What Makes LeBron James Better Than Kobe Bryant

Pat DennyContributor IMay 11, 2009

ATLANTA - MAY 11:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers goes up for a dunk against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 11, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

LeBron James was the 2008-2009 MVP of the league, but what made LeBron a better choice than Kobe? 

LeBron James averaged 33.7 points per game, while Kobe averaged 26.8 points. 

We all know Kobe and LeBron can score, but what about the other statistics?

LeBron's field-goal percentage was .489, and Kobe's was .467.  LeBron shot 34 percent from three-point land, while Kobe shot 35 percent. 

The King also shot 78 percent from the foul line, but Bryant shot 85 percent. 

A big factor in selecting "the chosen one" as MVP instead of Bryant, or even D-Wade, is that LeBron does more with less.  His team would not be as good without him as the Lakers or Heat would be without Kobe or Wade. 

This was also one of LeBron's better defensive seasons, averaging 1.15 blocks per game, and 1.69 blocks. 

One of LeBron's greatest attributes that does not always show on paper is his ability to enhance the play of his teammates.  His leadership is undeniable.  The King averages over seven assists a game this season.  Kobe only averaged around four assists per game. 

LeBron had a career-high seven triple-doubles.  Kobe had only two triple-doubles. 

Beyond the statistics, the Cavs finished with the league's best record, beating out Kobe's Lakers. 

The question has always been, Kobe or LeBron? LeBron or Kobe? 23 or 24? This year the NBA got it right, giving it to LeBron. 

LeBron makes the Cavs good.  Luckily, LeBron does not get hurt often, so they do not have to work without him.  Had the Cavaliers not drafted him first-overall straight out of high school in 2003, this team would never be a serious contender in the 2009 NBA playoffs. 

My prediction is that the Cavs will win it all, largely because of LeBron's skills and leadership. 

Kobe Bryant is an excellent basketball player and arguably the best player today.  But they made the right call giving the Most Valuable Player award to LeBron James instead of Kobe Bryant.