Garden Party: Kobe Bryant or LeBron James More Impressive at Madison Square?

ShoreBall EnterprisesContributor IFebruary 5, 2009

Monday night, against the New York Knicks, Kobe Bryant set a Madison Square Garden record by scoring 61 points in a 126-117 Lakers win.

Kobe’s complete stat line: 19-31 (FGM-A), 3-6 (3PM-A), 20-20 (FTM-A), 61 points, zero rebounds, three assists, zero steals and one blocked shot.


Wednesday night, LeBron James scored 52 points and posted a triple-double against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden in a 107-102 Cavaliers win.


LeBron’s complete stat line:  17-33 (FGM-A), 2-7 (3PM-A), 16-19 (FTM-A), 52 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, zero steals and two blocked shots.


So, my question is, which performance is more impressive, Kobe's or LeBron's?


Let’s look a little deeper into the stat lines.


Combining his point and assist numbers, Kobe accounted for 53.2 percent of his team’s points and did so in 36 minutes and 48 seconds. As stated before, his 61 points were the most points scored in Madison Square Garden history.


Likewise, LeBron accounted for 69.2 percent of his team’s points in 44:03. He also accounted for 23.8 percent of his team’s rebound numbers and 55.0 percent of their assist numbers.


This is an interesting conversation because these two are probably the most polarizing figures in the NBA right now, the top two MVP candidates this year and probably the best players in the league right now.


I will admit that I am not a big Kobe fan, but in looking at the two performances, I think that LeBron’s triple-double was more impressive than Kobe’s record 61 points.


While Kobe’s performance was impressive, and more impressive when you consider that it was done in only 36 minutes, he did not have any rebounds and only three assists. Though I did not actually see the game, just from the box score it appears that Kobe’s game was simply a great offensive output, and he really did not affect the game much in any other aspect.


LeBron, on the other hand, posted a triple-double to go along with his 52 points. His 52 points were the most with a triple-double since 1976-77 and one point shy of the most points scored with a triple-double.

Again, I did not see the game, but it appears that LeBron was able to affect the game in a variety of ways, while also scoring a comparable number of points to Kobe’s 61.

I would be interested to here what everyone else has to say, so feel free to post your comments.