And I mentioning all of Kobe's rings -- including the ones he won in his prime. Please read the article again if you think I am comparing both players currently. As you pointed out, it would be pointless -- LeBron is significantly better at the moment. And for someone that is questioning objectivity, the reality is that Gasol and Bynum are some of the leagues best big men. I don't think Big Z in his heyday and Joel Anthony are remotely close.

      And you claim LeBron lacks the clutch gene but go back to the article: he has made only 2 less "clutch" shots in half as many attempts. If anyone lacks the clutch gene, it's Kobe.

      Also, I would check the facts before stating Nash stole MVPs from Kobe. Both years LeBron was ahead of Kobe in MVP voting, and in 05-06 LeBron was second.

      The rest of your comments are Kobe Nation's opinions that are not true. LeBron is anything but a quitter. Again, I look forward to the day we can compare their entire careers because there is no chance we will conclude Kobe is better.

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  6. So Chris Bosh isn't a big man?

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    1. In the traditional sense, no. Maybe it needed some clarification..

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  7. Lebron is a better overall player. No question about it. Kobe has a better jumper and mid range game. I want to see Lebron when he loses his step and quickness and see how he plays then. Kobe is also a better closer and a proven winner/champion.

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  8. I disagree with several of the above comments which believe Kobe to be better. Of the many arguments I could bring in, I'll say this: Lebron makes the players on his team better. The same Cavs team, after Lebron left, was absolutely nothingness--they won just 19 games. The year before, Lebron led the same team into the playoffs. He makes those around him better because he passes the basketball. On every possession, he could probably pull up for a long 2 and hit several of those, or drive to the basket. But I noticed he loves to get his teammates involved. He avoids the off-court controversies, makes his role players a lot better, and has indeed hit many clutch shots in big games. The game-winner against Orlando in the playoffs a few years back comes to mind. And his utter domination in the 4th quarters against the Knicks in the 1st round of this playoffs comes to mind as well. Kobe can't single-handedly carry a team into the Finals, like Lebron has. Kobe needs a Shaq, a Gasol and Bynum, to complement him. And while Kobe definitely does have that clutch gene, he's not quite the player that Lebron is and will be for the many years to come.

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    1. Ask yourself this question, would the lakers be a better team without Kobe? We all know that they would be one of the worst teams in the nba. And you made a great point lebron does make his teammates better by passing them the ball. People often under estimate the role players that were on the Cavs, they were not slouches, check their stats in the playoffs, they all maintained or increased their production except Larry Hughes that year. The only other person that didn't show up was lebron. Please make a note of this, if the Cavs were in the western conference during those years they wouldn't have gotten out the first round of the playoffs so lebron has easier competition than Kobe, which is why he wanted to join a stacked team. Once again we will see lebum choke when it matters most. How dare you make mention of his performance against the Knicks. SMH

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    2. The original comment brings up a good point. Here is another article substantianting that point: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1226363-5-reasons-lebron-james-is-already-better-than-kobe-bryant

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  9. Your an embasil and clearly a Lebron James fan... With a biased opinion.

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    1. If you're going to insult the writer at least spell it right.

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  10. Everybody has to have role players to win EVERBODY Lebron just got his, but he almosst did it by himselff with the cavs. I bet you cant name someone on that team who is a legitiment all star anyway. there has never been anyone like Lebron at his size, weight, and strength that can do what he does he is fastand strong and has limitless energy...Kobe had shaq, gasol,and bynum and a strong supporting cast his whole career of course he was gonna have rings.Lebron still aint got that the bench still sucks and he doesnt have a big man..yet he has been to the finals 3 times and won last nite .....SO I WISH THE HATERS WOULD ALL JUST SHUT UP ..HE IS THE BEST IN THE GAME RIGHT NOW..AND HAS HAD A HALL OF FAME CAREER WITHOUT A RING.. And the lakers are a terrible team with Kobe

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    1. Lakers are a terrible team with kobe lmao, stop analyzing basketball, comedy is obviously your true calling.

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  11. i fully agree... and yes the lakers is a terrible team with kobe.. unlije James and the cavs.. cavs was a terrible before james.. one of the best with james and now back on ground zero...

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  12. hahahahahahahahhaha lebron is a good player...mostly due to his size and barging in the lane, once he loses that dude will suck. He isn't better then kobe and i don't have the time to waste trying to convince a lebron stan. yeah he won em with shaq, but shaq couldn't win on Orlando, and couldn't win with LA until Kobe blossomed into an all star, the truth of the matter is it wasn't so much that Kobe needed shaq, Shaq needed Kobe. Lebron's team wasn't that bad. you dont have the NBA best record and get to the finals with a team as bad as you say. Stats are cool, but they don't always tell the full story. Lebron definetly has the tools to be that player, but never will. Now he can play with more confidence with Wade there to close out games. I respect Jame's game but Kobe over Lebron any day, all day every day. LA without Kobe wouldn't be nearly as good, no where really. If kobe chose to pass...he would be a better passer then Lebron, His mentality is that of a pure scorer first and he puts the team on his back. Just watching the two of them play...Kobe is the better player. Michael himself said that Kobe is the only player comparable to him. Lebron winning a ring by scheming and getting 3 all stars in their prime...lmao that kobe riding shaq argument is made irrelevant by that.

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  13. Lebron's aint even the best, cuz KD taking that spot when Kobe retire.

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  14. You have only been comparing career and play off stats first of all and second how can you say hes a good closer when his team had 15+ point leads in many of the games against the thunder coming out of the first half but by the end it was a maximum of 5 points

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    1. What other stats are you looking to compare other than career and playoffs? Also,with regards to your second comment - often he would be completely removed from the game because it was unnecessary for him to remain in the game. A 5-point and 15-point win both go down as wins... Not to mention they won Game 3 by 14 and Game 5 by 15.

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    2. How about kobes season stats vs. lebrons from when they were both 27

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    3. That doesn't really work. For example, with that logic you could argue that Kobe is a better scorer than Michael Jordan because Kobe had a higher PPG at age 27 than Jordan.

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  15. This argument is really solid, and I completely agree with everything you say. A lot of the myths that go around is that Kobe is "clutch" when it counts. However, many people disregard the stats in the 4th quarter, as well as last shots with less than 20 second stats, in their arguments. The stats speak for themselves, lebron is 5/12 in those last second opporunities, while kobe is just 7/27. Keep in mind that LeBron has another 10 years left in the NBA. Everyone simply remembers the amazing game winning jump shots kobe made (disregarding most of his misses), while not remembering LeBron's unspectacular (yet more efficient) game winning layups AND assists. In the playoffs, as you pointed out, LeBron clearly has better stats, and carried his team every single year. This "kobe is better because he has 5 rings" argument is skewed, because of course a better team will win more championships than worse one. Kobe has played with all stars since he made his first all start appearance, and his playoff statistics don't back up his 5 rings, when compared to LeBron's one ring. LeBron just finished his greatest playoff run ever, averaging 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists on 50% shooting, better than any playoff year kobe has ever had. His games against the pistons, celtics, wizards, pacers, bulls, celtics again, were all incredible and far more dominating than any of kobe's performances. Also, LeBron has three MVPs, while having better stats in almost every single category when it comes to the regular season. Defensively, not even close. LeBron guards every position well, and plays fundamental team defense that makes his team so much better. LeBron's versatility on the defensive end as well as the offensive end are why the heat can play small ball and put in anyone they want to, because LeBron is essentially 1-5. This speaks about LeBron's value to his team, showing that he is much more valuable to his team than kobe is to his team. Again, this is a no brainer to me, with no argument. LeBron is better in the regular season, and playoff season, and clutch situations according to stats. He can dominate by scoring, or by passing (just like coach K said in the olympic team of 2012), and even by defending. the fact that he's 6'8, 260 pounds, and able to get 10 assists(BEAUTIFUL ASSISTS!) whenever he wants to is just incredible. The 5 rings vs 1 ring is skewed, again because one needs to take consideration of teams, which obviously gives Kobe the advantage(due to his affiliation with many all stars). And the fact that this is so obvious, at the age of 27, is even more incredible. LeBron is better than kobe(who is an all time great), at the age of 27. He is simply the greatest player since Michael Jordan, and when it's all set and done, he might be sitting right below jordan in terms of greatest ever. And.......who knows, maybe with enough work, he might sit on top :D

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  16. Thanks for the read and I definitely agree that LeBron has the potential to be greater than Michael Jordan. Stay tuned for an article on that subject in the near future!

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  17. If you're going to insult the writer at least spell it right.

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  18. Thank you for the kind words. And I agree, LeBron's acting is annoying; however, I find Kobe's constant complaining to the refs even more annoying.

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  19. Thank you for the read. Again, I understand it may be difficult to say LBJ is better considering he has yet to win a title but his completeness otherwise puts him over the top. It's similar to comparing Karl Malone with most other PFs not named Tim Duncan.

    Kobe in the playoffs isn't as impressive as people make him out to be, which is why his impact in the titles wasn't as great as LeBron's 07 performance, even though LeBron lost in the Finals. This is an edge I give him that some people may disagree with. Titles come down to a team effort and a big man. Kobe has played with good and great big man. LeBron has not. Granted he played badly last year in the Finals, but that was one time.

    It is an interesting discussion to have now, but I agree with you that it will be better to assess these two players after their careers are over. It just says that much more about LeBron that we can make very strong arguments in favor of LBJ.

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  20. Thanks for the read and snide comment.. In the entire article I compared both players in their primes/career as a whole. Career per game statistics should favor Kobe. That's what I thought going into writing this. They did not. And I mentioning all of Kobe's rings -- including the ones he won in his prime. Please read the article again if you think I am comparing both players currently. As you pointed out, it would be pointless -- LeBron is significantly better at the moment. And for someone that is questioning objectivity, the reality is that Gasol and Bynum are some of the leagues best big men. I don't think Big Z in his heyday and Joel Anthony are remotely close.

    And you claim LeBron lacks the clutch gene but go back to the article: he has made only 2 less "clutch" shots in half as many attempts. If anyone lacks the clutch gene, it's Kobe.

    Also, I would check the facts before stating Nash stole MVPs from Kobe. Both years LeBron was ahead of Kobe in MVP voting, and in 05-06 LeBron was second.

    The rest of your comments are Kobe Nation's opinions that are not true. LeBron is anything but a quitter. Again, I look forward to the day we can compare their entire careers because there is no chance we will conclude Kobe is better.

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  21. Too late for that. He is now an NBA Champion.

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  22. What other stats are you looking to compare other than career and playoffs? Also,with regards to your second comment - often he would be completely removed from the game because it was unnecessary for him to remain in the game. A 5-point and 15-point win both go down as wins... Not to mention they won Game 3 by 14 and Game 5 by 15.

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  23. That doesn't really work. For example, with that logic you could argue that Kobe is a better scorer than Michael Jordan because Kobe had a higher PPG at age 27 than Jordan.

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  24. In the traditional sense, no. Maybe it needed some clarification..

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  25. At the end of the day stats don't determine how great you are.kobe is a guard LeBron. Is a power towards.he is supposed to have more rebounds then a guard.and the assist thing is garbage because mj. And kobe played in the triangle and even tho mike got more assist then kb the triangle is a pass pass post up offense.name a player whoever played for Phil that ever lead the nba in assist.it's impossible. Kobe is the best player ever

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  26. Indeed, stats do not SOLELY determine how great you are. However, they certainly are a part, and LeBron stacks up very favorably to Kobe in that category. Also, do you truly believe that Kobe is better than MJ...? The argument that Kobe fans tend to make is rings and he still has less rings than Jordan, never mind Finals MVPs...

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  27. I just watcheD on youtube a debate Stephen a smith had with skip bayless on kobe vs mj who is better and stephan a pointed out something nobody ever said.he said mj and lebron got easier shots then kobe that's y they shooting % is better the got more lay ups and dunks.the bulls ran the triangle much faster then the lakers and lebron can never shoot the ball like kobe.if you take away the fast break.lebron is a average player.

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  28. I'm a huge fan of Stephen A and Skippy B debating, but that point hasn't been brought up for a reason: Kobe chooses to take difficult shots. Michael and LeBron CREATE easier shots for themselves because they have games that are well rounded and set up shots that are more makeable. Look at their FG%. Kobe is lower than both MJ and LeBron for a reason. And to say that LeBron is average minus the fastbreak is 100% inaccurate.

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  29. Lebron is over rated,he has no heart,no will.no matter the numbers kb is the best skilled player ever

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  30. Is that a troll? I still haven't seen any evidence of how you think Kobe is better. And LeBron has a title to prove that he has "heart."

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  31. tracy is an idiot. i never understood why someone (one who never use facts just opinions) always call someone else (who uses facts to back an argument) out and tell them theyre wrong. i get so sick of all these kobe fans saying he''s better than mj23. they played the exact same position with the same coach and the same system and jordan STILL has better stats.

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  32. Great points, Greg, and Jordan also has more rings and Finals MVPs, too. If you have the time to check out my LeBron vs. Jordan article, I'd like to hear what you have to say there, too. (http://www.basesandbaskets.com/2012/11/lebron-vs-jordan-usurping-crown-for.html)

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  33. I actually think LeBron is a better player than Jordan (at least in terms of potential), though I also think Shaq was better, too. Kobe's worse than any of the players I just named, in my opinion, but his legacy's going to end up being greater than LeBron's. (I think Shaq had the potential to be the greatest of all time, but he didn't quite get there.)

    "His 2010 Finals MVP was merely by reputation – he performed abysmally."
    -He wasn't great, but I wouldn't call his performance abysmal. He averaged 28.6 points, 8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.1 steals, and 0.7 blocks. His shooting %s were generally ugly (40.5% fg, 31.9% 3pt, and 88.3% ft), and he did have a a series-high 3.9 turnovers per game, but it shouldn't be hard to see why he won Finals MVP.

    This article seems unnecessary. People generally know LeBron's a better player. I feel like, when people say that Kobe is a better player, they mean that he's a greater player. (And I think he's greater, at least at this point in time—his legacy is definitely better than LeBron's right now, though LeBron's catching up.)

    I'm curious: do you think LeBron will end up greater than Kobe (in terms of legacy) at the end of both of their careers? Rings have a HUGE effect on one's legacy; I feel like you're trying to minimize the "rings" argument, but I think it's going to be the primary reason why Kobe's going to end up with a greater legacy than LeBron's if LeBron ends up with three or fewer rings.

    ReplyDelete
  34. to jose: wat r u smokin, bro??? lebron the greatest player???



    LeBron still has to get past Duncan, Kobe, and Shaq—if the NBA ended
    right now, those three would have greater legacies than LeBron would.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Jose never said that LeBron is the greatest player right now but rather he has the potential to be the greatest player when it's all said and done.

    ReplyDelete
  36. "People generally know LeBron's a better player."


    Doubtful. Many people still think Kobe is the better player which is why I wrote this article. In talking with friends, etc. I have found this still to be true. But I do agree with you in that RIGHT NOW Kobe has a greater legacy than LeBron but I do think that LeBron has a very realistic chance at passing him up in that category, too.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Lebron may be a better player but if I had my paycheck on the next shot I have Bryant shoot the rock. Seems his rocks have softer edges. S

    ReplyDelete
  38. Even though the results have proven that LeBron is more successful in those situations?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Ok even with ur statistics u can't use an average from kobes overall career his is longer then lbj. Take his best years average them out and then compare them to lebron James'.

    ReplyDelete
  40. The writer came up with stats to back up his claims. So those who disagree should come up with some of their own. Like the last person said compare their best years so far, that person should of done it and post it here. It's like people are just disagreeing just to do so without good proof to the contrary. Bottom line Kobe gets style points, I would too if everything I do mimic Jordan, but as the writer pointed out if people truly looked at the bottom line, lbj all day. Style points Kobe all day with an asterisk. Best comparison though will be at the end of their careers. One more thing Kobe without other allstars couldn't carry his team, check out the years he had without the guy he is blaming all the time now in Gasol, also Phil for that matter. He complained so much that he needed help that he almost left LA too until he got Gasol, I won't even say Bynum. What does that say to making players better and his leadership abilities?

    ReplyDelete
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  42. I actually think Lebron is better than kobe in many aspects of playing. But I consider shaq to be the best basketball player of all time, even better than Kobe. Kobe's worse than any of the players I just named, in my opinion, Infact I think Kobe is the most overrated player of all time.. Even if you look at the stats, Lebron is better than Kobe and Jordan.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Shaq as GOAT? Idk about that. Have you seen my list?


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    ReplyDelete
  44. kobes 136 games over 40 pts vs Lebrons 46 lol lebron is the better all around player but kobe does what a Sg Does and that is score like a fucking hooker . at one time Kobe was completley unstoppable . Really just watch some of kobes highlights then look at lebrons . Kobe clearly had way better Preformances than labraud !

    ReplyDelete
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  46. Kobe has an incredible scoring ability, there's no doubt about that. But that alone isn't good enough to say that he is better than LeBron...as you said yourself, LeBron is the better all around player. As for your point about Kobe's highlights, again same thing. Kobe has great moments, but as ESPN's greatest NBA playoff performances can verify - LeBron not only has GREATER performances but more great performances.

    ReplyDelete
  47. And he said he was being objective! Clearly a Lebron fan! He failed to mention how Kobe didn't play much his rookie year! Failed to mention how everyone knows Kibe should atleast have 3 MVP awards! Really Nash back to back! Then you undermine his rings! All this article tells me is that you are a Lebron fan!!!!

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  50. I do like the fact he brought up greater vs better. Greater in terms of legacy. Better in terms of skill. This very thought could be argued in terms of Tim Duncan and KG. Better vs Greater

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  54. But a BIG reason LeBron has more points averaged and better FG% is because most of his points come off of dunks or lay-ups so, considering that Kobe is better because more of his shots are jump shots. also LeBron gets more rebounds because he is alot bigger and stronger and the SF position are supposed to go for more rebounds. and the way Kobe has been passing lately he obviously is a better passer. and one more thing is during the 2013 All-star game Kobe blocked LeBron 2-3 times in a row. so with all that being said Kobe is the better of the two.

    ReplyDelete
  55. You made some good points in the beginning but to say that Kobe blocking LeBron twice (not 3x) in a meaningless game did not bolster your point. Also, you said "with all that being said" but I don't really see any reasons made why Kobe is better. You just made excuses that you think negate why LeBron is so good.

    ReplyDelete
  56. THEE major reason besides all these stats that don't tell the story, (which is why I DO NOT believe in the saying "Numbers don't lie" because they absolutely do.) for every stat that one can use there is a stat to refute the other based on many events in time.
    Here are 5 things that wasn't mentioned and people always forget.
    1. COMPETITION. Look at the weak teams in the east that LeBron has been facing over his entire career. Look at the quality competition that Kobe had to face per player and per team versus LeBron. That's not even close.
    2. Kobe wasn't drafted on a team of bums. They weren't a great team but they had veterans and key established players who were Allstar caliber type players. LeBron was drafted to the worst team in the league, which means he automatically would see playing time, therefore your stats would be high from day one.
    3. Kobe played with good players and had to battle his way up to becoming elite. LeBron didn't have any adversity as far as fighting to become the "go-to-guy" Also, LeBron went to play with 2 of the top 10 players in the world at that time (Wade & Bosh) to win his championship. Instead of working his way to one by trades and getting better as a player to win one, he manufactured one instead.
    4. Lastly, blocks, steals and rebounds is not a mark of a good defender. What you stated is very misleading. One-on-one and help defense 1st is what a defender is graded on and then all those 3 stats you mentioned are bonuses. Think about it, all the lock down great or good defenders in our NBA history don't have flattering stats of "rebounds, blocks and steals" on their resume.

    5. You conveniently miss the part or major reason why Kobe hasn't won as many MVP's in the NBA. He was NOT liked for a very long time after the fall-out with Shaq, his teammates (Karl Malone and others), the Colorado rape case and so on. Not to mention the Lakers were very mediocre when that roster was dis-assimilated. So all the odds of voters voting for him was always out the window. Not to mention all at the same time NBA analyts, coachs and players when interviewed and asked "Who's the best player in the NBA?" they all would say Kobe Bryant. THE END!

    ReplyDelete
  57. I agree, stats do not tell the entire story. But they sure lend a helping hand, which is why I mentioned them. As for your points, I'll address them in the way that you made them:

    1. Definitely. Kobe faced an overall higher level of competition throughout his career having been in the West. That only means so much however, because in the playoffs when LeBron tore up the Pistons, for example, he was destroying one of the best teams in the NBA. Something to keep in mind but this alone doesn't mean too much. The fact of the matter is that LeBron was the go-to player on the Cavs with no-name second options - we don't even need to mention again who Kobe had the luxury of playing with. So competition is greater for Kobe, sure, but his teammates were also significantly better.

    2. Exactly. LeBron had pressure on him from Day 1. Kobe had the luxury of feeling out the NBA and finding his niche before the pressure was on. This point backfires.

    3. So? LeBron didn't have to fight to be the go-to guy because he would've been so on any team. Regardless, the fact is that teams keyed in on him because he was the go-to guy from Day 1...and they still couldn't stop him!! Again, Kobe had the ability to defer to other players. If for nothing else, Kobe had the luxury of playing with guys that opposing defenses had to respect (if not double team).

    4. Okay then what is? LeBron dominates in all of the statistical categories. If traditional stats don't convince you enough, check the advanced ones. Right now, LeBron and Kobe have almost identical total defensive win shares. And Kobe has played SEVEN more years in the league! LeBron can defend all positions on the floor, Kobe can't. There is no debate who is the better defender. None. (Oh, and Kobe's own coach said he was an overrated defender...)

    5. Likability doesn't have anything to do with MVPs. Provide stats to prove that he should have won more MVPs. Truth is, AI had more scoring titles than Kobe in the same era and already KD has more than him. People argue one of Nash's MVPs should've been Kobe's. Compare Kobe's and LeBron's numbers and overall performance those years -- if anything, it should've been LeBron's.

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  64. How can you not see any sort of evidence that shows that Kobe can be better than LeBron?

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  65. The last line revealed you as bias

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  66. If anybody should have won one of those Nash MVP years, it's LeBron. Check the stats and see what LeBron did for the Cavs...Kobe was rightfully behind LeBron in the pecking order for MVP.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Two things I see that Kobe has the advantage over LeBron that are meaningful: 1) Finals MVPs (by one) and 2) ability to make difficult shots. Footwork is another thing that is brought up and that's probably somewhere that Kobe also has the edge but I think it goes more toward differential in style of play.

    ReplyDelete
  68. lol this article is a joke.. he said he will do his best to look at dis objectively as possible" LOLOL 1st of all the career avgs can only be compared if u take away kobes 1st 2 seasons cuz he didnt even get starter minutes i guarantee the numbers would favor kobe on scoring n if u go by all around stats then is lebron better then jordan?? cuz he avgs more rebs n assist then mj? LOL I DOUBT IT! if lebron had played with shaq in his prime would he have 3 mvps? I DOUBT IT! its all about the role n team u play with..as soon as shaq left thats when kobe got his individual accolades 3 scoring titles n mvp when shaq was no longer by his side.. SO THESE CAREER STATS LIE N dnt tell the WHOLE STORY.. can lebron score in the variety of ways that kobe can?? NO does he have a post game like kobes?? NO n for ppl to say KOBE cant the defend just ask that 08" REDEEM TEAM who was the leader n who set an example on how to win?? KOBE BY HIS DEFENSE ALONE.. ask lebron. lolol

    ReplyDelete
  69. n when it comes to CLUTCH GENE N GAMESMENSHIP its NOT EVEN CLOSE..kobe still looks like he intimadites lebron when they guard each other.. MENTAL TOUGHNESS N INTANGIBLES cant be measured in STATS.. which is why MJ is the GOAT" kareem is the leading scorer of all time has 6 rings just like mike n 6 mvps 1 more then mike but MJ is the GOAT.. #INTANGIBLE #MENTAL TOUGHNESS #CLUTCHNESS

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  72. I don't think Bron is wired the same way as Jordan and Kobe. It seems Bron has all the talent in the world and should be doing more. I think Kobe has overachieved. His hands are not as big as Jordan and he's had to work extra hard to get where he is at. He came out of HS and was coming off the bench for the Lakers. Lebron is a legit 6'8 SF who has put on more muscle. I was watching Bron HS games on ESPN before NBA games. The media makes this guy to be the second coming. Bron had everything set up for him and his is a nightmare of a matchup. Couldn't get it done with Cavs. He had mo williams..who was hitting like 40 pts a game at times,,,delonte west and a good center in Anderson V... Then he goes to the Heat, when really, he should have had players coming to him. I don't think Kobe or Jordan would have did that. I've seen over and over where Bron had the mismatch and a chance to take his man for the win and he passes to a teammate who has less of a chance hitting then he did. Bron always argues at Chalmers or someone else, even when its his fault for whatever mistake was made. Bron is a walking tripple double. you look at someone like Rondo, who can even shoot and he has NASTY STATS to. To me, you cant just judge if he is better by numbers. For all the glory Bron gets, I feel like he will have to do more then stats for me to put him over Kobe. I watched Kobe play against MJ and do work. I watched Kobe hit 81 against raptors and like 64 in 3qtrs against Mavs...We will see where Bron is when its all said and done. But I think him losing to the Mavs with only a allstar in Dirk and a bunch of role players, with his super team, showed me he's not on that Jordan tip, or even Kobe. Lakers got swept by the Mavs, but they didn't say they were winning 7 championships and have a parade before the season. And the Heat has a MUCH better team then them. Wade is arguably the best sg after Kobe. And Bosh is a top 7 at the least PF. You just shouldn't lose to Mavs and Bron shouldn't score 4 pts in the forth at his age and how long he has been the best player in the league supposedly. Meanwhile, someone like Jason Terry was giving it to Bron..that doesn't even make sense. Bron may catch Kobe later, but as a whole, he isn't there yet.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I agree that Kobe and Jordan are different types of players than LeBron. I don't think that goes to anybody's fault or anybody's credit. Different styles of play, that's all. Kobe and Jordan are more outwardly competitive and LeBron is more along the lines of a laid back intensity. A great comparison is Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Both are great QBs despite incredibly different approaches to success.

    I'm not quite sure how you watching LeBron in HS is relevant but the fact is that he had nobodies with the Cavs. You called Varejao "good"? From his rookie year until 06-07, the man averaged less than 6 points and 6 rebounds a game. That's a joke of a center, not a good one. Mo Williams had his ups and downs but he's much more of a Jason Terry type streaky player - you never know what you're going to get from him.



    You say you watched this game and that. Did you watch LeBron hit 29 of 30 against a playoff team or just Bryant go off for 81 against one of the worst teams in the NBA? Did you see LeBron vs. the Pacers? How about Game 6 vs the Celtics? LeBron has help now but Kobe has had help his entire career. LeBron has work to do to catch up to Kobe's legacy as a winner but he is a better player by far.

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  79. The problem is that you're completely biased and you use only the stats against Kobe in your argument. Stats are a dangerous thing because people like you don't know how to include any substance in their argument. Is Tyson Chandler better than Lebron because he has a higher FG%? I can brainwash people with stats too. The reality is that Kobe Bryant is on another level that Lebron is, and I don't care about the stupid FG% when half of Lebron's points are transition dunks and Kobe played in the triangle offense his whole career and has never had a real point guard. But no one above the age of 16 can say Lebron is better than Kobe all-time and at the same time act like they know anything about basketball. By the way, he same Phil Jackson who you only took the negative quotes from said that Kobe has better basketball skills than Jordan. O, and also Mr. Jordan himself said Kobe is better than Lebron, so at the end of the day no one cares what you said because you are basically just showing us stats and biased commenting. The fact that you dare to say Lebron is close to Jordan is really the dagger to the last shred of credibility you could have.

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  84. hold on, Kobe gets to eliminate years he sucked?

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  85. ability to make difficult shots?! smh

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  86. Kobe is Mike mini me, Bron is magic on roids lol point LeBron

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  87. Kobe has gone on record saying that he sacrificed a lot while Shaq was on the team! My problem with this argument...is you talk like Kobe and Lebron play the same position. People always say Kobe needed a big man. Well Lebron was dumb and didn't realize that he was the big man! He needs guards...guards that he always had, he could've won in cleveland had he played the post. So Kobe plays his role and wins...Lebron..not so much. Edge Kobe

    Kobe played in a different NBA...one where you can be touched, if Lebron drives and gets breathed on he gets the foul, so of course he scores more, he gets free layups!

    Most of Lebrons GREAT defense is HELP-D not straight up, we all know Lebron is the better athlete, he's a freak of nature!

    When is comes to SKILL SET Lebron cannot touch Kobe..or Melo for that point! This is the thing about it...Lebron is getting older! so unless he starts developing a good skill set...he will fade like Vince Carter...Dewayne Wade...etc

    More importantly Lebron has slight advantage in career stats over a guy who took a backseat to another guy when he first came in the league and Lebron was the man when he got here.

    Unless you're Jordan your league MVP's don't mean much. His translated to Championships in the same year!

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  88. Women lie, Men lie, Numbers don't lie. I think it can't be said any better than that.

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  89. Of course Kobe is going to go on record and claim that he "sacrificed" a lot. That's serving his end goal so him saying that doesn't really mean much. Of course, Kobe and LeBron don't play the same position but that isn't really a large part of this comparison. Both are scorers, it's just that LeBron has a much more refined ability to be a facilitator.


    Also, Kobe is a better free throw shooter so your second point is moot. People should foul LeBron because he is not nearly as good from the line as he is finishing. Also, that's definitely not true about LeBron's D being help-D. It is straight up.


    To say that LeBron has a smaller skill set is also simply not true. He is a better facilitator than Melo and Kobe combined. Easily. I also don't argue with this advantage considering that LeBron was the man since Day 1. While that is true, opposing defenses had the ability to key in on him because there is no other true offensive threat.

    ReplyDelete
  90. dude pls read your 1st paragraph...how come lebron is way better than kobe vino?? let me say this...


    1st kobe vino bryant in his 1st season shared minutes & came off the bench while your lebron came as starter and became their centerpiece...then why you compare stats from their rookie season??
    if kobe vino bryant came as starter and get his minutes i bet hel beat allen iverson for the rookie of the year award.....


    2nd dont tell us that kobe won championships because he had shaq pau & bynum....
    how about lebron had wade and bosh? and also ray ray......dude next time if your making an article like this dont be biased to your lebron.....


    3rd if youll base on stats, il ask you what is lebrons career highs score in a game?? did he score more than 81 points??


    and last at all... dont hate kobe vino bryant just wait the playoffs and i doubt miami will win it all.......

    ReplyDelete
  91. Sounds like this article is biased to lebron lol

    ReplyDelete
  92. This Kobe hater is so low, its funny. He even compared Kobe and Duncan and said TD wins. Hahaha! Find another hobby, dummy.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I mean 1st a lebron dick rider wrote this and the cavs traded all good players they had to make lebron great! From carlos boozer, darius miles, ricky davis so he was autatically the go to guy kobe had to earn his pt lets not forget he had to play under eddie jones i like lebron just dont like the decision he made to team up with another superstar how many superstars are in the league today? Not many

    ReplyDelete
  94. Thank you for an interesting read and one that did indeed show LeBron is a better player than Kobe, I do have a few suggestions however, instead of doing a Kobe vs. Duncan, or Kobe vs. LeBron, etc. could you do one like Shaq vs. Duncan, because that way we get two players who actually play the same position (true that Duncan is listed as a PF but still, he has played centre most of his career [except for the years with David Robinson]) and can thus get a better understanding of the way they influenced their teams etc. Or at the very least, could you compare people who play the same way e.g. Magic vs. LeBron (which hardly anyone seems to do)?

    Once again, thank you for the article.

    ReplyDelete
  95. "Even if LeBron never wins a ring, you cannot default to Kobe as the greater player. Robert Horry has won seven titles and Karl Malone has won zero." Is literally one of the dumbest comparisons i've ever read on a sports blog. Your not comparing Robert Horry to Karl Malone, your comparing two NBA leaders. Ring's speak, which in your Jordan Kobe comparison you cant seem to get over, but in this article you seem to ignore and take an opposite stance. I think your just a Kobe hater who will contradict himself just to prove that other players are better than Kobe. Stay consistent, as you will find some people will read your articles back to back and notice the glaring discrepancies.

    ReplyDelete
  96. "There may be a correlation between championships and greatness, but a direct one? If so, the Celtics have the seven greatest players of all time – and Larry Bird isn’t one of them" (Kobe vs LeBron) and then from Kobe vs Jordan: "This drives home the proof that there truly is not much of a competition in this comparison. Jordan has more titles, but more importantly he demolishes Kobe in Finals MVPs which is a much more telling tale of a great champion." I think it's pretty clear that I'm not contradicting myself. And as for your statement of being a "Kobe hater" that never gets anybody anywhere. You're welcome to critique my points but once the "hater" term is thrown out there should the recipient just say "wow, you're right! I'm a hater and my argument is thus invalid."


    As for the fact that you read my articles "back to back," first thanks for taking the time to check them out. Second, I put links to those all other comparisons at the end of each article (including this one). Clearly I had intended for people to read multiple (if they so choosed).

    ReplyDelete
  97. pure stats…if we go by this logic, lebron will be better than MJ. And he you're a real fan, you wouldn't never say that LBJ is better than Jordan. Just watch how they play the game.

    Kobe is more skilled and a pure baller based on his moves, footwork and technique.

    Lebron is a beast. Shaq is a beast. Wilt is a beast.

    MJ and Kobe do not use size and strength. They use skills and technique. And both MJ and Kobe have a competitiveness that no one else has.

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  98. LeBron may be better than MJ one day but he certainly isn't now. I wrote on that exact topic here: http://bit.ly/lebronvsjordan.

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  99. These are the worst days to be a basketball fan. When a player is being cockridden as a result of the stars aligning right for him.



    I also like how it's claimed that "defensively, it's not a discussion". Apparently, because Kobe Bryant has received undeserved All-NBA nominations HE CAN'T POSSIBLY be a good defender. (he can) He is probably one of the best non specialist man defenders in the history of the sport, up there with Pippen and Jordan. (at least his early 2000s version) Lebron cannot guard big men or point guards worth their salt. Today, true big men are virtually non-existent, which makes it possible to write out that Lebron can guard them without breaking out in uncontrollable laughter.



    The direct stat comparisons are also preposterous. More rebounds? As a forward? Gee, say it isn't so. Better scoring stats? Kobe is playing in his 17th season, having a massive dropoff ins stats as a result of it. Imagine how much Lebron, a guy far more reliant on athleticism is going to fall at that age.



    Also stupid is the claim that Lebron "singlehandedly led Cleveland to the top". That team was perfectly structured around him. You can tell that stars don't matter if the chemistry fails when looking at the Lakers this year or when looking at the fact that the Cavs had the best record when Lebron played there but the Heat didn't in 11 and 12 even though they had more stars. If Lebron played for a TRULY terrible team like mid 2000s Kobe, he wouldn't even make the playoffs.



    Finally, the ridiculous claim that Kobe was carried by teammates even though Gasol was CLEARLY inferior to him and was 19 and 10 before he went to the Lakers, Bynum never played a major role in ANY championship run of the Lakers and Shaw never managed to "carry" another player to a ring. He played the better part of a decade without carrying teammates to titles before he won one and he certainly didn't "carry" Wade. Kobe on the other hand won more titles without Shaq than Shaq won without Kobe. That completely annihilates these allegations.



    In short, you suck.

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  100. I've never been a huge Kobe fan but if this is your attempt at an "objective comparison" then I would hate to hear what your subjective comparison sounds like. This is littered with unprovable opinions and bias emphasis.

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  101. Thanks for stopping by. Most of this article is quantitative, what specifically are you pointing to with unprovable opinions?

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  102. using all good terms to describe lebron like "dominant," "monster game," and "incredible," while using only bad terms like "abysmal," and negative structured paragraphs against kobe do nothing except completely remove objectivity. unprovable opinions include but are not limited to, kobe's finals mvp being merely a product of his reputation, lebron can guard any position on the floor, and my personal favorite, the entire fantastic paragraph about how lebron and shaq would have won at least 3 rings. how on earth could that ever be proven?

    the tables are cool to read and are quite quantitative but from the very beginning you tried to objectively persuade one to believe lebron is greater. countless sentences are structured to emphasize kobe's faults and lebron's successes.

    again, i totally agree that lebron is better but i kind of got lost in the narration. i became way more concerned with the partiality of the article for some reason haha.

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  104. This article loses points for pulling the "sob" story for LeBron. "LeBron shares shots with Bosh and Wade." This is not bad statement but the context supporting this claim suggests that Kobe does not have to (or never had to) share shots with people. This author loses points for not recognizing that Kobe went to an organization that was built to win but not built around him initially. The Lakers weren't a suffering organization after the 1996 season whereas the Cavs were a suffering team after the 2003 season. Therefore, it's quite natural that Kobe wasn't going to be the go-to-guy right off the back. So this biased opinion is making very fallible claims only in the hopes of creating distance between LeBron and Kobe. Also, this talk of LeBron winning a championship last year undermines the contributions of his supporting cast. Sure, Kobe had help from HOF's but (barring Shaq as a definite) those HOF's were past their prime (Gary Payton and Karl Malone). Someone please inform this writer that Dwyane Wade dug the Heat out of some pivotal games in the 2012 playoffs. I'm not denying LeBron as the best player in the league but this article creates this facade that LeBron did it on his own. The whole Kobe-LeBron debate will go on forever and probably never reach a happy solution. However, if you desire to side one way or the other, don't undermine the Heat players and put LeBron on this pedestal as if he played for terrible teams only and that Kobe has always had the superfriends on his team. For any argument about Kobe not leading the Lakers out of the first round in 2005-06 and 2006-07, please try to convince me that (to give a few examples) Kwame Brown was better than Zydrunas Ilgauskus, Smush Parker was better than Damon Jones, and Maurice Evans was better than Larry Hughes at that time. I don't think this article gives credit where credit is due though it is valid and fine to claim LeBron as a better player than Kobe.

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  105. extremely biased

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  106. in the words of Dr Oneal: how do lebrons balls taste?

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  107. Duncan is greater and better

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  108. Foolish. Relying purely on a SELECTIVE range of statistics for practically your entire opinion piece. Why are so many people narrow minded when it comes to statistics. Anyone can find these statistics and simply compare who has greater numbers. Can we really justify who is better purely on basic stats. Different players, different games, different eras. Remember good ol' Wilt Chamberlain? Check his stats. Compare Lebron to him, and who is greater. What's that, Lebron you say? Why, when Chamberlain is no doubt superior in most statistics. Arguments for why Lebron is better than Wilt will be like arguments for why Kobe is better than now. This season, remember when Kobe played facilitator to win his team ball games when Nash was out? Stuffing the stats sheets way greater than Lebron had done all season. If he played a more Lebron-like role for the entire season, or for his entire career, would that prove he is better? I like peoples points that you have to consider. I suggest people should read others opinions to open your mind to the on-going, never-ending debate between Kobe vs Lebron. So many things to consider. Team Mates for instance, Kobe has no doubt had some great players, Lebron has also had some great shooters for easy dimes to help his game. Lebron has always had the ball in his hands the majority of his career, has Kobe? If you look at team mates Kobe has had dominant players, especially in the low post, who require a lot of the ball. Lakers get more of their scoring possessions from Kobe's contribution, than Heat do from Lebron's (check that stat). Who's versed greater competitors in the era? Over the time Kobe & Lebron have been in the league, which conference is greater? Who would you rather have the ball in their hands in the final 5 mins, Kobe or Lebron, why? What is all this talk about killer instinct. There are way too many things to consider.. I've mentioned not even 1% of arguments that could be made either way for who's greater. Open your minds, and stop relying purely on statistics. It's ludacris.

    ReplyDelete
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  110. 81 points.. jordan didnt do it, nor did lebron, nor did Kd.. Enough said!!!!

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  113. What you've failed to mention in both comparisons to Lebron and MJ, is the fact that they are/were franchise players for their entire career, thus not competing with another "superstar". Remember, Kobe didn't even start his first 3 seasons and wasn't the franchise or "go to" player until Shaq left. And still his numbers are comparable to both! If you really want to do a fair comparison, you can only use the years Kobe was the franchise player; otherwise, you're comparing apples to oranges. With numbers that close and most of his career he wasn't even the "go to" player, I give the edge to Kobe!

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  114. could not have said it any better.

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  122. This is a Lebron fan talking -_-

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  123. So you think Wilt is the greatest of all time? Nobody's scored 100 besides him.

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  124. "Relying purely on a SELECTIVE range of statistics for practically your entire opinion piece."


    If they are so "selective," I welcome you to bring your own selection of statistics to the table. I think that will prove difficult since I covered most of them but I'm happy to see what statistics you bring that nuance the debate.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Partiality always comes into play with debates like this. In my Part II of this comparison, there is a bit less "narration" and you may find it equally (or more) enlightening. http://www.basesandbaskets.com/2013/08/kobe-bryant-vs-lebron-james-translating.html

    ReplyDelete
  126. "That team was perfectly structured around him. You can tell that stars
    don't matter if the chemistry fails when looking at the Lakers this year
    or when looking at the fact that the Cavs had the best record when
    Lebron played there."


    The team was "perfectly structured" because LeBron crafted it to be so. Kobe kills team chemistry which is why the Lakers always seem to have issues - remember the Kobe-Shaq feud?

    ReplyDelete
  127. Glad you liked it and @JClay I actually may do a Magic vs. LeBron article in the near future. I haven't seen it done thoroughly and it would be a fun piece to write.

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  128. I love Laker Nation with their reactions.

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  129. Me, too. That's what's great about reading the comments in these articles.

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  130. Kobe IS Greater Than Lebron. :D

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  131. That one statement about not getting to the best record with a team as badly perceived throws your argument out tge window. Didnt you see what happened to those Cleveland after he left. Not even in playoffs contention

    ReplyDelete
  132. It is easy for a 10 years NBA fan to say that LBJ is better than Kobe based on numbers. I don't blame you, but the only way that all of LeBron James's fans will agree that Kobe is better is if they would've been paying attention to the game when Kobe was doing his thing. I have witness some incredible things from both players. LeBron has been a better team player, but we're not comparing teams. One on one Kobe hands down. I have never seen another player that demands a double team even a triple team the minute that he touches the ball. With that being said: 5 rings, 62 points in 3qrt, 50 points in 4 consecutive games , 81 in a game and the list goes on. By the way having a better image helps with MVP voters.

    ReplyDelete
  133. One more thing, if we're going to go by numbers than Carmelo Anthony should've been rookie of the year over LeBron, averaging more points and rebounds than him. Plus Melo took his team to the playoffs.

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  134. Yes, but Cleveland did not replaced LeBron with another star.

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  135. It is all politics. Lol

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  136. shaq can still win a ring without kobe in that 3 peat eawrly 2000

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  137. Completely agree. You put LeBron with early 00 Shaq and you might be looking at a 4 or a 5-peat.

    ReplyDelete

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