Top Seven Reasons LeBron James is Better Than Kobe Bryant
It's Evident Between Them That The Torch Has Been Passed
LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant
The debate has become closer as the seasons have gone by in the NBA
Fans and analysts touted the merits of each but there was one factor that proponents of Bryant always pulled out to quiet down those who backed James
That factor was NBA championships, and now that is gone even with Bryant winning five for the Los Angeles Lakers.
With James leading the Miami Heat to their second championship in franchise history it took away the only card that the league punditry could hold against him. Winning a championship also made the following statement no longer deniable.
James is now a better player than Bryant.
Granted there are areas that Bryant will always dominate James such as his maniacal desire to be the man on the court. However those factors can’t take away the fact that as the years have gone by James has matured into what he is today, the best basketball player in the world.
This isn’t solely determined by individual traits. Basketball is a team sport and that can change how one is viewed. The most recent example of this has been Deron Williams. He is one of the best point guards in the NBA but his status was damaged by being on a sub-par New Jersey team before it was reincarnated as the Brooklyn Nets.
So, even with both players performing real well early in the season the fact that James is now better than Bryant is still evident.
Here are the top seven reasons why.
7.) James is a Better Post Player
This was a constant main point for detractors of James.
James, for his size, didn't take advantge of it in the post. That changed once he worked out with all time great Hakeen Olajuwon after losing in the 2011 NBA Finals. After that James has used his unique frame to become a dominant force in the post.
It also helps that very few players have the strenght to match James there.
6.) James Has Gained More Individual Recognition Lately
The last four years have seen James win three MVP trophies.
Winning that many individual awards at a short time shows that the NBA punditry has seen how much James has dominated play over that time. That dominance has reached a rare peak last season with James winning the league MVP, Finals MVP, and an Olympic gold medal in London. That feat hasn't been achieved since Michael Jordan.
5.) James is a Better Facilitator
The differences between James and Bryant could not be more clear in this aspect.
Bryant has always been more of an attacker with the ball. James on the other hand has always looked to pass the ball first. That skill set has benefitted teammates of James the most as it has made them better whether it was Delonte West when James played for the Cleveland Cavaliers or now Rashard Lewis in Miami.
4.) James Has a More Stable Team Dynamic
Chemistry is key in the NBA.
In this area James has an advantage over Bryant thanks to off season moves. This season marks the third year of the Miami 'Big 3' era of James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. That makes on court play more fluid as each players now know their strenghts and weaknesses.
Bryant on the other hand has seen his Lakers go through drastic changes over the last two years. Last season Lamar Odom was traded. This season Steve Nash and Dwight Howard were brought in. So far it hasn't gone according to plan with Nash out with a broken leg and Howard playing below his standards. Not to mention a slow start to the season costing Mike Brown his coaching job and being replaced with Mike D'Antoni.
3.) James Can Defend All Five Positions
This is what makes James the most unique player the NBA has seen in a long time.
Not only can james play all positions on offense, he can also defend them. This was evident over the last two season in the playoffs. in 2011 it was James who took the assignment of guarding Derrick Rose in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Chicago Bulls. Last season it was him guarding Kevin Durant in the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
2.) James is Becoming a Better Shooter
If there is one flaw that James had as a player it has been his shooting.
He seems to have taken the challenge of changing that when Ray Allen joined the Heat in the off season. Having arguably the best shooter the NBA has ever seen has helped James both when it comes to shot flow and judgement. Even if Bryant is a more natural shooter the fact that James is improving that skill makes him more of a threat on the floor from outside the paint.
1.) James is Overall Still Improving
This is the main reason that James, even with not as a consistent shot as Bryant or currently as many championships, is now the better player.
James overall is still improving his game.
It should speak volumes that a player like James still hasn't reached his peak as a basketball player. That is the biggest difference between him and Bryant right now. As a player Bryant has reached shis peak as a player and is now just maximizing his talents. The difference between that and improving one's skill is that maximizing means pushing to the limit one already knows has. Bryant can work on a few skill sets, but overall as a player he has reached his peak.
James on the other hand has not, and that makes all the difference.