Kobe/LeBron vs Brady/Manning vs A-Rod/Pujols: Race for the Best

People's ChampionCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2009

Have you ever realized that people believe Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the best two players in the NBA, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are the best two quarterbacks in the NFL, and Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols are the best two players in the MLB?

Have ever wondered who was better between the numberous pairs?

Most people believe that Tom Brady is better than Peyton Manning and Alex Rodriguez is better than Albert Pujols, but is basically split between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. So which race is tighter?

A-Rod has 553 career home runs, 1606 career RBI, .306 career batting average, 2,404 career hits, three MVPs, two gold gloves at shortstop, and no world series rings in 2,402 games. In a 162 game-season over the course of A-Rod's career, he averages a .306 batting average, 44 home runs, 127 RBI, and 191 hits.

A-Rod is terrible in the postseason. His teams won three series and lost seven (3-4 in AL division series, 0-3 in AL championship series and never been in the World Series). The twelve time All-Star's (seven at shortstop and five at third base) career postseason stats are .279 batting average, seven home runs, 17 RBI, and 41 hits in 39 postseason games.

Pujols has 319 career home runs, 977 career RBI, .334 career batting average, 1,531 career hits, two MVPs, one gold glove at first base and one world series ring in 1,239 games. In a 162 game-season over the course of Pujols's career, he has a .334 batting average, 42 homer runs, 128 RBI, and 200 hits.

Pujols is as good in the postseason as he is in the regular season. His teams won seven series and lost four (4-1 in NL division series, 2-2 in NL championship series and 1-1 in the World Series). The seven-time All-Star's (two as an outfielder and five at first base) career postseason stats are .323 batting average, 13 home runs, 35 RBI, and 61 hits in 53 postseason games.

I would pick Pujols over A-Rod because his offensive stats are slighty better and is more consistent throughtout the year including the postseason. Plus, from 2001-2003, A-Rod took steroids.

Tom Brady has 197 career passing touchdowns, 26,446 career passing yards, 86 career interceptions, 63% career completion percentage, 92.9 career passing rating, one MVP, and three Super Bowl rings. In his last three full seasons, he averaged 33.3 touchdowns, 11.3 interceptions, 4,148.3 passing yards, 64.7% completion percentage and 99.1 passing rating.

Tom Brady is great in the clutch. He has 28 game-winning drives. He's 101-27 as a starter (14-3 in the postseason). He holds the NFL postseason record with the most consecutive postseason wins (10) and has the most completions in Super Bowl history (100).

The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback is also great in the postseason. He's 3-1 in Super Bowls and has two Super Bowl MVPs.

Peyton Manning has 333 career passing touchdowns, 45,628 career passing yards, 165 career interceptions, 64.4% career completion percentage, 94.7 career passing rating, three MVPs, and one Super Bowl ring. In his last three full seasons, he averaged 29.7 touchdowns, 11.6 interceptions, 4,146 passing yards, 65.8 completion percentage, 98.0 passing rating.

Peyton Manning is 124-67 as a starter (7-8 in the postseason). He has 6 career 300+ yard games (tied with Joe Montana for NFL-record) and has two career 400+ yard games (tied with Dan Marino for NFL-record).

He also led the AFC's biggest championship comeback in NFL postseason history (against Tom Brady's New England Patriots). The nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback is 1-0 in Super Bowls and has one Super Bowl MVP.

It's really hard to choose between the two. Manning has the better career stats and better individual postseason performances, but in the past three years, Brady has slightly better stats and has more postseason success than Manning. I choose Manning over Brady, but barely.

Kobe Bryant has 23,468 career points (25.2 points per game), 4,949 career rebounds (5.3 rebounds per game), 4,327 career assists (4.6 assists per game), 1,405 career steals (1.5 steals per game), a .455 field goal percentage, one MVP, and three NBA Championship rings.

LeBron James has 12,567 career points (27.5 points per game), 3,186 career rebounds (7.0 rebounds per game), 3,049 career assists (6.7 assists per game), 809 career steals (1.8 steals per game), and a .470 field goal percentage.

This season, Kobe Bryant is averaging 28.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.3 spg, and .475 field percentage. LeBron James is averaging 28.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 7.0 apg, 1.8 spg, and .487 field goal percentage.

The past three seasons (not including this season), Kobe averaged 31.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.7 spg, and a .457 field goal percentage. King James averaged 29.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 6.6 apg, 1.7 spg, and a .480 field goal percentage.

Kobe Bryant has made five NBA finals appearances (3-2). The 11-time All-Star career postseason stats are 24.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.4 spg, and .445 field goal percentage in 152 games.

LeBron James has made one NBA finals appearance (0-1). The five-time All-Star career postseason stats are 27.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 7.3 apg, 1.6 spg, and .433 field goal percentage in 46 games.

Kobe Bryant has more playoff experience than LeBron James, won more rings and is a better regular season scorer in the past few seasons than LeBron James.

LeBron James averages more rebounds, assists, steals and shoots a better percentage from the field than Kobe throughout his career, over the past few years and in the postseason (expect for field goal percentage). LeBron James is a better all-around player than Kobe so I choose LeBron.

Out of the three pairs, I would say the Tom Brady/Peyton Manning one is the tightest. It really depends on what type of quarterback you would want for your team.

They both have a great arm, tremendous accuracy, they both had numerous fourth-quarter comebacks and they both had one of the greatest regular seasons by a quarterback ever.

Would you want a quarterback with three Super Bowl rings and one MVP or a quarterback with three MVPs and one Super Bowl ring?