Friday Fire 2: Who is Better…Kobe Bryant or LeBron James?

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)bat.jpg
No matter what you think, both are damn good

LeBron James got the best of Kobe Bryant last night 94-90.

Who is better? Is it a fair question? Can we just appreciate both without end game marginalization?


33 Responses to “Friday Fire 2: Who is Better…Kobe Bryant or LeBron James?”

  1. Everytime I say that Kobe is better than “X” player, because he’s won titles, I always get the “Yeah, with Shaq” response. Why is it that Kobe is the only player to get hit with that? How many titles did Magic win without Kareem? How many titles did Bird win without Parrish and Mchale? People act like Kobe was a role player who chipped in 10/6/3 and had an occasional good game. Nah, he was a 30 point scorer who won BIG playoff games by himself. You can apply the “Yeah, with Shaq” label to Brian Shaw, Rick Fox, and Devean George. Not Kobe!

    Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. I get annoyed PDQ. Anyway, they’re both great. I’m a Laker fan, so obviously I’m riding with Kobe. But they’re both great.

  2. Kobe…………but there will be a time win Lebron is better then kobe.

    Just like once Hakeem was better then Shaq. Then once Hakeem got old and Shaq developed his skill and hit his prime he was better then hakeem.

    Same as Magic vs. Jordan.

    Same with Shaq vs. Yao.

    Same with Wilt vs. Kareem.

    Same with Brakley vs. Webber.

    Same Kobe vs. Jordan.

    And the same will happen to Lebron.

    Maybe in 8 years we will be saying that some kid who is in highschool
    now is better then him.

    Father time is a B#$^& ain’t it???

  3. But Diallo thats how it is always in basketball. People say that Jordan didn’t win Sh$% before pippen. You know the funny thing is?

    When it come to QBs in football (even though its an even bigger sport)

    No one mentions Montana, Elway, Farve, Brady or manning would not have accomplished their championships with out a strong defense or great offensive player.

    The media and fans make it seem as though they won those championships by themselves.

    Where as in basketball. Its all on the great players. If they don’t perform at a high level ain’t no rings getting won.

  4. Hakeem was better than a lot of centers. David Robinson is still wondering what the heck happened.

    But to the question…. LeBron. He’s gone farther in the playoffs than Kobe ever since Shaq left\ was forced out\demanded a trade\etc. Plus if you look at their PER (Player Efficiency Rating) numbers you realize something: At 22 Lebron was, according to that number, having a better season than any Kobe ever had. Furthermore according to PER: There’s only one season in his entire career where you could even argue that Kobe was the game’s best that season, which was 2005-06 … and LeBron was just as good. Kobe is a better on-ball defender and a superior scorer, but his advantages aren’t large here and LeBron beats him pretty soundly in the other phases.

  5. From what we can see, Lebron’s a better passer, rebounder and teammate. Kobe’s the better shooter and end game technician. Lebron’s better going to the basket and finishing. Kobe’s the better free throw shooter.

    Lebron would’ve NEVER let Shaq get away from him because I really don’t think he wants to do it all himself. After last night I think it’s safe to say that when motivated both are top flight defenders.

    Lebron reminds us of Oscar and Magic; playmakers first, all around players above all. Kobe reminds us of Drexler, Dominique and a young Jordan; spectacular scorers but a little one dimensional.

    Give me D Wade over both of ’em.

  6. credit to John Hollinger for schooling on above points.

  7. Also its dumb to compare a 12 year vet to a 5 year vet.

    A player who was the center piece of a team from the day he left highschool. To a player that was able to slowly step in at a young age to a franchise that was at the time ran very well and had great pieces at every position.

    Their careers are totally opposite. He11 Kobe plays for a franchise that has a history of winning. Legend after legend have played for them. Where as lebron plays for a franchise that has known nothing but losing. Has been poorly ran for decades. Even his city like his team has had decades of losing.

    Also one player is the most hated in the NBA maybe in all of sports though Vick probably surpassed him. A player who once was the face of the league. Who stern and the owners wanted to be the face of the league. Who once got call after call. Until one night in Colorado changed all that. That player is no longer looked as the face of the league. A man who once got calls from the ref can’t get a call to save his life.

    The other player has been looked as the savior ofthe league a king since he was in highschool. A player that made what 80 million before he even stepped in the NBA. Who wants to be a global Icon.

    The sad part in this whole thing is what would have happened if the colorado incident never had happened.

  8. but that’s the fun of sports origin. every once in a while having a blissful argument. not everything has to be intellectual.

  9. I know Okori.

  10. Maybe Okori the comparison is legit. Lebron is what kobe once was….the face of the league.

    And though kobe is something Lebron is arguably not ” the best player in the league.”

    However Lebron is something Kobe can never be again ” loved by the media and the face of the league.”

  11. that’s a good point. I think the perception of Kobe is that he’s selfish, and is out for himself.

    But to paraphrase Jack Ross from a Few Good Men: “These are the numbers, and they are indisputable.”

  12. Like you said, can’t we appreciate both. I like Yao and I like Kaman. I like Andrew Bynum and I like Shaq. I like Nash and Billups. I like The Answer and I like Deron Williams. This is what annoys me about sports reporting. Sometimes they’ll say so-and-so had a bad game……I’m like DID YOU SCORE 18 points have 6 rebounds and 4 assists? To me it goes back to the fact that the sports media is not respectful enough of the performers it covers. I watch sports because it’s an escape and an outlet. If I could play like that, I would be playing not watching. I mean really, choosing between Kobe and LeBron? It’s like saying who can’t rap? Jay Z or Nas?

  13. Lebron is a better all around player and team leader and he is only 22 than Kobe and Kobe is what 27 or 28. Kobe can shot and can play lockdown defense when he wants to, thats it.

    I’m gonna say it is a easy decision. Lebron is better all day. I take him any day of the week over Kobe, not because I hate Kobe, but because LeBron is that good.

  14. anthonycarter Says:

    Wow. Sometimes I wonder if it’s possible to comment on questions like this without emotion taking over. Based on most of the responses, no. Kobe is one dimensional? How is that possible? Lebron has historically had better finishers around him since Shaquille left and so a lot of Kobe’s potential assists have rimmed out. Also, he didn’t LET O’Neal get away. O’Neal’s a grown man that was considered a future liability whose re-signing would have crippled the organization in the long run. Lebron MIGHT get to Kobe’s level one day, but he’s not there.

    And let’s ask Kobe’s teammates what kind of teammate he is. Was he selfish when he went through the CO debacle? COuldn’t he have bailed on the team since he was the most hated man in the world anyway? yes. Did he? No. He flew in from court and dropped 40+. Team player. And why did Kobe come off the bench in the beginning? Eddie Jones was there. And once O’Neal demanded that West get rid of him, Bryant has obviously the heir apparent. You may notice that Shaquille had Jones shipped again in Miami. But Kobe’s the bad teammate? Had the Lakers just done the right thing and traded O’Neal to Indiana. Jermaine and Kobe would have won a couple of rings together by now.

    Kobe may want to win more than the average player, but can we fault him for that? He’s a once-in-a-lifetime player. And wow, did we hear that Lebron reminds some of the Oscar and Earvin? Are you kidding? Earv is the greatest of all time and The Big O is Top 10 of all time. Lebron’s got a long way to go before he could even creep into that Top 50 team.

    Why don’t we just let people play out their careers and judge them after the fact? Also, there are players who have a body of work that deserve elite player status and HOF consideration even without rings, like Alonzo did before he finally kicked the door down with O’Neal and Wade. But those players have to produce and continue to produce, even if they are the faces of the NBA.

    Bryant has that body of work and rings to go along with it. Bryant can again be loved by the media. As far as “the face of the NBA goes,” that doesn’t actually buy you a seat in the Hall. So who cares?

  15. anthonycarter Says:

    How is Lebron a abetter all-around player? He’s not even in the discussion when it comes to great defenders. Kobe’s the first to come to mind.

  16. I didn’t say LeBron was the best at every facet of the game. I said all around, he is better. Kobe does have better defense, again I said that as well, but LeBron is good at everything, while I believe Kobe is only good at scoring and defense.

  17. put it this way: I think Lebron is a hair better.

    But I’m not kicking Kobe out of the L, or saying that I wouldn’t be happy to have him on my team. I just think LeBron is better.

    And Anthony? Larry Hughes would like to remind you that he has sucked out loud with LeBron on his team, so that isn’t a great finisher.

  18. GrandNubian Says:

    Man, i hate these type of discussions because never will we get an honest answer. 🙂 Every answer will be coated with some personal opinion. I mean who is it that decided that these two are the best in the league? I’m sure you can make the same argument with Duncan, Garnett, D-Wade, Dwight Howard and even Steve Nash.

    While i agree that it’s best to wait until their respective careers are over, will that really provide a factual template on who is better? I don’t think so. Why? Because the majority of reasoning will be based on personal opinion. It’s just like asking who’s the best MC/rapper? How can you actually prove who is better? You can’t because personal feelings and opinions outweight the actual factual.

    All I know is this:

    – They are both great players
    – They both have strengths and weaknesses
    – They both have yet to win an NBA title while being ‘THE MAN’ on their respective teams

    But if you ask me which of the two i’d rather have on my team……Lebron James without question.


  19. and the big argument for LeBron is that he’s going through the ascendancy all superstars make…. just quicker. first you make the playoffs, but lose in the first round. then you make the playoffs again, and lose in the second round. then playoffs, third round. last year… nba finals where he got swept. He’s learned how to win already at a point where he would be a senior in College.

  20. Okiri

    Stats lie.

    I won’t go into the fact that LeBron’s run to the finals was in a star-struck conference that basically layed down all in unison at just the right time to give Cleveland it’s chance against the Spurs. I’ll just point out that using PER as a way to rank players is so problematic as to be completely uslesss.

    Id like to see LeBron’s PER if he had to play the game as Kobe played it in the earlier part of his career where he was reined in by Phil to placate Shaq, or over the past 2 years before this one where anytime he was within 25 feet of the basket, with or without the ball, he was dooubled or tripled and none of his teammates could hit an open shot to save their lives. And finally, dismissing Kobe’s massive superiority over LeBron on the defensive end is simply wrong. The gulf is vast and I’m absolutely certain that LeBron doesn’t even think he’s in Kobe’s class.

  21. DavidMac

    given the vast gulf between Kobe’s D and LeBron’s, saying that Lebron is better all-around is patently absurd.

  22. Damn, post lost.


    Stats lie. LeBron’s PER was attained always with him being the number one option, never having to tone his game due to having a fat, lazy louse to placate nor facing multiple defenders on him whenever he was 25 feet on in with or without the ball. LeBron is extremely limited compared to Kobe and if he had to face the coverage Kobe has faced the past two years, he’d simply disappear as he did against the Spurs.

    And don’t even start on the defensive end. Dismissing that makes absolutely no sense to me.

  23. Oh wait, did DavidMac say something? I didn’t see it…..

  24. TC


  25. Right now Kobe. No doubt he’s a better defender and my King’s would have definately won a ring if Kobe wasn’t around. The Laker’s weren’t going to Shaq in crunch time it was Kobe he deserves equal credit for those Laker’s champoionships. Shaq has played with 3 of the best guards in NBA history. Penny before he was injured.

  26. “I’m gonna say it is a easy decision. Lebron is better all day. I take him any day of the week over Kobe, not because I hate Kobe, but because LeBron is that good.”

    lmfao….are you serious?? Lebron doesn’t have a jump shot, his whole game is driving to the rim for dunks/lay-ups…Lebron is an average defender….and Lebron doesn’t have a killer instinct…he passes too much at times..

  27. kingjamesfan Says:

    For me, both players are good. I am a LeBron fan but i also admire Kobe’s talent. Both of them have different qualities to become team leaders.

    LeBron James fan

  28. Kobe is the better player of the two, and it’s not that close. Kobe does not get nearly the credit he deserve for his basketball acumen.

    But, LaBron is better at 22, than was Kobe at 22. LaBron is vunerable to a weight issue as he gets older. But if he maintains his weight and keep on his same progression, He’ll surpass Kobe.

  29. lebron . peroid

  30. LeBron Jr. Says:

    lebron . peroid

  31. you cant compare them by how many playoff games they’ve been to bc tat depends on wat kind of teammates they both have. now, when kobe was lebrons age, kobe had shaq who could make some big plays and lebron pretty much dont, that is y lebron has the better % in tat topic. kobe is best in the league today. lebron comes second.

  32. Right now – Kobe. Period.

    Kobe has the better skills. When the game is down to the last shot, you want the ball in Kobe’s hands. That decides the argument right there. But sure, we can appreciate both. Lebron could be the best player we’ve ever seen in 5 years.

  33. john murphy Says:

    I think that Lebron has the better all around game. come on, this kid single handedly led a talentless losing team to the elite level of the nba. he had no shaq or scottie on his team. let’s see if kobe could do the same without any talent. HE IS THE NEW FACE OF THE LEAGUE, AN UNSELFISH TEAM ORIENTED GUY. HE IS MORE EXCITING TO WATCH THAN KOBE IS. I DO NOT TURN ON LAKERS GAMES EXECEPT when the lakers are playing the cavaliers. Lebron is the second coming of michael jordan. This young kid is a phenom by any standard.

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