LeBron James, Not Kobe Bryant, Is the NBA's Best Player

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While Bryant’s passing skills have been lauded as tremendous when he needs to use them, he has never demonstrated the ability to “turn it on” consistently for long stretches like James has.

Seemingly able to see players using the eyes on the back of his head, there have been few big forwards like him that have ever had court vision like LeBron, who has elevated truly average players to high statuses.

When Mo Williams came to the Cavaliers, his addition was played off as a minor acquisition on a salary dump by the Bucks as Williams had failed to live up to his big contract. However, in his first year with the Cavaliers, whether it was fair or not, he made an All-Star team and put up huge numbers for them.

Additionally, players like Anderson Varejao and Daniel Gibson have benefited by his tremendous positive impact on the court, as his ability to get players easy shots helps his team win games.

However, despite all these great qualities, he failed to win a championship only reached the NBA Finals once with the Cavaliers, his greatest failing and the biggest reason why Kobe Bryant is typically hailed as the league’s best.

However, the fact is that championships are not won by one player alone, they require a core of two to three great players that can carry a team.

In Bryant’s case, he has had Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol. In between them, Bryant had the Kwame Brown’s of the world and unsurprisingly did not win very much.

In fact, just like James, he wanted to leave his team, even requesting a trade out of Los Angeles because he was convinced he could not win a championship with the cast he had.

Had he taken the “easy way out” and left the Lakers for a better team, would he draw as much criticism as James did?

Perhaps, but the fact is that because of their favorable cap situation and their ability to prey on the Memphis Grizzlies, they were able to improve their team by adding a player who is generally regarded as one of the top two or three big men in the league in Pau Gasol, satisfying their superstars wish for help and leading them to two more NBA Finals victories.

The fact is that LeBron James has never been in a position that Kobe Bryant is in with a supporting cast full of All-Stars.

His team was so bad that when he went 8-21 with 27 points, 10 assists, and 19 rebounds (he also did have nine turnovers to be fair) in a crucial loss that he would get blamed because his supporting cast could not cover up for his failings while Bryant had a 6-of-24 night in Game 7 of the Finals and left the game with the Finals MVP trophy for his work.

The fact is that winning forgives all and as such people do not look at Bryant’s game with as discerning an eye as they do at James.

Just a parting thought. Imagine the Cavaliers without LeBron James (basically as they are constructed now) vs. the Lakers without Kobe Bryant.

The Cavaliers are a lottery team while the Lakers are still likely a playoff team (the Cavs went 1-5 without LeBron and the Lakers went 6-3 without the Black Mamba).

Now with a legitimate supporting cast, we’ll see who proves to be the superior player this year. The smart money is on LeBron

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  • AJ

    Lebron has the skills to be the best BUT kobe has the hardware…now that he’s teamed up with wade/bosh we will never know how he does on his own unlike kobe…per se…also when lebron lead the usa team BROZNE…when kobe lead GOLD….nice try though

  • Hotnuke

    Kobe led Team USA? Sorry, AJ, but Dwyane Wade led that team, from the bench.

    Kobe has four of his five rings on the coattails of others, so spare everyone the lame idea that he won them alone.

    You need to get off his jockstrap and wake up and smell the odor you’re putting out there with that crap…lmao

    • AJ

      Sorry bruh, im not on anyones jockstrap like some of you guys are lebrons….sure wade led that team to a gold…read any article and it will tell you led that team…wade/lebron led the team to a bronze…add kobe…gold…plain and simple…not saying he was solely responsible but when the game was on the line coach k called plays for kobe…wade/lebron and melo also say kobes work ethic while they all played and practiced and they mentioned how much that helped them with their game…
      regarding kobe getting 4 of 5 rings on the coattails of others…please…yes shaq was the primary player during the first three peat but to act as if kobe was some bench player who didnt contribute you are crazy…if you remember kobe had to take over many games because teams would employ hack a shaq or shaq would be in foul trouble…mainly vs teams like sacremento, spurs, etc…not the pushover eastern teams they eventually faced in the finals when shaq would dominate the likes of todd mcculough, or mutumbo…during these last two final runs hopefully your not talking about gasol…please

      • Hotnuke

        Like I said, you need to get off Kobe’s jock and smell the crap you’re pushing…lol

        Kobe never “took over” any games during those playoffs in the midst of that first three-peat by LA. You must either have a very faulty memory, or you’ve been smoking something.

        As for your contention he led Team USA in the last olympics, sorry, but again, you must be smoking something. Wade was the “INDISPUTABLE” leader of those teams. Saying anything else is sheer idiocy, and considering that’s all you’re doing, I’m done with ya…lmao

        • AJ

          kobe took over in the finals when shaq fouled out…maybe your too young to remember that or your hater blinders were on…also look at his stats from those spurs series…but as a heat fan im sure your only started paying attention to basketball after the title a few seasons ago…peace

          • Hotnuke

            First, AJ, I’m probably older than you are (45), and distinctly remember those series. Second, just because Kobe remained in the game after Shaq fouled out once doesn’t mean he “Took Over” the game. Third, check all the stats you want, I WATCHED THOSE SERIES WITH MY OWN TWO EYES. Perhaps you’re the one who is to young to have seen them. Anyway, as I said before, I’m done with you. Anything you say from now on will be ignored.

        • tbone

          kb8 was an absolute beast in those playoffs ’00-’02, especially against the spurs. u must have late stage alzheimer’s or ur talking out the wrong end.

          • Hotnuke

            That, or you’re simply sniffin’ Kobe’s jock like AJ…lmao

  • bennyvargas

    Yaiquimi Pla lebrons been better! tell kobe to win b2b mvps!
    Yesterday at 2:36pm · LikeUnlike · ·
    Yesterday at 2:37pm · LikeUnlike · ·
    Jack Taylor Can’t argue with that!
    Yesterday at 2:42pm · LikeUnlike · ·
    Yesterday at 2:45pm · LikeUnlike · ·
    Team Trinity – Lebron + Wade + Bosh – Miami Heat We feel that way but you should see what some of the insane, kobe nut hugging, Laker fans say about this.
    Yesterday at 2:48pm · LikeUnlike ·
    Antonio Casanovas im a heat fan and i still believe kobe is the better all around player…lebron just makes the argument flashier with all the dunks and clown antics
    Yesterday at 3:07pm · LikeUnlike · ·
    Lee Anthone’ Layson i believe kobe is a better offensive player. but i dont think hes a better all around player than james.
    Yesterday at 3:15pm · LikeUnlike · ·
    Lee Anthone’ Layson ‎27-28 ppg 8 rpg 8 apg as average is real sick. you dont get much more all around than that except maybe Oscar robertson??
    Yesterday at 3:22pm · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading… · ·
    Yesterday at 3:27pm · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading… · ·
    Lee Anthone’ Layson both lebron and wade are better all around players than Kobe.
    Yesterday at 3:30pm · UnlikeLike · 2 peopleLoading… · ·
    Mike Evans I’m a Lakers and Heat fan, it doesn’t matter who is better individually, yes Lebron has back to back MVP seasons, but who has back to back Championships and 5 in total..? They are both awesome players, but it’s the team that gets you the the Finals and they just happen to be apart of that team.
    Yesterday at 3:35pm · LikeUnlike · ·
    Lee Anthone’ Layson lol even derek fisher has 5 chanpionship rings ;-)
    Yesterday at 3:44pm · LikeUnlike · ·
    Antonio Casanovas lebron still reeks of overrated sauce
    Yesterday at 3:45pm · LikeUnlike · ·
    Rudy Habadasher Gue
    Like the article sited, the facts are irrefutable. Look at comparison of the Cavs and the LAL w/o their star player, it shows clearly that Kobe is only better assisted on the court.
    But at the end of the day, I would pick D-Wade over all of …them. Reason: Do the same comparison with the Heat.See More
    Yesterday at 3:49pm · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading… · ·
    Mike Evans Yes even Derek Fisher has 5 rings, which is why I said it’s the team that gets you to the Finals not that individual player.
    Yesterday at 4:14pm · LikeUnlike · ·
    Brandon Pena lebron james is better then kobe but not better then wade.dwayne wade neeeds more credit for what he does every year and now that he has a team to play with he is going to win 6 rings and 6 mvp awards..FUCK KOBE he is a SCRUB who HATES and doesnt accect the fact hes not the best and that WADE is..p.s number 1 dwayne wade fan in the world
    17 hours ago · LikeUnlike · ·
    Patrick Parker Kobe sucks
    2 hours ago · LikeUnlike · ·

  • Aftermath

    Hotnuke can u stop talking, please? none of the stuff you said is correct…smh, ur making yourself look like a fool
    after all, ur a your a bandwagon fan

    • Hotnuke

      On the contrary, Aftermath, EVERYTHING I’ve said is correct. Go play somewhere else, child, this place is for grownups…lol

      As for your lame contention I’m a bandwagon fan, I know it’s popular among all you trolls to simply accuse EVERY Miami Heat fan of being one, but know this, I’m the exact OPPOSITE of a bandwagon fan.

      I grew up a Detroit Pistons fan because my family was originally from the Michigan area before my grandmother and mother moved down to Florida and my mom had me and my brother. I was a fan of the WORLD CHAMPION Detroit Pistons when the Miami Heat came into existence, and IMMEDIATELY switched my allegiance to them.

      As I said above, go find a playpen to play in, child…lol

  • Aftermath

    ur a *

  • Naripsta

    How in the hell does one with no NBA Championships at all, be deemed ‘Best Player’ in the League. Really?

    • Hotnuke

      Uh…perhaps if you’d read the piece thoroughly, Naripsta, you might have gotten the gist of the argument that Benny’s contention is that “TALENT-WISE” there’s no comparison, and that he wasn’t using rings or titles in his calculations.

      In other words, bonehead, he’s saying Kobe may have more rings, but LeBron is the better PLAYER right now. And befor you come back at me with “Hey, Kobe just won a title” I’ll simply say this, Kobe SUCKED in that Game 7, and the ONLY reason he won that title was because of the unreal shooting of his teammates like Artest, and the absolutely criminal officiating by the NBA officials.

      Got it? Good…lol

  • WaitWhat

    Interesting read, but you railed on and on about stats. 30 points this, more assist that. My question to you is, Lebron will with out a doubt have much lower stats this coming up season than his last, because of Wade and Bosh taking some of his points and assists. So does that mean he we lose his “best player in the NBA” title you gave him? He should because according to you, stats mean a whole lot on who you crown as the best player.

    • Hotnuke

      WaitWhat, I think you’re going to be shocked this coming year, because I contend NONE of the “Three Kings” stats will decline, but rather, all of them will go up a tick.

      Add to that my further belief that Kobe’s stats will decline DRASTICALLY this coming season (that performance in Game 7 wasn’t an abberation, but a harbinger of things to come). His SERIOUSLY arthritic shooting finger is going to be hurting like hell this coming year, and throwing off his shot like crazy.

      So, your point is almost certainly moot in my view, but we’ll have to wait and see. Nevertheless, even if what you predict happens, it wouldn’t negate Benny’s contention that LeBron’s the best player NOW. The ONLY stats we can work with are the ones that have been put up, not prognostications of ones that will be put up in the future.

      Thanks for the read and comment, though…;-)