A Definitive Explanation Of Why Kobe Bryant Is Better Than LeBron James

Ryan SkolnickContributor IMay 4, 2010

LOS ANGELES - MAY 2:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers protests a call as he plays the Utah Jazz during Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs on May 2, 2010 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 104-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

So, I just read an article titled: A Definitive Explanation of why LeBron James is better than Kobe Bryant. Now, there was nothing at all definitive in this "article" so I'd like to respond to the myth that LeBron James has somehow "surpassed" Kobe Bryant


Reason number 6: Kobe Bryant at this age was a far better scorer

81 points. Enough said. Kobe at his best was by far the most dynamic scorer this decade. His game consisted of vicious slashes to the hoop, acrobatic layups and dunks, and an increasingly-deadly mid range jumper. Not a single defender in the NBA could stop Kobe Bryant. There were plenty of defenders who came out as the "Kobe Stopper" a la Ruben Patterson, but none could even come close to slowing the self-proclaimed Black Mamba.

LeBron, regardless of what his fans say, has a limited offensive aresnal consisting of bulling his way to the hoop, a shaky midrange jump shot, and 5-6 three-pointers a game that go in around 30 percent of the time. LeBron struggles when he can't get into the paint.

Reason number five: Clutch

Kobe Bryant is the most clutch player in NBA history. Not MJ, not Jerry West, not Reggie Miller. No player in NBA history has shown the ability to not only dominate the last four minutes of a game, but hit buzzer-beating shots with the consistency of Kobe Bryant. This year alone, he hit six game-winning jumpers. That doesn't include the numerous times he dominated the fourth quarter.

LeBron fans will point to LeBron's dominance in the final minutes. Yet he has not shown clutch ability in a key situation yet, save for one desperation heave at the buzzer in last year's playoffs.

Reason number four: Adaptability

Kobe Bryant has made every change ever needed to make sure he stays on top. Once he lost the blistering speed and agility that defined his early career, he developed his already potent to mid range jumper to the best in NBA history (that's right haters. Kobe's mid range jumper is the best the NBA has ever seen.) As he aged more, he worked with Hakeem Olajuwon and developed a deadly post game to compliment his jumpers. Even being 3 inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter, Kobe's post game is much more polished and effective than LeBron James'.

How will LeBron fare once his tremendous athleticism fades? Will he finally develop a consistant jumper? Will he finally learn to operate with his back to the basket?

Reason number three: Work Ethic

Coming straight to you live from LeBron James' mouth, "Kobe's the hardest worker I've ever seen. His motivation is outstanding." Kobe's dedication to all facets of the game, whether it's weights or free throws or his new found post game, Kobe is never satisfied. His dedication to the game of basketball is what makes the above point even possible. Coming from the "king" himself, Kobe's work ethic is what helps him transcend the realm of typical stardom.

Reason number two: Defense

This is where the LeBron fans cry out "He's an all defensive first team!" Yes, but so is Kobe Bryant, and the difference in their path to this acknowledgement is what leads to this point.

LeBron is not a lock-down defender; it is that simple. He is a help defender that sags off his man to help with blocking shots and grabbing rebounds on the weak side, which is partially responsible for his inflated steals and blocks stats.

Kobe Bryant is up there with Shayne Battier and Ron Artest in the group of most potent perimeter defenders in the game. Perhaps the best evidence is the Lakers-Thunder series, where we saw Derek Fisher repeatedly abused by Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. In game five, Kobe made life miserable for the point guard, denying him access to the paint and holding him to sub-35 percent shooting for only 15 points.

Reason number one: Classiness

This one is personal. This is me speaking for the many Laker fans who can't stand jabs that Kobe is not a classy player, or he's too grim, and LeBron's a cool, fun-loving guy.

LeBron James is a clown, and that's coming from one who's deceased grandfather was a clown. When Kobe won an MVP award, did he go around with a "Kobe Bryant MVP" shirt on? No, he had no need to. He had already proven himself. He was focused on a title bid that ultimately fell short to a tough, physical Celtics team.

LeBron can celebrate all he wants, but he needs to know that he comes off as arrogant. Which brings me to the handshake. You know, where LeBron refused to shake hands with the Magic team that defeated his Cavaliers last season.

Kobe did not do the same thing after being humiliated by the Celtics in Boston. He shook hands with his conquerors, as painful as it might have been. Kobe did not feel the need to flaunt his MVP award. And while LeBron James can tout his MVP award, Kobe can tout his fourth championship ring and first finals MVP.

There you have it, now bring on the haters and LeBron worshippers