Who’s better? Kobe Bryant or Lebron James? This is part of an ongoing discussion that there really is no answer too as of yet. The best you can do is compare Kobe’s first 4 seasons with Lebron’s first 4 seasons. This page attempts to compare the two with specific numbers and facts. All of which have been obtained from ESPN.com and NBA.com. Since Lebron James is currently in his 5th NBA season, we are comparing his first 4 full NBA seasons with Kobe Bryant.
Kobe Bryant appeared in a total of 71 games and scored 7.6 points/game. This number is a bit misleading due to the fact that he averaged only 15.5 minutes a game. Lebron James played in 79 games averaging 20.9 points/game and 39.5 minutes per game. Kobe appeared in 9 playoff games while Lebron did not make the playoffs. Kobe averaged 8.2 points/game during those playoffs. Kobe’s team went 56-26 during the regular season and made it to the conference semi-finals. Lebron’s team went 35-47.
Kobe Bryant appeared in 79 games scoring 15.4 points and playing 26 minutes/game. Lebron James appeared in 80 games scoring 27.2 points and playing 42.4 minutes/game. Kobe appeared in 11 playoff games while Lebron did not make the playoffs. Kobe averaged 8.7 points/game during the playoff run. Kobe’s team went 61-21 and made it to the western conference finals. Lebron’s team went 42-40.
Kobe Bryant appeared in only 50 games due to the “Strike” of that year. He averaged 19.9 points and 37.9 minutes/game. Lebron James played in 79 games and scored 31.4 points and played 42.5 minutes/game. They both appeared in the playoffs during this time. Kobe in 8 games and Lebron in 13. Kobe averaged 19.8 points/game and Lebron 30.8 points/game during the playoffs. Kobe’s team went 31-19 and made it to the conference semi-finals. Lebron’s team went 50-32 and made it to the conference semi-finals.
Kobe Bryant played 66 games and averaged 22.5 points and 38.2 minutes/game. Lebron James played 78 games and averaged 27.3 points and 41 minutes/game. Kobe played 22 playoff games averaging 21.1 points/game and won his first championship. Lebron played 20 playoff games averaging 25.1 points/game and got swept in the NBA Finals against the Spurs. Kobe’s team went 67-15 overall during the regular season and Lebron’s team went 50-32.
It’s important to note a few additional facts. Lebron James numbers are also higher in assists and rebounds for all 4 seasons. Remember that Lebron James was the only superstar on his team for these 4 seasons. Kobe’s first 4 seasons were played with Shaquille O’Neal who was the first scoring and rebounding option on the team.
These numbers plus a few others help us conclude that Lebron James was the better Athlete (minutes played), Scorer (points/game) and passer (assists/game). While Kobe was the better Winner (team record, playoff appearances), defender (steals, all defensive team), and shooter (free throw %).
Winning is the best statistic of all. It trumps all other numbers. Our numbers show a Russel vs. Chamberlain comparison. While Wilt got all the stats, Bill Russell won all the championships and all the games. It’s similar with Kobe and Lebron. By this team in Lebron’s career Kobe had already one championship under his belt and was about to get his second. While Lebron made it to the NBA Finals last season when they were embarrassed by the Spurs, it appears that the Cavs will not be winning an NBA Title anytime soon. As you can see Kobe’s winning percentage far outweighs Lebron’s.
Kobe Bryant is! Conclusion #2 helps us with this final conclusion. We cannot forget that Lebron still has time on his side. But not as much as you think. Kobe has 4 NBA finals appearances with 3 championship rings and he’s still playing for more. Lebron still has to win a championship first. Which may not be possible if he stays in Cleveland. And it does not help Lebron James case when Kobe Bryant continues to do amazing things. Like 81 points in one game. And four straight games with 60 or more points. Lebron has a chance. But he has a long way to go. Alot longer of a road then many people assume. So as it stands, Kobe Bryant is the best player on the planet until someone can dethrone him!