by Candido Hernandez
Kobe VS Lebron. A tale as old as, well only about five or six years old. This has been a debate between fans of both superstars that seems to always go thru the same little roadmap. Here let me draw it for you.
Lebron Fan: MVPs, statistics.
Kobe Fan: Five rings.
Lebron Fan: But…but….Cleveland was terrible when Lebron left. Like super terrible.
Kobe Fan: Um, uh….uh….Five rings.
You know where that argument comes from?
Team Accomplishment VS Individual Accomplishment
Insert head slap here. You see that is the one clear argument-ender for all Kobe fans. Apparently the formula is something like (Star Athlete w/X # of rings) > (Star Athlete w/X-1 # of rings) or something like that. Sorry, my math is rusty. According to this argument Robert Horry is better than Kobe, Lebron, and his “Airness” Michael Jordan. It’s hard to make an argument for who the better player is when one person is tossing in team accomplishments as the players doing. Yea I guess Shaq and Gasol have nothing to do with any of those rings. What was the closest thing Lebron had to either of those? Antawn Jamison? Mo Williams? Carlos Boozer? Old Shaq??? Seriously it’s not even an argument.
Look don’t get me wrong here, I think Kobe is still a top star in this game and one of the most well accomplished player of all time. Obviously he is an instant Hall of Famer. Even before that “Sh*t don’t stink” smirk leaves Kobes face after his last game in fact. That is not debatable. Career wise Kobe reigns over Lebron but the answer to why that is the case is so simple most of you have probably already figured it out before I even get to type it. Lebron is still in his prime and has a long way to go before his jersey goes up in the American Airlines Arena rafters. Kobe has had a whole career to work on his shooting and his post moves, while Lebron is already more well-rounded a player than Kobe ever was. Lebron is ninth in career triple doubles with 29 in eight years in the league. Michael Jordan had 28 in 15 years. In 15 years Kobe has 17 triple doubles.
That is just one stat out of many that Lebron has over Kobe, including more MVPs, which you can attribute to a players skills. A few others? Ok, sure check out this nifty table I made, which may or may not contain accurate information. I will let you be the judge of that. Just kidding, this is accurate.
Candido’s fun table of stats. (Stats, you know. That thing that goes past people s biased opinions. Stats)
So the stats are clearly in favor of Lebron and PER being the most accurate portrayal of a player, but it is hard to compare careers when Kobe has 7 years extra playing time, not to mention the many playoff games he’s played in so let’s look at something else. Something a little more telling of a single players worth to his team. When Shaq left the Lakers and Kobe to their lonesome the Lakers missed the playoffs entirely the following year. The year after that? Lakers lost in the first round to the Phoenix Suns. The year after that? Lost to Suns in first round. Déjà vu anyone? The second that Kobe Bryant lost the most dominating center in the game, the Lakers spiraled into complete garbage, meanwhile Shaq helped bring a championship to the Miami Heat in one of his last effective seasons and when some fella named Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr went bananas in the playoffs. After that the Lakers traded the bag of turnips that is Kwame Brown for one of the best big men in the game in Pau Gasol. A lot of the league went up in arms over this obviously one-sided trade, kind of like watching this matchup…
How about Lebron? His first two years Cavs went from door stop to one place out of the playoffs. Year three? They made it to the semi-finals where they lost to the Detroit Pistons. Year four? It was the NBA Finals. All this with a cast of nobodies. Let me explain that when I say “nobodies” I mean that nobody goes to play in Cleveland. They get drafted by Cleveland. Lakers are a big market team that could land any player it wants. When Cleveland recruited a player to try to come play there, all they did was drive them by Lebrons house a few times. When Lebron left Cleveland they quickly went back to door mats. Not even door mats, they became the wee wee pad that my dog eliminates on every morning.
Career VS NOW
Lebron VS Kobe NOW is an easy question to answer and ESPN thought the same as they ranked Lebron #1 in the NBA while Kobe is way down at #7 (a little low in my opinion). Lebron VS Kobe Career? Well, that is something that will have to wait to be answered in about the year 2018. Then, and only then can you really hold the two players side by side. Championship rings should be taken into account, but that is a team comparison and I cannot give credit to Kobe for being drafted by the Lakers while penalizing Lebron for Cleveland landing the number one pick that year and getting him.
So we move on to the 2011-12 season where Lebron will undoubtedly beast all over the NBA. Well, if the NBA even comes back. Expect another two weeks of games, or roughly about 6 more games, to be cancelled. Yawn, wake me when 2018 gets here.