Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James: The Great NBA Debate Continues

Dale FetterContributor IJune 21, 2009

PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 15:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Western Conference walks across the court in front of LeBron James #23 of the Eastern Conference during the 58th NBA All-Star Game, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 15, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  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 Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

No. 24 vs. No. 23.

West vs. East.

Kobe vs. LeBron.

Who will be declared the best the NBA has ever seen? Will it only be between these two, or will another in the future step up and display the talent and clutch ability to claim their place on top of history? Only time will tell.

With a fourth NBA Championship for Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, it looks like the Black Mamba continues to be the best the league has ever witnessed, even surpassing the legend that we all know as MJ.

I wonder if the fans who managed to pass the torch to LeBron James ignorantly have decided to quickly take it back. Especially seeing as LeBron and the Cavaliers failed to make it to the Finals a second year in a row; this year against a Magic team that shouldn't even of been in the playoffs to begin with and getting embarrassed the way they did. 

If I was LeBron, I think I would just hurry the hell up and get out of Cleveland and make my way over to the Lakers to be coached by the greatest NBA coach in the league's history. Instead of being around while your club kills themselves from the inside by trying to trade for Shaq or Yao.

I know and am aware that it's been argued that when both players retire, that LeBron will have played more seasons then Kobe (you also have to remember that Kobe played his first summer game for the Lakers when he was only 17). I'm quite aware of that, but I need to remind you it won't matter how many seasons each player has played, especially seeing as LeBron can't even manage to win an NBA championship, let alone make the Finals.

Kobe already has four championship rings, (LeBron have you seen my FOUR championship rings?), and will most likely win three and maybe even four more before he retires. LeBron may be able to keep up in points and assists per game, but can he win the big one and as many as Kobe?

All the greats in NBA history have at least one championship under their belt: Kareem, Jordan, Bird, Magic, and Kobe.

To be considered one of the greats, you have to be able to reach high and get that brass ring hanging above your head. You have to be able to carry your team and distribute the ball to your team like Kobe proved he could do all season, and you have to be able to make the Finals and then do something about it. 

I know and am aware that LeBron most likely will surpass Kobe in points scored when they both retire, but you also have to remember that both players started in a different era. It was a different time when Kobe started playing, and he barely got any playing time. In the era now, you come right out of college and start.

The debate will always continue, and I'm sure there's always a argument for both sides. But when you look at it, Kobe is the best player in the league right now, and he will be a greater historical player then LeBron, based on clutch ability, NBA Championships, and overall skill and talent.