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Here it is, the most anticipated game of this tournament. It isn't in the finals, but fans get to see Kobe and LeBron play one-on-one.
Without a doubt, Kobe is the better pure scorer. But in almost every other aspect of the game, LeBron clearly has an advantage.
It's true, passing and rebounding are not very valuable skills in one-on-one. But LeBron would have an advantage on the glass, and he is so much larger and stronger than Kobe, which means he could easily back him down in the post if he struggles in other areas on offense. LeBron is also younger, quicker and more athletic, and his moves to the basket are so crisp that the older Kobe wouldn't be able to stop him.
Once this game starts, Kobe will immediately be hot. He will make one or two shots, and once he gets on a hot streak, Bryant will make sure LeBron doesn't touch the ball for a while. But after making three or four consecutive baskets to start out the game, LeBron gets his turn on offense.
LeBron will use his post game in this game way more than anything else. As the younger player, he should know that if he can post up and make Kobe exert a lot of energy on defense, it will be a lot easier to slow him down on offense. A matchup with LeBron will be very physical and draining on Kobe, who will start to show signs of slowing down as the game progresses.
From there, this game is LeBron's for the taking. Once he builds a small lead, he can use that momentum for the rest of the game and eventually close this one out.
This game would be fascinating, and there's no doubt that it would be close. Against anyone else, Kobe's scoring would be enough. But against a player who excels in every aspect of the game, Kobe will eat his words and eventually come up short, proving that the torch was passed long ago.
Prediction: LeBron James 21, Kobe Bryant 19