If we were talking about championships then I would not be writing this article, but since we are not talking about championships I am safe. Kobe is by far the better champion than LeBron James, but he is not the better overall player. Here are 6 reasons why LeBron is a better player than Kobe:
LeBron makes his teammates better!
Have you ever heard somebody say that Kobe Bryant makes the players around him better? Because I haven’t. I have heard that hundreds of times about LeBron James. When LeBron is on the court the other 4 players around him are automatically improved. His ability to dish the ball and create open looks for his teammates is unmatched. He commands so much attention that it makes it very easy for the players around him to thrive on offense.
Kobe obviously is not known for his passing, but furthermore, he just didn’t have the playmaking ability that LeBron has. If a play is broken Kobe is going to shoot his way out of it, and more times than not force up a low percentage attempt, whereas LeBron is going to do what he can to find an open teammate for a shot or get a better look. LeBron takes the cake easy as a playmaker
Overcoming adversity... On the Court!
Sorry that I’m taking shots at Kobe here but it had to be said. Bryant had his issues off the court that are well documented. But I’m not just referring to the Colorado incident, I am speaking about issues with teammates. Shaq, Dwight Howard, Smush Parker and probably a few others. He has had his issues with teammates on multiple occasions that have transferred to the court and caused problems. He was able to overcome them a lot and take home 5 championship rings, but nonetheless, they still existed.
This is not to say that he never overcame adversity on the court either because he definitely did, but LeBron has never had an off the court issue that we know of. He may have had spats with teammates here and there, but when it came time to lace ‘em up, none of that mattered. Not to mention the obstacles he had to climb to even get his first championship. The horrible 2011 finals performance, The Decision aftermath, the 3-1 deficit against Golden State, the list goes on. LeBron has one of the craziest, weirdest, but greatest NBA stories, but the best part of it is returning home and winning a championship like he did this past season.
Any team LeBron is on automatically is a Title Contender!
It has gotten to the point where when people make their finals picks they pick someone in the west and then whatever team LeBron James is playing on. And for the last 6 seasons that has been the case. As mentioned above he makes everybody else better but he is also good enough for an individual to completely take over the game on both ends of the floor. Hitting big shots, getting to the rim, swatting opponents’ shots at the other end, the man does it all. Kobe was a really good scorer and that was how he took over games, but he did not have the repertoire that LeBron James has. If you name any aspect of a basketball game LeBron will have a skill in that category, which is something you cannot say about Kobe Bryant.
His physical build mixed with his athleticism has never been seen!
Kobe Bryant was almost an imitation of Michael Jordan at times, and as far as a competitor and scorer he is the closest thing to Jordan that we’ve seen. But we have also never seen anybody quite like LeBron James. 6’9” 260+ with the ability to play all 5 positions on the court, that is unheard of. Usually, someone his size is an immobile power forward that can get a lot of rebounds and step out and hit the occasional jump shot. But not LeBron.
He is a physical specimen with athleticism like no other. I remember two seasons ago people thought that LeBron looked like he had lost a step during the regular season, and as soon as the playoffs came around he reminded everybody how good he was. You can’t guard LeBron you can only hope to contain him, which is usually how teams beat him if Kobe was having an off night then you have done your job because he wasn’t known for defense. If LeBron has an off night shooting then you know he is going to bring it on the other end too.
LeBron won Championships with multiple teams!
Obviously, Kobe never left L.A. so this might not be a fair one but it is extremely difficult to do this. It usually only happens if you are a good role player or an end-of-the-bench player that keeps getting signed by contenders. To be the face of any franchise you play for and win rings in two different places is no easy task. Kudos to Kobe for staying and winning 5 rings in one place, but props to LeBron for doing it in Miami and Cleveland.
He didn't have Phil Jackson calling the shots on the sideline!
This is not to discredit Kobe at all, but when he was young and growing he had arguably the best coach ever calling the shots. LeBron has never had that. He had Mike Brown his first go-round in Cleveland, then Erik Spoelstra in Miami, and the David Blatt and Tyron Lue. Only two of those coaches have rings and that is because those coaches had LeBron on their team when they won those. It’s easy to say that the coach doesn’t matter but it completely does. When you have a star-studded team you have one of the hardest jobs in the world.
You must get them to buy into your system and sacrifice some of their game for the better of the team. None of the coaches that LeBron has had showed any sign of that before coaching him because they didn’t have to, so as LeBron was learning as he went, so were they. It’s even more impressive that he won multiple rings with a coach that was just getting his career started in Miami. Impressive feat LeBron. Also if you notice Kobe only won rings when Phil Jackson was a coach. Just saying.
As mentioned above Kobe is the clear cut better champion. He was 5-2 in the finals against Lebron’s 3-4 record. But Kobe simply was not as good of a well-rounded player as LeBron was. I’m sure some of you disagree with me tremendously so sound off in the comments and tell me what you think!