Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kobe vs. Lebron: The Black Mamba vs. The Chosen One

[Editor's Note: As we put the finishing touches on another exciting NBA season (and another Lakers title), SportsJudge intern Bradley Parker wrote today's Sunday Feature debating whether Kobe Bryant or Lebron James is the best player in the NBA.]

To politicians, the term “Great Debate” often refers to a close presidential election in which both candidates possess great leadership, responsibility and a knack for demonstrating their personal strengths. This year, for NBA aficionados, the basketball terminology for “The Great Debate” can be translated into two names: Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. Both of these supernatural athletes share many similarities as well as their own individual style of play. They both share an insatiable will not only to be the best, but to win. Over the past few months, the NBA received a record number of viewers tuning in from all over the globe to watch these two basketball phenoms entertain to the fullest and dazzle us with their uncanny brand of basketball. Much like presidents, Kobe and Lebron are both positive leaders who will do all in their power to make their teammates (republican/democratic parties) better and win an NBA championship (election). But individually, who takes the crown? Who is most dominant ? Which one is the cream of the crop? Who is the overall better player? Kobe Bryant or Lebron James?

Kobe ~ The Facts: Back in 1996, with the 13th pick in the NBA draft, the Charlotte Hornets drafted a young Kobe Bryant straight out of high school. This draft included other big names such as Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Ray Allen and Stephon Marbury, all of whom played college ball for top schools. Kobe was traded on draft night to the L.A. Lakers, a team with a history known all too well as being very successful over the years. There was not much hype about this 18 year-old skinny kid from Italy, but the name Bryant was a familiar one in the NBA because Kobe’s father Joe had played for the Philadelphia 76ers back in the 70’s. Kobe started off slow in the pros, only averaging 7.6 ppg and starting only 6 games. He had earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest in dramatic style. During the 2000-01 season, Kobe not only averaged a miraculous 28.5 points per game, but also led the Los Angeles Lakers to a Championship alongside star center Shaquille O’Neal. Kobe and Shaq would go on to win two more championships in consecutive years. The 2005-06 season came around and in a regular season game in January, Kobe left his audience in awe as he lit up the Toronto Raptors for 81 points, the second highest single-game total ever. He went on to average a personal best 35.4 ppg for that entire season.

Kobe ~ More Facts: Flash forward to present-day 2009. At the age of 30, many would agree that Kobe Bryant has hit his peak years or prime if you will. He has evolved from a pompous, self-minded offensive-oriented player into a multi-dimensional charismatic floor general whose unselfishness has distinguished him as the ultimate team player. He can shoot long and short, pass, drive and rebound and at the same time he utilizes the triangle offense and gets his teammates involved more than ever. But everyone knows who will have the ball in their hands when the clock starts to wind down, and the funny thing is, there is nothing anyone in the arena can do about it. As his career has shown, clutch jumpers are his specialty. And you can always count on Kobe at the charity stripe to knock down that game-winning free-throw. The best way to stop him is to find out what car he is driving to the game and fill the engine with sugar. Unless that is done, once he enters the building and the game commences, the opposition is at his mercy. Lakers Assistant Coach and one time teammate of Kobe, Brian Shaw said, “I have to say Kobe is the best. He’s been there before and no one can stop him. He’s the greatest one-on-one player I have ever seen.” In this year's Western Conference Finals, Kobe steamrolled his team past the heavily favored Denver Nuggets and into the NBA Finals for the second year in a row. There, they faced the Orlando Magic, a team who had the ability to knock down the three-ball at will and also go inside to their own bright star, Dwight Howard. After squeaking out a Game 2 win, The Lakers went on to steamroll the Magic in 5 gams and Kobe showed the basketball world that he can actually win a title without Shaquille O’Neal and reign victorious over the rest of the league.

Lebron ~ The Facts: The 2002-03 Cleveland Cavaliers finished with the third-worst record in franchise history amassing 17 wins and an embarrassing 65 losses. At the same time just a few miles from the Cavs’ Gund Arena, a young talent named Lebron James was creating quite a stir. As a 4-time varsity starter at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, James’ senior year saw his team playing a national schedule in cities such as Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Trenton and Greensboro N.C. Lebron even got a chance to play on national television as his Fighting Irish took an Oak Hill Academy team featuring its own bright star and future NBA prospect, Carmelo Anthony. James finished his senior year averaging 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.4 steals on the season earning him a spot on the All-USA First Team for the third time, and was selected as Mr. Basketball of Ohio for the third year in a row. He was quickly becoming regarded as a future NBA superstar and when the Cavs landed the #1 spot in the draft, there was no hesitation on who they would chose. The hype was tremendous, but the 18-year-old Rookie of the Year stayed humble as he took the court day in and day out and the Cavs finished the 2003-04 season with a 35-47 record just missing the playoffs. They improved by 18 wins from last season’s bitter play and it was clear that the Cavs would soon become a threat in the East.

Lebron ~ More Facts: Five years and many triple-doubles later, Lebron James is looked at by many as the best player in the world. A never-before-seen combination of power and speed, Lebron has the skill of a Kobe Bryant, size of a Karl Malone, and the basketball IQ of a Magic Johnson all rolled up into one...The “Chosen One.” Now take all of that ability and speed it up a little. Add some finesse to that Malone fade-away jumper, a little gusto to that Kobe drive, and an extra no-look pass for Magic’s sake and you are left with...The Future. As an opposing player, you know when you see number 23 walk over to the scorers table before a game and throw that powder in the air, things are about to get dangerous. And at 24 years of age, Lebron’s will to make his teammates better displays his maturity and unselfishness, qualities that only the great ones possess. “Lebron is the best offensive package I have ever seen,” stated former Washington Wizards Head Coach Eddie Jordan. “How can you be one of the fastest and strongest players in the league and then handle the ball like a point guard?” Lebron is also known for his tendency to create “and-ones” on a regular-game basis. He has the gifted ability to control his 6-foot 8-inch, 265-pound frame especially when confronted by a defender on a fast-break. Rarely will he commit an offensive foul because of his knack for contorting his body to avoid the defender and staying in the air long enough to get a shot off, plus the harm. That’s what makes him special. He has an arsenal of weapons and at times seems indestructible.

Lebron ~ Even More Facts: Lebron has also turned the Cavs into a major threat in the Eastern Conference leading his team to the 2006-07 Finals only to be swept in 4 games by the San Antonio Spurs. “Coming into that year, it was all about making the playoffs,” James says. “That was the main goal and to make it to the Finals was a bonus. This year, our team’s main goal is to win the championship.” Unfortunately, James will have to wait another year as a result of being knocked out of the playoffs by a surprising Orlando Magic team. But don’t feel too bad for him. This year was anything but disappointing. Lebron’s 2008-2009 campaign included winning the prestigious MVP award to go along with his first career game-winning buzzer beater vs. the Warriors, a 55-point outburst against the Bucks, a 52 point, 11 assist, and 9 rebound outing vs. the Knicks and a 27-foot 3-point buzzer-beater to beat the Magic in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The shot is already drawing comparisons to the “Jordan over Ehlo foul-line shot.” “That shot was the biggest in my career as well as the biggest in Cavaliers history,” James said after the game.

Author’s Opinion: LEBRON JAMES! It’s a tough question to answer because Kobe is past his prime and Lebron hasn’t reached his pinnacle yet. But I believe that Lebron James is the better player of the two and my reasons are as follows: As history has shown, every NBA championship-winning team has had more than one superstar on their team. For example, dating back to the 60’s, the Boston Celtics had guys like Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, and John “Hondo” Havlicek. In the 70’s the Knicks had an assortment of stars such as Earl Monroe, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed and Bill Bradley. And in the 80’s and 90’s, the Lakers and Bulls had Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Even more current teams such as the Detroit Pistons had leaders like Chauncey Billiups, Richard Hamilton, and Ben Wallace all helping to contribute to a ring.

It is of no coincidence that when Kobe won those 3 straight titles from 2000-02, he received lots of help from the “Big Aristotle” himself, Shaquille O’Neal. Since Shaq has departed from L.A. in 2004, the Lakers have made it to the NBA Finals twice, losing twice to Detroit in ‘04 and Boston in ’08. Many would debate that Kobe has 3 rings and if Lebron James is better, then where are Lebron’s rings? My answer to that insensitive individual would be, “give the guy a chance.” “He’s 24 years old for crying out loud.” “Provide LBJ with a Shaq-like presence on his team and then we’ll see who has more rings at the end of their respected careers.”

It seems as though every lone superstar (Kobe) needs a “sidekick” or “partner in crime” if you will to get over the hump and reign victorious. Now look at the Cavs. The team is made up of mostly young, inexperienced guys surrounding Lebron James. When the savior himself came to Cleveland in 2003, it’s almost like all the pressure was on his shoulders. He would have to take his team to the Promised Land. Well Lebron ignored the media and doubters and for an 18-year-old straight out of high school, that’s a huge responsibility and shows great confidence and maturity. As a result, he led his team to a major turnaround, making the playoffs five out of the last six years since he’s been in Cleveland. He even led the Cavs to the Finals in 2006.

Now flashback to Kobe’s first few years in the league. From 1996-1999, Kobe didn’t even start. His numbers were much lower than Lebron’s were his first four years. Lebron led his team further in his first few years than Kobe did even without a superstar at his side like a Shaq. If James keeps on excelling at this rate, I think he will be the best to ever live. When asked who is better right now, Kenny Smith of NBA on TNT summed it up by saying, “Lebron is definitely better. He has squeezed every ounce out of Cleveland.”

Also, Lebron’s overall game is much more diverse than Kobe’s. Kobe is a great player, don’t get me wrong, and I do believe that he's a better perimeter shooter than James. But Lebron can do a lot of everything. He has a plethora of tricks up his sleeve that he can go to when the time calls. Even his defense has taken major leaps and bounds over his short career. Lebron still has many things to work on though, to take his game up a notch like his inconsistent jump shot which would improve if he stops fading away as often as he does. Another challenge, according to HOOP magazine, is to become a more consistent defender and eliminate the tendency to revert to one-on-one basketball when patterns break down momentarily. If Lebron just works on some minor tune-ups over the next couple of years and comes back mentally and physically better, he will be virtually unstoppable.

So who is truly the better all-around basketball player? Valid arguments for both Lebron James and Kobe Bryant can prove that either one is the best. Whether it’s Kobe’s leadership and experience winning 3 titles back-back-back years or Lebron’s never-before-seen talent combined with his strength, smarts and quickness, one thing is certain. The future of the NBA is in great hands and at only 30 and 24 years of age, it is scary to imagine that both of these supernatural athletes can only get better. Like the Nike T-shirts read, “We are all Witnesses.” We are witnessing the dawn of a new era. One in which a revolutionary young basketball phenom is just showing signs of what the future holds in store for basketball fans. I personally can’t wait until next year when Lebron gets another shot at the title. Until then, as with any SportsJudge article, I encourage you to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section. What do you think, who really is better?

Related Posts by Subject


Anonymous said...

parker your 10000% wrong

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rick M. said...

Response to Anonymous #2's question "Who would you rather have the ball in their hands in the last seconds of the game." This answer is so obvious, that if you choose Lebron James, you are more ignorant than i thought...."

Anonymous said...

[color=#0066cc]смотреть гуси-лебеди онлайн
смотреть south park 6 сезон без регистрации
остров сокровищ фильм
скачать вовка в тридевятом царстве в хорошем качестве
царь обезьян бунт в небесных чертогах смотреть
фильм книга джунглей 2
смотреть красавица и чудовище
скачать полет драконов
скачать время колыбельной онлайн
смотреть карлик нос онлайн

Кино снежная королева
Кино легко ли быть храбрым
Кино легенда о рыцаре онлайн
Просмотр трям здравствуй - трям без смс

Просмотр чук и гек за смс
Просмотр покемон 2 появление призрачного покемона лугии бесплатно
Балто фильм
Просмотр лови волну за смс
Мои друзья тигруля и винни сказки для друзей просмотр
Просмотр симпсоны 11 сезон
[url=""]Кино свинья-копилка[/url]
[url=""]Просмотр чуча[/url]
[url=""]Фильм их было одиннадцать за смс[/url]
[url=""]Просмотр новогодняя ночь без смс[/url]
[url=""]Пустомеля просмотр[/url]
[url=""]Кино бернард 1 сезон 18 серий за смс[/url]
[url=""]Кино новогодние приключения маши и вити бесплатно[/url]
[url=""]Кино мой зелёный крокодил бесплатно[/url]
[url=""]Цветик-семицветик просмотр[/url]
[url=""]Кино приключения буратино[/url]

Anonymous said...

The author's argument in my opinion is leaning towards Lebron's potential to be the greatest player ever, but if we stick to the immediate question of who is better right now then whats the answer? Kobe, and i say this b/c he can do everything lebron can do at this point and he does somethings much much better and more consistently then lebron. there is not one thing i can think of that lebron can do better than kobe right now... so to address who has potential to end their respective careers as the better player? definitely lebron. theres the difference that i see with these two players.

dylan said...

They both are brillaint players but up until now Kobe has had the way better supporting class. This is going to change in Miami,

Anonymous said...

Anger about Messerlee. Understandable.
They need to understand this man was pushed into the offense. Cops have been getting away with killings like this for a long time. Blacks in the South know this all too well. Each time they were all confident the Blue Shield would protect them, and it did. The difference is in many IF NOT MOST of these cases they were rogue cops who the Gods tempted. They did it intentionally thinking they were "earning", knowing they would get away with it. They were the ones whom the Gods disliked, while the Messerlees of the world who get caught are being punished, feedback reserved for those the Gods have interest in keeping.
There are those in the ghetto whom are singled out, targets of the community whom everybody hates. The rogue cops in the South who are guilty of these kind of killings have been reincarnated into roles like this. It's just one of the clues the Gods offer to the community. Lucky for those preditors the ghetto has been an ignorant community, but I think that might be changing.

Of course there could be anoher possibility:::::Due to the history and resulting legacy of hatred for the Gods, since I am guarenteed a spot on the next Planet Earth I will be the original "bad seed":::The Lucifer-figure of the next reality. Unlike Christian dogma, he may just represent the solitary target of the God's ire early, a disgruntled asshole who pissed the Gods off, the proverbial "apple" of the next reality, beginning the process which leads planets to where we are today. A crucial figure in any planet's history, he represents the "beginning of the end".

People, especially liberals give W a very hard time.
Don't forget what I say:::Everything today is both good and evil. The Gods have positioned it as such as we have become increasingly disfavored, confusing the enviornment.
Republicans and conservatives as well, only they fall more on the good side while their adversaries fall more on the evil side, quite contrary to the God's positioning.
Yes, W's evil is illustrated in the United State's efforts in Iraq, and the "Red State"r's who believe we were "earning" are among the worst of them.
If conservatives fall on the side of good, Fox News falls on the side of evil. They pander to the type of trash my brother is, the kind of trash who thinks their war mongering efforts "earn" for them and all others who think like them.
Anyways, it is positioned that W trashed the economy before he left office. Selfish it didn't happen while he was in office, granted, but economic turmoil is a motivator. It's not cancer, mind you, but many have begun praying hard because of their experinces in this event, and it says something about those affected as opposed to those sheltered from affect.
One day just as they will allow vaccines to diseases, especially AIDS, encouraging deviacy the likes which hasn't been seen since the 70s, they will allow cures for cancer, MS, COPD, alcoholism, etc.
Women's diseases will be last. Just as research into women's diseases receive the least amount of funding so is it justified their cures come last, and both for the same reason:::They have the most favor, and the Gods use their diseases as a motivator to pray and find the path. As such they get God's benefit as long as they are willing to offer it.