Its the debate that has raged on over the past 2 or 3 years, heard in barbershops, gyms, and playgrounds everywhere: Kobe or LeBron. You can ask people from NBA analysts to the common fan and the vote will most likely be split 50-50. Depending on your preference and style of play you love, you can hear very strong cases for each individual player. We've all heard the cases for both players: Kobe, the most complete offensive player in the game today with his ability to take over games with his lethal array of jumpers and slashing to the hole and his penchant for making clutch shots. LeBron,who is arguably the most unstoppable force when driving to the rim in NBA history, meanwhile adding an ever improving jump shot and free throw shooting, while finally adding the post game LeBron fans have been asking for since high school. While they are undeniably the games best players, there are some key differences I believe set them apart and in essence gives the King the crown as the games best player:
1. LeBrons addition of the post game.
The Kings critics and fans alike have begged LeBron to bang down low with his blend of size and strength that is unmatched. The King can now bang down low to draw additional fouls against the opposition while also still being as aggressive as ever in driving to the rack. This added dimension of his game will became extremely important in April, May, and hopefully June as the game slows down and possessions are critical.
2.The supporting cast
Kobe came into the league on a team filled with All-Stars and solid players (Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel, etc.) while the King was forced into action with not only the Cavs but the NBA depending on him. When Kobe was surrounded with a less than championship team around him, he still had more than capable players (Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, etc) while the best player Lebron played with (Carlos Boozer) walked after his rookie year. Lebron took a team with Larry Hughes as its second best player to the NBA Finals while Kobe complained until Jerry West handed him a title with the Pau Gasol trade
3.LeBrons never been accused of quitting
I know people dont talk about this anymore, but does anyone remember Game 7 of the 2006 Lakers-Suns series? Kobe was accused by Charles Barkley of quitting on his team in that game after they had blown a 3-1 series lead. What about a regular season game at Sacramento in which Kobe took just one first half shot? Kobe can be a closer, but he's had more than a couple instances where he's been accused of not giving his all.
Remember Game 1 of the 2007 ECF against Detroit. LeBron passed on the game winning shot to a wide open Donyell Marshall who missed. While the Cavs lost the game, it instilled in his teammates that he has confidence in them no matter what the situation and when he went on that memorable 48 point rampage in Game 5 of that series,it showed his teammates he knew when to take over as well.
In closing, this article is not to downgrade Kobe at all,who i still believe is one of the top 10 players of all time, but to give further evidence to back the King. Can we finally give LeBron his crown as King of the NBA?