Kobe Vs. LeBron: An NFL Analyst Examines the MVP Race

James WilliamsonSenior Writer IFebruary 6, 2009

Ok, let me make this clear. I am not a basketball expert. I'm not Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, or anyone else who is qualified to teach basketball.

I did play it, but I stunk at offense. I was the MVP for my team because of my defense, and that team didn't win a game, so you can see why I won the award.

However, I love this Web site. Bleacher Report has saved me from the boredom of college life. I'm going to a college in my hometown, so I can't exactly have a party without my parents finding out.

NFL is my expertise. If I could take a college course in it, I'd look to PhD in it. However, there isn't such a course, and the season is over.

I must do something else. I know a little about basketball and zilch about hockey. When someone says hat trick, I think there is a magician around pulling a rabbit out of his hat.

So basketball was my choice, and I'd like to offer a totally unbiased opinion based solely on facts and statistics that would make me decide who should win in the MVP race between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

I'm not Kobe's biggest fan, but LeBron isn't exactly lovable to Cleveland fans after he chose to root for the Dallas Cowboys over the Cleveland Browns.

Let's get started, shall we?

We'll start with records, because what kind of team has an MVP with a losing record? The guy would have to have the worst supporting cast around him and average 50 points a game.

The Lakers under Bryant have a 40-9 record for an .816 win percentage and have won their last five straight.

The Cavaliers under James have a 39-9 record for an .813 win percentage and have won their last four straight.

However, there is a interesting stat that I feel must be pointed out. The Lakers are 23-4 at home and 17-5 on the road, while the Cavaliers are undefeated at home and are 16-9 on the road.

I don't know about you, but an MVP is supposed to please his fans the most, and to be undefeated at home when no other team has less than three losses at home is incredible.

Imagine the season ticket holders for the Cavaliers coming home from every game happy as larks and five times the number of Lakers fans coming home looking like Oscar the Grouch.

Individual statistics play a major role in the consideration of the MVP award. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have the best statistics by far.

But, whose are better?

Kobe Bryant averages 27.5 PPG with 5.6 RPG and 5.1 APG. Those are great numbers, but LeBron James destroys him with 28. PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 7.0 APG.

Except, you can take into the fact that Kobe Bryant is 30 instead of 24, 6'6" instead of 6'8", and is a much better shooter with an .862 FT percentage, a .367 three point percentage, and a .476 FG percentage.

LeBron has percentages of .774 on FTs, .491 on FGs, and .297 on three pointers. So, Kobe beats LeBron in two categories and LeBron is better at FGs only.

Right now, Kobe is more accurate, but LeBron makes results. It is like in the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln was asked to remove Ulysses S. Grant from command because Grant had ran up the casualty list, even though he achieved victory at the Battle of Shiloh.

Lincoln replied, to my memory, "I can't spare this man...he fights!"

LeBron James fights for that team. LeBron James is, to me, the sole reason the Cavaliers are as good as they are. No offense to Kobe, but Phil Jackson is his coach and before he showed up, the Lakers struggled constantly. After he showed up, they started winning titles, including one in his first year there.

I think Phil Jackson should take more credit than Kobe Bryant.

LeBron James has turned the Cavaliers around since he was drafted. He is having the best year, winning-wise, for the Cavaliers in his entire career. The most amount of games they have won with him was 50 out of 82.

They are 39-9, so they have to lose 24 games and win only 10 to be lower than his best year.

How many think a severe losing streak is going to happen?

This could be the Cavaliers' year to do it all. The biggest test is yet to come. The Cavaliers will have to take on the Lakers to determine who is better. Expect high scoring and excitement.

For right now, though, I think the MVP should be LeBron James.

If I said or did something wrong, please have mercy. I am brand new at basketball.