LeBron is Better than Kobe
LeBron is Better than Kobe
The Kobe/LeBron debate has been at the forefront of sports talk shows for almost half a decade. Today, LeBron won his 3rd MVP award today which puts him in a class of 8 others who have also been MVP 3 times or more. LeBron is the only one of the 8 who has yet to win a championship, a stat that has always haunted King James. However championships are not an individual stat and should not be a dent on LeBron’s resume when comparing him to Kobe Bryant.
Compare LeBron to Kobe.
Kobe has 5 rings, 1 MVP. While LeBron is ringless, he has already been awarded the MVP at age 27 3 times. Kobe’s only MVP came at age 29.
The only argument against MVP awards is that they are awarded before the completion of the playoffs and “LeBron can’t be the MVP if he can’t win a championship.” Championships are a team award, not an individual’s. Kobe won his first three championships during his 4th-6th seasons in the NBA. For all of those seasons Shaquille O’neal was the Laker’s leading scorer. So why do those get to be “Kobe’s ring?” LeBron has never been on a team in which he was not the leading scorer. During LeBron’s Cleveland years he was never teammates with anyone who made an all-star game with the exception of Zydrunas Ilgauskas’s all-star season LeBron’s rookie year and Mo Williams in 08′. In LeBron’s 5th season he was able to take the Cavs to the NBA finals with almost no supporting cast. The Cavaliers were never the best team in the NBA during LeBron’s time there, but that shouldn’t mean that he wasn’t the best player in the NBA. He won two MVPs during that period of time.
Back to Kobe. Kobe went 6 years as the Laker’s leading scorer after the Laker’s trifecta and had one MVP and no championships to show for it. Kobe faced similar scrutiny to LeBron during this time because he had zero titles without O’Neal. His 4th and 5th championships came with the help of fellow all-star Paul Gasol. Kobe was the Lakers’ scoring leader during those two titles but it took him until ages 30 and 31 to win a championship as his team’s leading scorer. No matter how well Kobe played during those 6 years prior, it took that complementary piece to give Kobe a championship.
When LeBron went to Miami he finally gave himself a team to work with. LeBron lead Miami in scoring but saw a drop in points scored due to him sharing the ball with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. By the same principle that a championship cannot be won by an individual, they cannot by lost by an individual. LeBron’s influence on the game was not as great in Miami as it was in Cleveland. It is unfair to blame LeBron for his team’s inability to win a championship because he was working without the privilege of taking shots at will like Kobe did in his later championships.
With his MVP this season LeBron has put himself ahead of Kobe 3-0 in similar points in their careers. LeBron has also gotten a chance to show his dominance with injuries to Dwayne Wade this season. With Wade the Heat went 32-19 (63 win%.) In games where Wade is out and LeBron is playing the Heat were 14-1 (93 win%.) Dwayne Wade’s presence actually hurts LeBron because he limits LeBron’s chances to prove he’s the best player in the league on a regular basis.
As far as winning championships are concerned, LeBron still has 3 more seasons to win a championship as his team’s leading scorer in order to “win a championship” before Kobe. Some may still not count a Heat championship as “LeBron’s” which is what makes this conversation so useless. If LeBron was able to “lose” a championship last year, he should be able to win one this year. If Kobe has 5 rings instead of 2 then LeBron should not be punished for having a strong supporting cast.
The final thing to note is the misconception that LeBron isn’t clutch. LeBron’s clutch shooting percentage from last season was 3% higher then Kobe’s according to 82games.com.
Lay off LeBron, he’s better then Kobe.