The Miami Heat have just won the 2012 NBA Finals over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Lebron James has finally won his first NBA championship ring after a number of disappointments. With James winning the ring he now becomes more relevant in a discussion on which player is better James or Kobe Bryant. Before the 2012 season it was difficult for some to put James over Bryant based on Bryant’s five rings, yet now there’s no case anymore with James winning a ring.
In most conversations regarding Bryant his first three rings are discounted based on Shaquille O’Neal being the no.1 option for the Los Angeles Lakers and Bryant playing an important role as O’Neal sidekick and this means that Bryant is responsible for two rings as the no.1 option for the Lakers with Pau Gasol being the no.2 option for the Lakers. As for James he was the no.1 option for the Heat with Dwyane Wade playing a supporting role along with Chris Bosh. So, this means that there isn’t a major gap between James and Byrant when it comes to rings.
With the ring argument out of the picture is it safe to assume that James overthrows Bryant? The answer isn’t that simple. Looking at peripheral stats, James is much more efficient, has better numbers in rebounds, assists and barely beats out Bryant in steals and blocks. Yet, those stats don’t tell the entire story when it comes to James and Bryant.
James is an underrated defensive player and Bryant is an overrated defensive player and yet Bryant is the better defender of the two. The biggest edge that Bryant has over James at this point is in the fourth quarter with the game on the line. Bryant is known for making the clutch play whether it’s on defense or taking a big shot and as for James the fourth quarter making clutch plays is now his biggest weakness.
With Bryant nearing the twilight of his career and James still in his prime, James will likely eclipse that mark of the two rings won by Bryant as the no.1 option, he also could surpass the five total that Bryant has won. Right now some may give the edge to Bryant still and yet when it’s all said and done in the future there’s no debate it will be James.