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LeBron vs. Kobe: Larry Legend's Taking Kobe, but Who'd You Rather Play With?

Peter Emerick@@peteremerickSenior Writer IIFebruary 10, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat and the Eastern Conference stands with Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. 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)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In a recent appearance on "The B.S. Report" with ESPN's Bill Simmons, Larry Bird admitted two things.

First of all, Larry Legend voiced his opinion on the whole debate over who the best player in the NBA is.

"LeBron James is by far our best player in this league.  I don't think there's really anyone next to him.  I think he's there [top spot] then you go down the list."

While Larry thinks LeBron is the best player in the league, he isn't the one player that Larry would want to play an entire NBA season with.  That honor goes to none other than the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant.

Here's what Larry Legend had to say about wanting to play with Kobe instead of LeBron.

"Well, probably Kobe, because of the fact that ... well, of course he wouldn't have been shooting as much as he does now ... but his desire to win, his dedication, to always get better, uh, and he's just, he's just tough."

"But, if you want to have fun, like I did with Bill Walton, play with LeBron. It would have probably been more fun to play with LeBron, but if you want to win and win and win, it's Kobe. Not that LeBron's not a winner, just that [Kobe's] mind-set is to go into every practice, every game, to get better."

So there you have it: Larry Bird wants Kobe as his teammate for his return to the NBA in the 2012-13 season, but more importantly who would you take?

Let's first look at each players' statistical production for this current 2011-12 season.

LeBron is averaging 28.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game, with a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 31.85 and a solid 54.6% field goal percentage.

Kobe is averaging 29.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, with a PER of 25.43 and a 44.4% field goal percentage.

Kobe is also averaging 24.0 field goals per game, compared to LeBron's average of 18.8 field goals per game.

Kobe's shooting percentage is 10.2 percent less than LeBron's, and Kobe's averaging 5.2 more field goal attempts per game. While that might not be a problem for some people, including Larry Legend, it's a problem for me.

Efficiency is also the major reason why I'd rather play with LeBron James instead of Kobe Bryant any day of the week.

Some will chalk this up to me being a "Kobe hater," but the reality is that I'd just rather play with the more efficient player, who also happens to involve his teammates more in the game, and that player is LeBron James.

There isn't necessarily a right answer in this debate.  I mean Kendrick Perkins would undoubtedly agree with Larry Bird, so there are going to be differing perspectives.

What's your take on the LeBron vs. Kobe debate?

Would you rather be wearing a Heat jersey and running the court with LeBron James, who's the more fun of the two, according to Larry Bird?

Or would you rather be wearing a Lakers jersey, running the court with Kobe Bryant, the more dedicated winner of the two, according to Larry Legend?

Do you side with Larry Legend, or are you joining Team LeBron?  Weigh in with your comments below.  

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