Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, someone posted about how efficient Kobe was. I responded by comparing some of his stats to Wade‘s. I was shocked though when I looked at LeBron’s stats. LeBron has so consistently been multiple levels better than Kobe it’s remarkable that Kobe was ever considered LeBrons equal.

I know, I know. Kobe was great wasn’t he? Surely he was better than LeBron wasn’t he? The answer is yes…for LeBron’s 1st and 2nd season.

What follows is a collection of stats comparing Kobe and LeBron. The numbers will shock you. What follows is not meant for Laker fans, viewer discretion is advised.

Let’s begin with win shares. Kobe played for 20 season. LeBron played for 13 (not including this one).

LeBron had 193 win shares. Kobe? 172.7. Despite playing 7 years longer than LeBron, Kobe had had 20 less win shares than LeBron.

Ya, but Kobe was always injured. Surely Kobe’s win shares per 48 are close to LeBron’s? Let’s compare their 10 best season for win shares per 48.

WS/48 best 2nd best 3rd best 4th best 5th best 6th best 7th best 8th best 9th best 10th best
Kobe (over 20 seasons) .224 .21 .21 .208 .206 .202 .199 .199 .196 .178
LeBron (over 13 seasons) .322 .318 .299 .298 .264 .244 .242 .242 .232 .206

You might have noticed that LeBron’s 9 best seasons were all better than Kobe’s best.

5 ringz man, it all about the playoffs and my boy Kobe showed up in the playoffs! Let’s take a look at the playoffs then shall we?

LeBron went to the playoffs 11 times. Kobe went 15 times. Kobe had 28.3 playoff win shares. LeBron? 41.6

Total Playoff win shares best 2nd best 3rd best 4th best 5th best 6th best 7th best 8th best 9th best 10th best
Kobe (over 15 playoffs) 4.7 3.8 3.6 3.2 2.9 2.6 2.1 1.5 1.4 .7
LeBron (over 11 playoffs) 5.8 5.2 4.8 4.7 4.3 3.8 3.7 3 2.3 2.2

The results are shocking.

Playoff WS/48 best 2nd best 3rd best 4th best 5th best 6th best 7th best 8th best 9th best 10th best
Kobe (over 15 playoffs) .26 .238 .19 .178 .148 .145 .143 .131 .121 .115
LeBron (over 11 playoffs) .399 .284 .274 .27 .26 .242 .2 .198 .187 .173

Stat after stat this continues to hold true. For example LeBron had a 7 year streak where his PER was higher than any PER of Kobe’s career. LeBron’s PER during his 3rd season was better than any PER of Kobe’s career.

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In the playoffs the difference is even clearer. Kobe’s best playoff PER: 26.8. LeBrons best playoff PER: 37.4.

The question then is why people thought that Kobe was almost as good as LeBron?

How overrated is Kobe?

In 2009-2010 Kobe didn’t crack the top 20 win shares, nor the top 20 win shares per 48. Pau was #7 and #5 respectively.

In 2008-2009 Kobe was #7 in win shares, Pau was #4. Kobe was #7 per 48, Pau was #5.

In 2007-2008 shares Kobe was #4 behind CP3, LeBron, and Amare. He was #8 per 48.

He was #4 and #11 in 2006-2007.

He was #4 and #8 in 2005-2006.

In 2004-2005 he didn’t make the list.

He was #10 and #4 in 2003-2004. I believe that this was during LeBron‘s rookie year. It would also, I beleive, be the last time that he had more win shares than LeBron.

Kobe‘s best season for win shares is #103 of all time.

For win shares per 48 Kobe only broke the top 250 a single time: 2005-2006, when he was #215 of all time. Meanwhile LeBron has #5, #7, #10, #11, #12, #59, #110, #116, #119, #168. Shaq, Chris Paul, Dirk, Wade, Harden, Curry, KD, Kawhi, Manu, Westbrook, K Love, Dwight, Pau are way ahead of Kobe in this respect.

In the playoffs Kobe’s best win shares per 48 is #50, followed by #107. Those were the only times he ever cracked the top 250. Meanwhile LeBron’s best was #1.

Kobe did have the #14 most win shares in a postseason in 2009. Still this was less than LeBron’s #2, #4, #5 and #10. It was also less than Dirks #3 and Wade’s #7.

So Kobe is clearly overrated. In my opinion he is clearly the most overrated player of modern basketball. The question then becomes, why is Kobe so overrated. Why do people think he was ever the best player in the NBA when he wasn’t even the best SG after Wade got good? Why do people say that Kobe was the 2nd best SG of all time when MJ, Wade and Harden were way better than him? Don’t say ‘rings’, Kobe was the #2 on his team for three of his rings. For the second set of 2, Pau was clearly better during both regular seasons, Kobe was better for one of the playoffs, though that doesn’t explain why people think that he’s so great.

What do you think explains how overrated Kobe was? Do you think that he wasn’t overrated?

Credit: Gedalia Zemel

Thanks for contribution.

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