Cavaliers

Cavs add Korver; LeBron still better than Kobe

LeBron vs Kobe 2016

As you probably already know, the Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired a sharp-shooter who was one of my favorite players since he was at Creighton1 Kyle Korver from the Hawks for essentially nothing in return from the Cavs. The Korver addition makes the East leading Cavs even more dangerous and all but locks up the Eastern Conference; if it wasn’t already. A strange side effect of the Korver trade is that it has brought many strong takes from the internet from some of my least favorite people… Kobe fans.

Kobe fans are the worst. They are in a never-ending battle with themselves to try and convince their own mind that Kobe Bryant is better than LeBron James. While there is absolutely zero statistical evidence to back up that claim, if you even try have this argument with a Kobe fan, as soon as you start talking you will be interrupted with screams of, “Kobe has FIVE rings!”

With the addition of Korver to LeBron’s plethora of weapons, Kobe fans are reminding everyone everywhere that Kobe didn’t need all these All-Stars to win championships like LeBron did. No, he didn’t need All-Stars, he needed future Hall of Fame players. No one special, maybe a Shaq here, or a Pau Gasol there. Nothing too major.

There was a tweet fired away from a Kobe fan that said “My favorite player won a championship with this roster, yours needs four all-stars.” The picture that was tweeted was the 2009 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, who along with Kobe consisted of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum (when he wasn’t insane and was still good) and Lamar Odom. Maybe this guy forgot, but Bynum and Gasol are both over seven-foot, and Lamar Odom was a few more green vegetables away as a kid from also being seven-foot. That was one of the most difficult front courts to match-up with in recent memory. The Lakers made a similar deal that season, trading NBA legend Kwame Brown away for Pau Gasol, who was an All-Star, and helped lead them to an NBA championship. So perhaps, like every other player ever, Kobe did need help.

It also seems as if people are forgetting that Kobe won three of his championships with a player who was arguably the most dominant player the NBA had seen since Wilt Chamberlin. His name was Shaquille O’Neal. Also, not to be forgotten, when Kobe Bryant was still good enough to be playing for titles, the Golden State Warriors weren’t a thing. Sure, you had the Boston Celtics big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. It’s just that team comes nowhere near the talent level of this current Golden State Warriors squad. The NBA is a race of two teams now: the Cavs and the Warriors. Could the Spurs, Clippers, or Rockets possibly find a way to upset Golden State? I guess, but I wouldn’t put money on it. And could Toronto or Boston possibly find a way to upset the Cavs? No. I would put money on that.

Championships are the only thing Kobe has on LeBron (for the moment), and championships are the worst “stat” to compare players. Teams win championships, not players or Robert Horry needs to be put into this discussion too. Yes, certain players have a bigger impact than others, but they didn’t win it by themselves. Kobe doesn’t have five titles without Shaq and Gasol, just like LeBron doesn’t have three without Dywane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Kyrie Irving. And does the championship only count for one player? The Spurs have won five championships the last two decades, and people will use the “he has more rings” argument for both Tony Parker and Tim Duncan when they compare them to other greats. Whose rings are they? Are Kobe’s first three rings any less his than they are Shaq’s? It’s an argument that doesn’t make sense. Not to mention that if you lose in the early rounds of the playoffs, you essentially lost the championship. Why does that not count on a player’s record? The answer is because it’s an argument that doesn’t make sense, but makes Kobe look good compared to LeBron.

As for statistics, comparing Kobe Bryant to LeBron James is just disrespectful to LeBron. The two are not even close in on the stat sheet. I’ve done a blind comparison below. I’m pretty sure you will be able to figure out who is who because you are not a monster.

kobe-lebron

As I’m sure you guessed, LeBron is Player A and Kobe is Player B. Keep in mind, this is through 20 years of Bryant’s career. So, as for win shares, Kobe’s offensive total after his 14 year mark. The same point in time where LeBron is now, was 104.5, and his defensive total was 41.4. Through almost 14 years, LeBron has been worth 198.2 wins, compared to Kobe’s 145.9. It would have taken Bryant five more seasons of playing at his career average level through 14 years to be where LeBron is right now. Bryant’s actually behind Reggie Miller in win shares, who finished his 18 year career with 174.4. But I’m pretty sure Reggie Miller is nowhere to be found in the “best player ever” argument.2

While their scoring margin isn’t too drastic, their efficiency level is. LeBron shoots five percent higher than Bryant for his career. The difference between 49.8% and 44.7% in the NBA this year is 29th and 78th, which is heavily weighted with centers and power forwards in the top 30. Five percent is also the difference between Kevin Durant and Tobias Harris. Seven assists and 4.7 assists is the difference between 10th in the NBA this season and 31st. In other words, Kobe is nowhere near LeBron’s level.

Both LeBron and Kobe came straight out of high school, and both shot 41.7% from the field in their rookie season. Following that, Kobe’s best season, efficiency wise, was the 2001-2002 season when he shot 46.9 percent. Following LeBron’s rookie season, the worst he ever shot from the field was his second season when he shot 47.2%. That means that at his worst, LeBron is still more efficient than Kobe Bryant. The same holds true for effective field goal percentage, for those of you who think Kobe’s field goal percentage would be polluted by his jump shots. Kobe’s best eFG% season came in 2012-2013 when he shot 50.4%. 50.4% happened to be LeBron’s worst season, other than his Rookie campaign, back in, again, his second NBA season.

The same holds true for just about any stat. Kobe put up his best assist mark in 2012-2013, as well, averaging 6.0 per game. LeBron has averaged six or more assists per game every single year of his career except his rookie season, when he averaged just 5.9. Kobe’s best rebounding total came back in 2002-2003 when he pulled down 6.9 boards per game. LeBron has averaged 6.9 rebounds or better in all but three of his NBA seasons.

Kobe fans also seem to pick on LeBron for not being able to shoot. I have had countless arguments with people saying that all LeBron does is dunk. First, that isn’t true. Second, if it was, why would that matter? Why would you criticize a player for using his skill set to his advantage? That would be like saying Shaq wasn’t good because he couldn’t dribble.3 As for Kobe and LeBron, they just about dead even in three point attempts per game. Kobe shot 4.1 three’s per game for his career, while LeBron is at 4.0 per game, a number that will probably rise before his career is over, as he is taking 4.8 this season. He is also making 1.8 per game, which is more than any in his career. Kobe finished career shooting just under 33% from three at 32.9%. As it stands now, LeBron is a career 34.1% shooter from downtown.

There is also the clutch argument, which I cannot stand. Clutch is a relative term. A lay up in the first quarter is two points, and a lay up with five seconds is left is two points. If you perform well enough for the first 46 minutes, you don’t have to be worried about being in “clutch” situations. Also, as I said, clutch is relative. To some it means just the last shot of a game, to others it could be the whole fourth quarter. To me, it’s the entire game. Kobe has countless highlights of his game winning shots. But Kobe is also the NBA’s all time leader in shot’s missed, so there is also countless highlights of him missing game winning shots. Like his two air balls against the Utah Jazz in the 1997 playoffs. Or his air ball in the 1999 playoffs against the Spurs. You probably recall Big Shot Robert Horry’s game winner against the Kings back in 2002, a shot which Horry hit off an offensive rebound from a Bryant miss. It’s easy to forget how many times Bryant has failed when you refuse to recognize it.

There are plenty of highlights of LeBron missing game winners as well, but LeBron is definitely the guy I want to have the ball with five minutes to go, two minutes to go, 30 seconds to go, etc… because he is going to make the best basketball play. LeBron is a guy that passed up a game winning shot opportunity to Damon Jones, and Jones knocked down that corner three for a playoff win against the Wizards. LeBron doesn’t need to be “the guy” because he knows he is the guy. He doesn’t care if Kyrie Irving takes the last shot because sometimes he knows that’s what’s best for the team. From 2003-2009, Kobe had one assist in 56 last possession opportunities. Kobe was taking the shot no matter what. And that doesn’t make him better because he wants to be “the guy” it makes him stupid, because he’s hurting his team.

In that same stretch from 2003-2009, LeBron led all NBA players with 17 game winning, or game tying shots in the last 24 seconds in 50 attempts. In that same span, Kobe was 14 of 56, with that one assist we talked about before. As for LeBron, he had six assists. That means LeBron’s team tied or took the lead 23 out of 56 times, while Bryant’s tied or took the lead 15 out of 57 times. In that same stretch during playoff basketball, both Kobe and LeBron were 4-8 from the field, while LeBron had one assist to Bryant’s zero (shocking).

I am not sure what Kobe fans are talking about when they say he’s better than LeBron, or even compare him to Jordan. Sure, he played the same style as Jordan, but that doesn’t mean he’s as good. I love to jack up three’s when I play basketball, but I’m not J.R. Smith. The truth is Kobe’s not nearly as good as most think. People get sucked into the five rings thing, and it’s a terrible argument. If LeBron played three of his seasons with prime Shaq, LeBron would have won three titles with him. The same goes for if Kobe played four seasons with prime Wade and Bosh, he probably would have won a few titles. However, I am certain that prime Kobe Bryant doesn’t beat that Warriors team from last season, and prime Bryant doesn’t lead a team of Donyell Marshall, Daniel Gibson, and Damon Jones to a championship.

Kobe may have had more of a competitive fire than LeBron, but that doesn’t mean he has more talent. And just because LeBron doesn’t show that he wants to win more than he wants to breath like Kobe, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, or isn’t competitive. If you want a look at Kobe’s competitive fire, just check out highlights from Game 7 of the 2006 Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns.

In my opinion, Kobe Bryant isn’t even a Top 10 player of all time, and he is definitely absolutely nowhere near the Top 3. In terms of win shares, he’s on par with John Stockton, Reggie Miller, Jerry West, and Gary Payton. All those players are very good, but no one considers them to be the greatest player ever. LeBron is still only 31 and has plenty left in the tank. Before it’s all said and done, he won’t even be able to see Kobe in his rearview mirror. Kobe Bryant will go down as an all-time great, but he’s not good enough to even be mentioned in the same sentence as LeBron James.

  1. yeah, because he was white and gave me false hope. []
  2. Need to ask Spike Lee for clarification. []
  3. Editor’s Note: O’Neal’s dribbling when part of the Orlando Magic in his youth was a beautiful sight to behold. []

  • Dave

    My impression is that a lot of Kobe fans will not allow any challenge to their firm belief that Kobe was the GOAT. This is true even if you point out that even on the one stat that he was truly dominant in (career points), he’s well below Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And if you look at his best season, he scored far less than Wilt Chamberlain or Michael Jordan in their best seasons.

    Some other stats you didn’t mention:
    – LeBron has 150 more career blocks than Kobe, and is still actively playing.
    – Kobe has 230 more steals than LeBron, but LeBron could very easily catch Kobe before retiring.
    – Kobe has 550 more turnovers than LeBron. Kobe’s assist/TO is about 1.57, LeBron’s is 2.06.

  • tsm

    Jerry West? You don’t consider The Logo to be one of the greatest ever? I saw him play, and he was generally considered the best defensive guard of his era. Also, there was no three point line, and he was a truly great shooter from long range. His statistics would have been even better if he had a three point line. Until Magic and MJ came along, West and the Bog O were universally considered to be the two best guards ever. West was a superior player to those other guys you listed as being “very good”.
    Now, time for my nap!

  • Saggy

    I disagree with your clutch assessment. A layup in the first quarter is worth the same amount of points but it takes more – or harder – work to get those points in the last 2 minutes of a tie game.

    This point can be easily emphasized by watching the Cleveland Cavaliers loaf their way through the first 82 games. Winning a game means scoring more than your opponent. The Utah Jazz aren’t scoring more than the Cavs if they meet in the playoffs because the playoffs are “Crunch Time”.

  • Shan Dawson

    IN NBA BEST PLAYER SOLID & CLUTCH TIME PLAYMAKERS & COMMITMENT, PLUS CRITICALTIME PLAY ….. ! YES NO ONE COME CLOSE TO MJ. And KOBE ! YOU CAN SEE FROM THE PAST NBA CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS! SO ARGUING ABOUT WHO IS BETTER ?WASTING TIME. BECAUSE ITS FIXED NUMBERS BY MJ and KOBE ! KOBE and M JORDAN PLAYED FOR THEIR LOYAL TEAM & FANS.
    AGAIN PAST & NOW EVEN FUTURE THAT NUMBER WONT CHANGE! Maybe after another 5 or 6 years later LABRON could reach to 3 spot again if he doesn’t change the team plus if he can play like now. Than may be…………………. IT’s up him………….
    OUT…$.DAWSON

  • Shan Dawson

    NBA BETTER ALL TIME PLAYERS……………. MICHEL JORDAN and KOBE BRYAN……….
    EVEN KIDS KNOWS THAT ORDER! $.D

  • DontLikeItLoveIt!

    These Stats are all out of context. On paper Lebron looks better than Kobe but the impact Kobe had on those championship teams was a lot deeper than one would think. If Kobe wasn’t on the last three finals teams they wouldn’t made the playoffs in the West. Kobe was the primary ball handler, creator and closer.

    He has a record for 11 Straight wins in playoff closeout games where he’s scored at least 30 on over 50% shooting.

    He never had a point guard that would allow him to play off the ball. For the stretch that he did with Sessions Playing at a high level he averaged well over 30 at a well over 50% fg clip. Lebron had Mo Dwyane and Kyrie,

    Andrew Bynum was a low percentage volume shooter that couldn’t stay healthy at his peak. Was never able to impact a playoff team.

    The difference between 50% and 45% shooting is 1 shoot. So Kobe makes 9/20 And Lebron Makes 10/20 a game. Considering the fact that most of Kobes shots are contested and a majority of Lebrons shots are in the paint actually gives the edge to Kobe.

    I think any of Lebrons championship teams are leaps and bounds better than Kobes teams and Kobe won them coming out of the west.

    I could go on and on but you get the picture.

    Not saying Kobes better Than Lebron but that stats don’t tell the whole picture

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  • Dan Harrington

    I beg to differ that Kobe had a bigger impact on his last 2 than LeBron. The Cavs come nowhere near a title without LeBron, just like the Lakers don’t win back to back without Kobe.

    Bynum was a 14/9 guy who shot mid to up 50%s shooting, as a third option. That’s not bad at all.

    I don’t think looking at an entire career is out of context. You can single out 11 games Kobe had and try to prove his worth, but I could do the same in that LeBron averages over 30 a game in elimination games. Or that he led all players in the finals in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. I don’t think it’s possible to have more value than that.

    I would also take the early 2000s lakers over any of LeBrons teams
    because LeBrons never had a true center who would have been able to stop Shaq.

    And the difference between 9/20 and 10/20 isn’t a lot when you look at it in such a small sample, but over time we are talking the difference between hundreds of baskets, and that matters. Not to mention how many shots LeBron creates and accounts for from his passing.

    And I think Kobe never having a point guard who allowed him to play off the ball was on him more than anything else. Guys didn’t want to play with Kobe, because a lot of players disliked him. You couldn’t go there as a point guard and excel because Kobe wouldn’t let that happen. A la Steve Nash. I know he was at the tail end of his career, but still.

    I appreciate the feedback, but I have to disagree lol.

  • Chris

    He’s no Steph Curry.

    ***Sorry, some bloke from ESPN hacked my Disqus password***

  • Chris

    “…consisted of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum (when he wasn’t insane and was still good) and Lamar Odom”

    I had to re-read that… I legitimately thought that note was about Lamar Odom. It applies to both.

  • Chris

    I totally agree on LeBron ahead of Kobe. But I had a few thoughts/comments…

    Golden State wasn’t really a “thing” when LeBron won his first two with Miami either. Kobe/Lakers may not have had a Goliath challenger from the East, but winning the conference seven times over the Spurs is an enormous career accomplishment. Over a twelve year stretch, Spurs and Lakers represented the West eleven times… amazing!

    I had NO idea LeBron’s career 3P% is higher than Kobe’s. In fact, they’re both higher than Mike’s (.327). But like you said… different players utilize different skills and it’s foolish to go line-by-line like that to determine who’s better overall.

    Not top 10? Now you’re just hating on him. He’s on par with Duncan. Where do you have Timmy ranked?

  • tsm

    West was a much more complete player than Curry. Did you see Curry’s D during the finals last year? He is truly an outstanding shooter, but that is his only great quality. Good passer and ball handler and below average on D. The Logo was excellent at all aspects of the game.

  • Chris

    I am 100% mocking ESPN’s infatuation with their Golden Boy. And yes, I saw his D… and his frequent disappearance… and his immaturity (at 28! Grow up!). Curry’s D made Irving’s look like Gary Payton.

    For what it’s worth… given this point in each of their careers, I’d take Irving’s next five years over Curry’s next five years.

  • Chris

    Kobe’s big men all benefited from the copious amount of offensive rebound opportunities. Ultimate team player 🙂

  • DontLikeItLoveIt!

    Actually Players never came to play with Lebron. In contrast Chris PAUL and Nash actually came to play with Kobe. Chris Pauls trade was blocked and he considered suing the league for it. Nash was barely able to play that season so Kobe still had to play point with no real shooters to space the floor.

    Lebron always had a hand full of shooters to keep the defense honest. Kobe… people were loading on areas of the floor that he likes to operate because they knew the wide open man would more than likely miss the shot. This and the zone is why he wasn’t able to post up later in his career ala Jordan.

    When there are other people that can control and take over the game when the defense loads up on you (Pippen Wade Kyrie and mo on a smaller scale) you are forced to operate out of your comfort zone. Kobe never had a team that allowed him to stay in his comfort zone.

    Not sure if Lebrons style of play would mesh with Shaquille’s. Wade and Kobe could go on stretches of hitting consistent mid range jumpers that would ultimately free up Shaq for one on one or wide open opportunities. Lebron… Bosh and Love were terrific inside and outside players averaging 25+ a game before Lebron and were basically told to be spot up shooters on Lebron teams dropping they’re scoring averages about 10pts. Inside out is not how Lebron likes to or can play.

    In the East Lebron basically walks to the finals every year with his star studded cast and by the time the team on the west makes it they’re barely walking. Everybody raves over his 2015 finals lost but the truth of the matter is that if he had a consistent mid range jumper they would have won easily. He averaged almost 20 missed shots a game which a majority were quality looks for Wade and Kobe. Teams tend to let him shoot and focus on clogging the paint (wouldn’t work well for Shaq by the way). It was the team Defense that kept them in those games.

    Kobes first four years were his Weaning years (Lakers choice not his). What could have been his best years statistically were wasted with Shaq and terrible teams. Outside of Lebrons rookie year he’s never been on a bad team and he’s on the east coast.

    I can actually keep going…

    Again I’m not saying Kobes better than Lebron just that their situations were too different to have a definitive answer.

  • Dan Harrington

    So you’re essesntially blaming Kobe’s surrounding cast for him never reaching his full capabilities? LeBron led a team of Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall to the Finals when he was 23.

    I don’t know how you’re going to say Kobe never had a player who took some pressure from the defense off of him, he played with Shaq, who always demanded a double team, and Pau Gasol, one of the best centers in the NBA the last 20 years.

    And in the 2015 finals, LeBron pretty much played a Kobe style. High volume, low efficiency scorer. Unfortunately for him, he was playing one of the greatest teams the NBA has seen in a while.

    Again, it’s easy to pick random parts of careers or random playoff series and favor Kobe, but over entire careers, it’s not even close

  • mgbode

    you didn’t even mention that the 2015 LeBron was missing Kevin Love & Kyrie Irving — hard enough to win without them but pretty much didn’t have any lead time to prep either. Still took two games (one on Kyrie’s last legs).

  • mgbode

    Not sure if Lebrons style of play would mesh with Shaquille’s.

    LeBron is everything Penny Hardaway wished he could be and more. LeBron+Younger Shaq would have been so, so, so much fun.

  • DontLikeItLoveIt!

    Statistically yes. The lakers never built a Team around Kobes strengths yet he still has 5 rings and 7 finals appearances in the West. Lebron has 3 rings and 7 appearances in the east.

    That Lebron team also had 5 shooters and a top 3 Defense in the east. San Antonio left him wide open that whole series. We’ll never know what Kobe could’ve accomplished with that team. He almost beat a 60 win phoenix team in a playoff series with one of the worst rosters I ever seen.

    9/20 is not a high volume low efficiency shooter. Kobe never shot that many shots in a playoff series let alone missed. That is how I assumed Lebron would look on that 08 laker team that made the finals.

    Shaq and Gasol can’t control a game the same way a Jordan/Paul type player can. They’re only productive on a small portion of the court. With no real shooting threats to spread the floor their usefulness dwindles.

    I would compare Gasol to Bosh and Love but Lebron also had Wade and Kyrie. Bosh averaged 25 and 11 and love 26 and 12 before joining Lebron. Gasol…20 and 9……..

  • DontLikeItLoveIt!

    Penny could shoot and had shooters around him.

  • DontLikeItLoveIt!

    Not saying it wasn’t impressive but his shooting was hurting more than helping the team. The defense and Curry shrinking in the moment kept them in the game

  • mgbode

    You said you didn’t think LeBron’s style would mesh w/ Shaq — Penny was lightweight version of LeBron before the injury (check the shooting #’s, LeBron is better shooter than Penny was too).

  • DontLikeItLoveIt!

    And Shaq played with both and always sides with Kobe on the debate.

  • mgbode

    Old, tired Shaq played w/ LeBron, sure.

  • ED RICARDO

    Hey, what about Tim Duncan! I know he’s highly regarded, but he’s wildly underrated in the GOAT discussions ! IMO, as far as greatest ever two-way players, my order is 1)MJ 2) LeBron 3) Duncan. Th

  • ED RICARDO

    Hi Chris, I agree with the author that Kobe barely misses top 10 all time; Timmy all time rank? I could actually make a case for 3rd all-time, but he’s definitely top 10!

  • DontLikeItLoveIt!

    Nobody on the planet can guard kyrie or curry. But kyrie is money in winning time which is vital for championship teams so I agree with you. Steph really struggles when the pressures on.

  • DontLikeItLoveIt!

    Kobes considerably better than Duncan. Duncan had better teams but there’s no doubt who the better player was.

  • Louis

    let me keep this short and simple… this fools article wouldn’t even be relevent if kobe’s name wasn’t on it… kobe’s name is givin the hater his on name. now what’s the irony in that. Lebron cant do that for u partner! Remember that…. lame ass…..if stats dictated or defined a players greatness then why do watch the game fool. u so obsessed with hatin on kobe u don’t even see the desperation that u have to exaggerate lebrons greatness… kober never took days off he never melted down and he never short cutted the competition. he never said I CAN’T and he never had excuses made for him… u cant say the same about lebron….

  • Dave

    My choice of potential GOATs is very very different from yours, in that most of them aren’t active players anymore, because there are so many that have put up numbers nobody playing today has even come close to: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, John Stockton, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone

  • ED RICARDO

    Kobe was a great player, no question. But no way better than TD, let alone “considerably better than Duncan”! Most NBA experts have Duncan as the better player, and have him ranked over Kobe all-time. Check out ESPN, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, etc. All have ranked the top 100 NBA players of all-time, and Duncan ranks higher than Kobe
    on all lists.

  • Dan Harrington

    I don’t think Kobe Bryant is giving me a name. I write for a local sports blog for fun and free, so I don’t think my name is too big. So if stats, which are a reflection of what a player does on the court, don’t define a players greatness, what does?

    And I guess playing less than 70 games 5 of his first 9 years isn’t taking days off? And him demanding a trade out of LA because he wasn’t happy with team/contract counts as. never melting down or short cutting competition?

    I’m also not sure when LeBron said “I can’t”

    Also, I never hated on Kobe. If you think numbers showing LeBron is better than Kobe is hating, then sure I guess I’m hating. Just don’t confuse your favorite player with the best player

  • ryan bryant

    I understand you frustration over Kobe fans, i really do. As a Kobe fan i’m frustrated as well. I’m frustrated at how, in order to put Kobe down people have a tenancy to pick and chose what stats to use.

    It’s frustrating when they say Lebron has better stats through out his career as if situation and circumstance doesn’t mater in team sports. Numbers play a piece but never the whole pie. Lebron was drafted to a team and played his whole career as the number 1 option. Kobe was drafted onto a team that acquired shaq, so he had to be his set up man and pick and choose his spots and close the games when shaq could not. Then when shaq was traded kobe became the undisputed first option on the team. 8 years with shaq then 8 years without, 2 different roles. only common denominator is he won championships doing both. So how could you compare his stats to lebrons? if your going to compare his stats as the first option, as lebron was, then you should compare his stats from 2005- 20013, when he was first option and in his prime.

    Then their is also the fact of lebrons better fg% without considering the fact that teams play Lebron to shoot the ball so he shoots wide open jumpers far more frequently and at the defense request because he just isn’t as deadly as kobe is from that range. Those numbers are a direct reflection of that.

    It’s frustrating to us kobe fans how you ignore the fact that kobe had to go through 25 50+ win teams to achieve his championships, while lebron has only had to go through 11. Which of course is the benefit Lebron has had his whole career, playing the “leastern”, i’m sorry, eastern conference.

    You know what else is frustrating? the pau gasol and andrew bynum argument, which i find just great. Your comparing lebrons multiple big 3’s to pau and bynum? and odom? Pau gasol, while a good center, was 0-8 in the playoffs until he met kobe. He was traded mid season and went from never winning a playoff game to a straight ticket to the finals. Bynum led a career of inconsistencies and benefited from a double teamed kobe. And lamar odom, while i love the guy, had been traded 2 times before arriving with the lakers. That’s one all star and 2 role players.

    And you know what? with shaq, without shaq kobe did something lebron has only done once. repeatedly eliminate the spurs from the playoffs. And he did so on route to championships, because that’s how it goes in the western conference side of the playoffs.

    oh and kobe is the only man since jordan to successfully, on more then one occasion, defend his nba championship. With Shaq, and without.

    But who am i kidding, what do those numbers mean right?

    fg% and less rings seems to be the game when arguing Lebrons claim as the number 1 player of all time.