Since Kobe Bryant recently passed Larry Bird's career point total, it's only natural to compare these two superstars. So, here's my two cents:
If Bird was a better shooter, Kobe is much more creative.
Although they were both shoot-first players, Bird has the edge in the passing department — one reason for this being that he was usually surrounded with better teammates.
Bird was a superior rebounder, because of his size advantage and because he often played the power forward slot.
Kobe is a better man-to-man defender, but Bird had a more evolved understanding (and execution) of team defense.
Bird's instincts and anticipation remain unsurpassed, while Kobe is a vastly superior athlete.
Both were peerless in the clutch, and their respective competitive spirits were likewise unparalleled.
Bird was a much more formidable trash-talker.
Bird was much more coachable and more popular with his teammates.
Kobe is quicker, has a better handle and more dynamic ups, but neither was a powerhouse.
Bird had a better left hand.
Had Bird not spent so much of his career playing with Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, Kobe would still be trailing him in career scoring. It should also be noted, however, that because of the modern prohibitions against hand-checking and cut-bumping, it's much easier to score now than it was then.
So who's the better player? Don't ask me.
Poll in that page - 60% say Kobe is better than Bird