This will be a multi-article series, debunking the myths that LeBron James has somehow surpassed Kobe Bryant as the best in the game. He has not, and he will not for another few years (or more, depending on how LeBron develops his game). I'll start with offense, because it is one of the easier myths to debunk.
The myth: LeBron James is the most complete offensive player in the NBA.
The truth: Kobe Bryant's offensive game is much more polished, complete and effective than LeBron James
How this myth got started: People were dazzled with LeBron's ferocious dunks, acrobatic layups, and his sheer athleticism. Unfortunately, these days people mistake superior athleticism with superior skills. There is no doubt that LeBron James is the best athlete in the NBA.
Athlete. Not basketball player. Athlete.
LeBron ranks 5th with the most 3’s attempted in the NBA, with 286 so far this year. Only Danilo Gallinari, Aaron Brooks, Peja Stojakovich and Trevor Ariza have more. 25.7% of LeBron’s field goal attempts are 3’s. 286 out of 1110. His 35.3 shooting percentage on 3’s, however, ranks 77th in the league among qualified players.
Hence, debunking the myth that LeBron is an above-average shooter and that he has a great shot selection.
It gets worse though. LeBron James has no post-game. Sad, for a player 6 foot 8 and 260 pounds to not have a solid back-to-the basket move.
LeBron is a penetrator, plain and simple. He makes a living out of getting into the paint and drawing fouls and double teams. Make no mistake, he is great at what he does. Yet, it is his lack of a multi-dimensional game that puts him behind Kobe in the NBA hierarchy.
Kobe's game is one of the most complete the league has ever seen. He gets easy penetration against defenders such as Utah's Paul Millsap and even Thabo Sefolosha. When denied access to the paint, Kobe will use his laser-accurate mid-range jumper, which has developed into the best in the NBA.
And yes, Kobe Bryant, who is two inches shorter and 35 pounds lighter, has a much more effective post-game than LeBron James.
There is no single answer to stopping Kobe Bryant.
There is for LeBron.
Denying him access to the paint is no easy task. But denying him forces him to rely on his shaky at best jump shot.
There you have it. Reason number one why Kobe Bryant remains on top the NBA. Part two article will involve the myth that LeBron is one of the best defenders in the NBA. Until then, bring on the haters and LeBron-worshippers!