The Instigator
ASB
Con (against)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
Deistdude90
Pro (for)
Winning
30 Points

Kobe v. LeBron

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2011 Category: Sports
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,491 times Debate No: 14288
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (10)

 

ASB

Con

Kobe Bryant pro.
LeBron James con.
Deistdude90

Pro

I accept this challenge and thank ASB. Have fun and to be fair, I will begin my arguments next round.
Debate Round No. 1
ASB

Con

LeBron James is better than Kobe Bryant.
When LeBron came into the league,
LeBron James, was named Rookie of the Year
he had more of an impact on his team than
Kobe did for his team in his first years.

LeBron James leads Kobe in every major category.
more points per game, more rebounds per game,
more steals, more blocks, better shot percentage.

Voting committees feel the same way about James
voting him to two MVP's to Kobe's one in Kobe's long career

People say that well Bryant has won titles and James hasn't.
Kobe proves that in order for one like him to win, Kobe needed a
support cast. That is just what one needs and seeing and James
has never had that kind of support cast, it is not fair to say that
James has never won a title for he never got a proper shot.
James made the NBA FINALS without a support system even close to
Kobe's.

Example from my last point... Kobe won his first three titles with Shaq.
Shaq was the greatest contributor and was recognized for this by getting
an MVP Award and 3 out of 3 NBA FINALS MVP Awards to Kobe's none.
The other two were with players such as Gasol, Artest, and Odom who
were stars for their past teams before joining the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant wanted out of Los Angeles before they landed Gasol, because
Kobe did not have the help he needed.

Now LeBron James is being called a traitor because he ventured to Miami to
better his chances of winning.
Deistdude90

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for his arguments. In this round, I will present mainly my arguments and reserve rebuttals until the third round.

Why Kobe is better than LeBron

1. a Alpha dog factor--- Although Pau Gasol is one of the best power forwards in the NBA, he is clearly Kobe's sidekick. While Kobe critics claim Artest and Gasol saved him Game 7 of the NBA 2010 Finals, they fail to notice that Kobe dropped 19 points in one quarter against the Celtics Game 5 second only to Isiah Thomas in most points scored in a quarter in the NBA finals. The difference is that his amazing performance in Game 5 is overshadowed by the loss, but his terrible performance is spotlighted even though the team won. I want to reiterate, Kobe has been the unquestioned leader of Lakers from '05-present. Kobe has rightfully deserved his two Finals MVP and season MVP in '08

b. What seperates Kobe from LeBron is that he wants to win on his own terms as the alpha dog. LeBron, this past summer, chose to play with Wade and Bosh which hurts his legacy as the alpha dog. I am not arguing that LeBron should win a championship by himself, but he could have gone to Chicago or New York and be the unquestionable leader. Instead, he sides with a potential rival (Wade), which is something a Michael Jordan, a Larry Bird, or even a Reggie Miller wouldn't do. Kobe ran Shaq out of LA to be that alpha dog, LeBron chased Wade because his mentality mirrors more of a Robin than a Batman. LeBron is about twitter, joking around, dancing, SNL, and having an easy time. Kobe is all about the win, and he will do whatever it takes to get the win.

It's no surprise that LeBron was humbled by Kobe's inhuman work ethic when played on team USA together.

2. Clutch ability
In the fourth quarter of any game, Kobe Bryant is the most dangerous player in the NBA today. He is an assassin that everyone fears. Anyone guarding Kobe in the fourth quarter today must have their knees shaking. He holds the record for most gamewinners made.Kobe wants the ball in the fourth quarter and goes for the jugular. If LeBron isn't feeling, he will play hot potato with the ball. I refer to Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals. In the fourth quarter, LeBron and co. brought the game within four with over eight minutes remaining. Rondo is fouled and missess two free throws. Unfortunately, he gets a turnover on the fast break crushing the momentum allowing Pierce to drill a three. In the fourth quarter LeBron only connected two FGs. A clutch three and an uncontested dunk. This was the biggest game of the season and LeBron backs away. Sure LeBron had the stats, but anyone who watched the game saw LeBron breaking down and giving up in the fourth quarter. At one point Andersen Varajao (a power forward) attempts a three. This was a clear indication that the team had given up as they were signaled by LeBron.

3. Fundamentals. LeBron James is a superstar player. His fundamentals are questionable. LeBron's trademark is his athleticism. Only time will tell if he will adapt when his knees refuse to jump that high anymore. His passing ability is superb and almost unmatched. Even though this is true, the footwork, the jumper, the post game, the defensive awareness, the IQ, and perserverance even despite injuries are missing. Kobe's feet are similar to Olajuwon's Dream Shake, his jumper is solid, his post game is adopted from Jordan, his IQ is similar to Larry Bird's although not quite the same, and he plays through injuries without relying on his athleticism. That's why Kobe has had a long career (14 seasons) and still going.
Debate Round No. 2
ASB

Con

1)Alpha Dog factor:

With Bosh and D Wade on the Heat with James, James is still the elected leader for the team is on.
He has the higher paycheck, he gets the most minutes and his stats excel over the
other players stats on the team.
He still averages 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists per game.

2) Kobe does not react well to criticism:

This is a commentary-

"So with the Lakers down 15 points at halftime, the most dominant player in the NBA, the guy who dropped 81 on the Raptors earlier this season, refused to shoot in the second half. Kobe took three shots total in the last 24 minutes - what he gets up in some single minutes - and the Lakers got humiliated.
Anyone who has followed Kobe knows this isn't exactly new behavior. He did the same thing against the Kings in a game a year ago. But this was GAME 7 of the playoffs."

Everyone who follows Kobe knows this moment. This game was GAME 7 between the Lakers and Suns
when Jackson and critics criticised Kobe Bryant for not passing the ball enough during games.

So Kobe went on one of his infamous shooting boycotts. He tried to prove a point by passing the ball to the point
his team lost miserably.

He basically quit in the middle of the game.

Allowing a team to come back from a 3-1 deficit is not clutch.

3)Kobe Bryant continues to have performance lapses in GAME 7's:

Just like in GAME 7 of the Playoffs between the Lakers and the Suns,
the GAME 7 between the Lakers and the Celtics in the 2010 looked very similar.
Kobe Bryant could not hit water if he had fell out of a boat in that game.
The success on the boards due to the absence of Perkins helped to secure a win for the Lakers
who probably would have lost otherwise.

4)James reacts well to GAME 7's:

3:30 PM ET, May 18, 2008

TD Garden, Boston, MA
1 2 3 4 T
CLE 13 27 28 24 92
BOS 18 32 23 24 97
Top Performers

Cleveland: L. James 45 Pts, 5 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

Boston: P. Pierce 41 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

Even though James lost, he comes to play on GAME 7 while Kobe tends to shy away
or perform terribly on GAME 7.

5)Fundamentals:
James is a better passer... his passing matches that of a point guard, his rebounding is like that of a forward, people say that Kobe's IQ is better but he does not know how to use his teammates as well as James does.
James does rely on his athleticism to get points. His ability to get points through his athleticism and strength is
unmatched by players of his position in the NBA today.

6)Longevity

James has never been injured to the point where he has had to miss many games
due to his durability.

James would only miss four to six games a season.

Kobe has had less luck in this department. During the beginning of Kobe's career, he would miss around 15-30 games a season due to injury.

As people are seeing this year, Kobe is off to a slow start less minutes lower shooting percentages... he is only 32 and he is starting to slow down.

I'm not worried about James' knees giving out, if James is able to stay healthy... and compared to Bryant at this moment he is, I don't see him slowing down anytime soon.

http://www.worldgolf.com...
http://sports.espn.go.com...
Deistdude90

Pro

My rebuttals to my opponent's arguments.

In the first round, my opponent argues that the "voting committees feel the same way about James" with regards to MVP voting. While LeBron does lead Kobe in MVPs, I will argue that Kobe Bryant was robbed at least once by the MVP voting committee. In 2006 Bryant had a monstrous season averaging over 35 ppg, go on a four game streak scoring over 50 on all four, having a legendary 81 point game, and single highhandedly outscoring the Dallas Mavericks (the western champs that year) 62-61 in three quarters, yet Nash wins the MVP (for the second time). Even Bill Simmons (author of the New York Times Bestseller The Book of Basketball) argued that Kobe was robbed that season and Simmons is widely known as a "Boston Homer/Kobe Hater". Kobe was mainly robbed because of his image. He was only three years removed from the rape trial. NBA fans and Stern (who tries to keep a wholesome image of the NBA), were uneasy of seeing Kobe Bryant as the MVP. In theory, Bryant should have at least 2 NBA MVPs matching LeBron. The media has tremendous influence in the NBA. Because of the NBA media, Kobe was robbed in '06, Hakim was robbed in '95 (everyone loved Robinson), Jordan was robbed in '93 (who doesn't like Charles Barkley), and Jordan was robbed again in '97 (why hasn't Karl Malone won it yet?) Most of the deserving MVP players were either facing, "I'm tired of him getting the MVP" or "I just plain don't like this guy." Bryant was no different, and because of LeBron's Decision, James might face the same in the future. The media is very influential and unfair. Since the deficit is only one, it is not sufficient to compare these two on season MVPs (unlike comparing Jordan to Bryant or James where the deficit is four and three respectively).

My opponent also argues that James has never had a supporting cast and is almost correct. He cites that Kobe has demanded a trade in '07, and he is correct. However, the difference is this, James left a 60+ win team to join another alpha dog (Dwyane Wade who could be argued as the leader of Miami). The Cleveland Cavaliers were one position away from an NBA championship (a dominant low post scorer). LeBron could have had that low post scorer in New York for example and still have kept his reputation as an alpha dog. When Kobe requested a trade, he had a much worse supporting cast than James. The choices Kobe was looking for were the L.A. Clippers and Chicago Bulls. The difference compared to LeBron, there was no other alpha dog who could wrest leadership duties from Bryant in either of those teams. Bryant was looking to win on his terms as the alpha dog not joining up with Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, or Tracy McGrady.

Additionally, my opponent does mention Bryant faltering in the '06 NBA Playoffs against the Suns. In Bryant's defense he proved everyone that their opinions meant diddly squat of him being a ball hog. A little Rick Barry-esque, I know but both him and Ricky Barry proved a point ("I know what I'm doing now shut up and let me play my style.") Kobe had to take over, but showed everyone "See, this is what happens when you have scrubs on your team and want me to share." And a young Bryant was notorious for doing things like this, but he always sent a message. Another example, the reason Pau Gasol is on the Lakers is because Kobe complained making Mitch Kupchak to scramble for a low post scorer. Had LeBron complained about his cast and requested for help, Cleveland would not have thought twice about picking up Amar'e Stoudemire (which they were on the verge of doing) LeBron was basically passive aggressive about what Cleveland was doing, and the idiocy of the Cleveland front desk allowed him to walk out.

Back to Kobe's ball hogging, in the mid 1980s nobody told Michael Jordan to share the ball with Kyle Macy, Orlando Wooleridge, a washed up George Gervin, and other scrub team mates, yet Bryant was supposed to share with Kwame Brown (arguably the bust of this past decade), Smush Parker (no longer in the league), Luke Walton (better known for his defense), and Vladmir Radmonovic (who couldn't guard a child)? MJ is glorified for dominating the game against the Celtics in 86 on the individual level (scoring 61 and 63 first two games), even though he was swept by the Celtics and no one had a problem with it, but when Bryant attempts to outscore the Suns (which was one of the few ways to beat them at the time), everyone pouts and demands Kobe to share. Kobe agreed with Phil Jackson to share the ball (a strategy that worked for Game 4 of that series) and the end result: a loss. Had Kobe erupted for 45 points or more (which he could've done), the outcome may have been different. This goes with the alpha dog turf. I would rather have a prime Kobe ball hogging and winning the game than distribute the ball. The same could be said about Chamberlain, Jordan, Kareem, Julius Erving, but when it comes Bryant, he's selfish. It's such a double standard and Bryant exposed it in this series even though they lost (they were never going to win the championship that year anyway).

My opponent also argues that James brought his best in Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Celtics, but does not recognize that there was no necessity for a Game 7 in the first place. In Game 1, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost by four points and LeBron had a career low 12 points (which is unfathomable for a player of his caliber). He did not pick it up until Game 3 (when he scored 21). At least Bryant had a great start against the Suns and ultimately failed because of his supporting cast and public criticism. James could have single handedly won Game 1 or 2 and maybe not even reach a Game 7. Zydrunas Ilagauskas outscored James (22) in that game (source 3).

My opponent also claims that Bryant is slowing down this season at his age. Bryant is averaging 25.1 ppg, 4.5 apg, and 5.0 rpg which is hardly slowing down. With all those miles and injuries (many) on Bryant, it is strange that he isn't averaging 15 ppg, 6 apg, and 2 rpg. This goes back to his fundamentals. Bryant is surviving on his fundamentals much like Jordan was in the last couple of seasons of his career as a Bull. James is one dimensional with regards to athleticism. Besides his passing, James' fundamentals are not as sharp as Bryant's. An example of this, even through injuries, Kobe still plays as if there are no problems. When James injured his elbow back in May, he made a fuss about it by shooting free throws left handed (a "look at my elbow" display against the Celtics), but then goes on by attacking the rim and shooting jump shots. Bryant is a predator that refuses to show weakness, while James places a spotlight on it .

And final rebuttal, while Kobe was not merely a sidekick to Shaq the first three championships and seasons afterward. A scoring average of 21.1 ppg (2000), 29 ppg (2001), 26.6 ppg (2002), 32.1 ppg (2003) and 24.5 ppg (2004) in the playoffs are not sidekick numbers. Shaq beat up on weak eastern teams while Bryant took care of business in the Western Conference Finals (which were tougher than the Finals themselves). Game 4 of 2000 Finals, Shaq fouls out in OT and who takes over and saves the game? None other than the Black Mamba scoring 28. Even Shaq campaigned that Kobe deserved the '02 NBA MVP, and Kobe had become the best player in the league by that season. Without Bryant, Shaq would not have three of the four rings he has. His next best team mates were Wade and the NBA referees of the 2006 NBA Finals.

This was a great debate, and thank you for agreeing to debate with me on this. I look forward to any future debates with you again, ASB. I'll check the comments if you want me to clarify anything.

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http://www.basketball-reference.com...
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Andre3000 5 years ago
Andre3000
Until LeBron James wins a title, Kobe Bryant reigns
Posted by ASB 6 years ago
ASB
LOL I dont like LEBron, it was just a good debate.
I can defend ALMOST anybody comparable to the best players in the league.

To me stats do not lie... I am a huge fan of people who put overall stats over individual performances
seen on television or on a single nights stat sheet.
Posted by TheLaw 6 years ago
TheLaw
@Deistdude90: Yeah, I can message ASB to see if he's up to it or anybody else that's already knows alot about LeBron and is a big advocate of him. If no one else wants to do it, I'll ask you about it, thanks for offering.

@zach12: Interesting assumption, we can debate this since I am looking to debate someone with a lot of knowledge about LeBron and a pretty big advocate of him to make for an interesting debate.
Posted by zach12 6 years ago
zach12
Lebron's better no contest
Posted by Deistdude90 6 years ago
Deistdude90
You're right. LeBron's still easing in to his maturity. Even MJ and Kobe were immature (and maybe even more) than LeBron at his age. Even though I'm somewhat disappointed in LeBron, I'll probably grow to respect him when he matures more. As far as Wade vs. Kobe comes, I agree that it would not be as interesting as Wade vs. LeBron. If ASB doesn't want to debate it, I will do it and study up more on LeBron. But yeah, that'd be a great debate. And what I mean by historical was like a Larry Bird vs. Magic or Russell vs. Chamberlain debate. But yeah, maybe message ASB and if he doesn't want to debate it, message me and I'll do it.
Posted by TheLaw 6 years ago
TheLaw
I wouldn't mind the rehash at all. Though I would rather debate a LeBron vs Wade as I have a sort of respect for Kobe and I'm prepared for a Wade vs LeBron argument, but still you're not to blame for all the Kobe vs LeBron debates. It's not even a debate really, it's just an argument between two different fanbases and the media decided to fuel the fire. In my humble opinion, at LeBron and Kobe's current stage right now in their careers, it has to go to Kobe, he's just accomplished so much more. Still, however, you have to count that he has been in the league longer, but I think something Kobe and Wade have already developed is maturity, and LeBron is still young so I won't blame him, but I think he'll become a more respectable player in my eyes when he gets that maturity. But back to the point, like I said I wouldn't mind the rehash but what do you mean by historical?
Posted by Deistdude90 6 years ago
Deistdude90
@TheLaw. Great points. I guess our debate was really more of a comparision of each player's successes and legacies, but you're right, it is very difficult to compare. I agree that a Wade comparison offers more perspective. It was my fault for offering this topic though since I hear it all the time on basketball forums. I would love to debate you on something to do with Wade, but I would most likely be rehashing some of my points from this debate. Maybe you could debate with ASB about LeBron and Wade (He would be better suited for that argument than I would). But if you ever want to get historical, I'll be there.
Posted by TheLaw 6 years ago
TheLaw
Trying to compare Kobe and LeBron has so many flaws. For example, Kobe has been in the league much longer than LeBron, LeBron is a small foward and Kobe is a shooting gaurd, etc. I don't understand why Wade is not in the conversation. In my opinion my top three in the league is:

1) Wade
2) Kobe
3) LeBron

I would love to debate someone on why Wade is better than LeBron or Wade is better than Kobe (Although I don't really mind when people say Kobe is better because he has deserved respect with his five rings). Additionally, Wade can be compared with both players. Like both Kobe and Wade are shooting gaurds, and both LeBron and Wade have been in the NBA for the same amount of time. However, this is just my opinion.
Posted by Deistdude90 6 years ago
Deistdude90
@Loserboi casual fans won't but the die hard fans (admittedly me also) probably will. It's not about leaving Cleveland, it's about playing with your best rival (Wade). It's like if Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi teamed up in soccer or Magic and Bird teaming up in the '80s. It's an unwritten rule that you want to beat each other rather than join forces. MJ would rather kill Dominque than team up with him after 7 seasons.
Posted by Loserboi 6 years ago
Loserboi
Will people really care that LeBron left in 20 years if he wins like 3 rings?
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