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#1 bfc1125roy

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Posted June 26, 2018 - 09:34 PM

After this year's Eastern Conference playoffs, much of the media, analysts, and fans were calling LBJ the GOAT or a consensus top 2 player of all time. While I actually agree that LeBron is one of the greatest ever, it frustrated me that people tended to leave Kobe out of the discussion completely, sometimes calling him a fringe top 10 all time player. There is definitely a valid argument to put LeBron ahead of Kobe all time, and vice versa, but I don't think its completely fair to act as though he doesn't belong in the discussion, and call anyone who says otherwise a "Kobe-stan." I also think most of the arguments used are very stats based and just shallow in general, as is with most media these days.

 

Since then, I've been working on an article to defend Kobe's legacy. It's going to be very long and has been extremely time consuming, but I could use some more ammo on the following points that people use to definitively put LeBron as the greatest ever...

 

  1. Advanced stats and regular stats (ppg, rpg, apg) favor LeBron significantly. 
  2. LeBron is more efficient and the better scorer (averages more career ppg at a far better efficiency than Bryant)
  3. LeBron has gotten to the finals with far worse teams (like this year)
  4. LeBron's finals record actually isn't a detriment to his legacy, as the fact he was able to make the finals before losing in the playoffs is a superior outcome to Bryant losing in earlier rounds or not making the playoffs.
  5. More MVPs. Kobe wasn't robbed as players like Garnett, Duncan, etc all were having phenomenal seasons when he was in his prime. 

 

Because we have some great basketball minds on this board, I would appreciate any arguments you have to refute the points I listed above, as well as anything else you have to contribute. It's been very rewarding working on this so far, as I've had the chance to dig through older posts on this board and others to collect some data from prior Kobe-LeBron threads, as well as having the opportunity to restudy parts of the Triangle offense, different defensive schemes we've seen from great teams over the years, etc. 

 

Thanks, and appreciate your input! :)


Edited by bfc1125roy, June 26, 2018 - 09:50 PM.

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#2 DLN

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 12:35 AM

Could write a phonebook on this, but not with my phone.

People who love to dismiss Kobe as a top 10 player often use MJ and Lebron as comparisons. Those guys both have a case as the GOAT. Kobe, as much as i like him as a player, doesnt.

But comparing him to the next group of guys such as Magic, Bird and Duncan underline that he belong in the top 10.

#3 bfc1125roy

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 12:53 AM

Could write a phonebook on this, but not with my phone.

People who love to dismiss Kobe as a top 10 player often use MJ and Lebron as comparisons. Those guys both have a case as the GOAT. Kobe, as much as i like him as a player, doesnt.

But comparing him to the next group of guys such as Magic, Bird and Duncan underline that he belong in the top 10.

 

Why do you feel LBJ has a case as the GOAT?

 

Having watched all 3, I feel that he comes last in that list. Many former players would agree with that as well.

 

I think you could argue Kareem (I have him #2 all time) based on longevity, but it's not that great of an argument. I think you could argue Wilt on purely a stats based argument, as well as Russell on a purely rings based argument (depends on your criteria), but most would dismiss this due to the context of their era. 

 

Any argument you could make for Kobe or LeBron, I feel MJ comes out ahead. 


Edited by bfc1125roy, June 27, 2018 - 12:55 AM.


#4 KidRN

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 01:27 AM

I dont think Bron has an argument at all. Kobe doesn't either. MJ easily has the greatest basketball legacy and it's not even close. As far as individual talent goes, there are a bunch of players that are all pretty close to each other.

To say who is 100% the best individual player ever, we'd need them all in the league at the same time playing with nearly equal rosters. Also, depending on the era, different positions and skillsets would have greater impacts.

If you wanted to say Lebron individually is as talented as MJ...that's a fair argument. If you believe Bron has had as big an impact as MJ or that his legacy is close to MJ's then I think you're insane!

Edited by KidRN, June 27, 2018 - 01:31 AM.

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#5 DLN

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 02:01 AM

Why do you feel LBJ has a case as the GOAT?

 

Having watched all 3, I feel that he comes last in that list. Many former players would agree with that as well.

 

I think you could argue Kareem (I have him #2 all time) based on longevity, but it's not that great of an argument. I think you could argue Wilt on purely a stats based argument, as well as Russell on a purely rings based argument (depends on your criteria), but most would dismiss this due to the context of their era. 

 

Any argument you could make for Kobe or LeBron, I feel MJ comes out ahead. 

 

My original tier 1 has:

Kareem because of longevity and records, Wilt because of stats and sheer dominance, Russell because of winning (against Wilt) and MJ because he has all of it. Lebron is going to end up with most of the records, the stats favor him and he's been a guaranteed trip to the finals. He might snag an extra couple of rings too.



#6 noknife

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 08:14 AM

LeBron is pretty widely regarded as number 2 all time with the only knock being his finals record. If you are going to use stats as your argument, Kobe will come out somewhere in the top 10. If you want to focus on Kobe’s truly great seasons, look at the two back to back when Nash won MVP (06-07 I think). Still, if you are going to try to make an argument for Kobe being better than LeBron the only thing you are going to have going for you is Kobe has more rings.

#7 bfc1125roy

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 10:43 AM

Wow did not realize so many people on here had LeBron as a consensus top 2 player all time.

 

My TL;DR for putting Kobe over LeBron is this: Kobe is the better scorer and on ball defensive player, both of which are more important than rebounding and passing. Kobe also has more championships as a primary scoring option + primary facilitator than LeBron (4 vs. 3), while playing in a tougher conference. 



#8 GCMD

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 11:15 AM

The only thing that LeBron has on Kobe is his ability to make players around him better and to get the most out of his own team.

 

Kobe is a better shooter.

Kobe is better 1-on-1.

Kobe is more skilled individually.

Kobe, in his prime, was a lock-down perimeter defender.

 

Kobe was the closest thing to MJ we've ever seen.  I think some of Kobe's accomplishments eclipse MJ's because before MJ had Pippen, MJ was Tracy McGrady.  He was getting bounced out of the playoffs every single year.  It wasn't until Pippen came into his own as a Facilitator, Defender and Glue Guy that MJ was allowed to be The G.O.A.T.

 

If Kobe had T-Mac as his running mate instead of Pau, I think we would have seen one of the GREATEST DUOs to ever live, rivaling MJ/Pip.  It's like if CLE had landed the #2 pick the year KD was drafted...LeBron/KD would have ruled the NBA for a decade.  Or if the Lakers would have gotten the #1 overall pick in 2003 and drafted LeBron to play next to Kobe...

 

So when it comes to MJ vs LeBron, they aren't close to being the same type player.  MJ was an elite scorer who's closest comparison is Kobe.  LeBron is a tank that does everything on his team while making his team better is engrained in his DNA.  LeBron's closest comparison would likely be Pip without MJ or Magic Johnson, not Michael.

 

 

If I were going to make the argument for Kobe's inclusion in the GOAT discussion, I'd emphasize the skillsets of the 3, Pippen's effect on MJ's Legacy, the difference in LeBron vs MJ/Kobe and that Kobe never played with another elite perimeter player in their prime like MJ (Pippen) and LeBron (Wade and Kyrie).

 

I'll keep checking in on this thread because I share your concern about the shift in narrative.  Same thing happened when Magic retired the first time.  People seemed to quickly forget how dominant Magic was for the ENTIRE 1980's against, IMHO, MUCH BETTER COMPETITION than MJ and Pip faced in the 1990's.


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#9 BasketballIQ

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 12:17 PM

The argument would be LeBron is better but Kobe is greater. We saw it with Shaq and Kobe

#10 bfc1125roy

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 12:48 PM

The only thing that LeBron has on Kobe is his ability to make players around him better and to get the most out of his own team.

 

Kobe is a better shooter.

Kobe is better 1-on-1.

Kobe is more skilled individually.

Kobe, in his prime, was a lock-down perimeter defender.

 

Kobe was the closest thing to MJ we've ever seen.  I think some of Kobe's accomplishments eclipse MJ's because before MJ had Pippen, MJ was Tracy McGrady.  He was getting bounced out of the playoffs every single year.  It wasn't until Pippen came into his own as a Facilitator, Defender and Glue Guy that MJ was allowed to be The G.O.A.T.

 

If Kobe had T-Mac as his running mate instead of Pau, I think we would have seen one of the GREATEST DUOs to ever live, rivaling MJ/Pip.  It's like if CLE had landed the #2 pick the year KD was drafted...LeBron/KD would have ruled the NBA for a decade.  Or if the Lakers would have gotten the #1 overall pick in 2003 and drafted LeBron to play next to Kobe...

 

So when it comes to MJ vs LeBron, they aren't close to being the same type player.  MJ was an elite scorer who's closest comparison is Kobe.  LeBron is a tank that does everything on his team while making his team better is engrained in his DNA.  LeBron's closest comparison would likely be Pip without MJ or Magic Johnson, not Michael.

 

 

If I were going to make the argument for Kobe's inclusion in the GOAT discussion, I'd emphasize the skillsets of the 3, Pippen's effect on MJ's Legacy, the difference in LeBron vs MJ/Kobe and that Kobe never played with another elite perimeter player in their prime like MJ (Pippen) and LeBron (Wade and Kyrie).

 

I'll keep checking in on this thread because I share your concern about the shift in narrative.  Same thing happened when Magic retired the first time.  People seemed to quickly forget how dominant Magic was for the ENTIRE 1980's against, IMHO, MUCH BETTER COMPETITION than MJ and Pip faced in the 1990's.

 

Yeah, when Kobe tweeted about how we don't have to dismiss LeBron's greatness to admire his and MJ's legacy, he was disparaged in the media for putting himself in that discussion. People thought it was an ego play and that Kobe is on the outside looking in for MJ and LeBron. That's what irritated me. I think he deserves to be in that conversation, and what he was saying is what I'm trying to do with this piece. How quickly people forget... in 2010 the media was having the exact same conversation except with Kobe and MJ instead of LeBron and MJ. 

 

Surprised to hear that happened with Magic freaking Johnson of all people. He was definitely considered one of the greatest ever when he retired! Wasn't following the Lakers at that time, but it's believable given what's going on in the media now. 


Edited by bfc1125roy, June 27, 2018 - 12:50 PM.

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#11 bfc1125roy

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 12:50 PM

The argument would be LeBron is better but Kobe is greater. We saw it with Shaq and Kobe

 

What does that mean? 



#12 BasketballIQ

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 01:19 PM

Okay.
When Kobe put up 60 im his final game... be dint really have a very good game but it was one ofthe greatest basketball displays givem the context.
Game 7 vs Celtics wasnt his best game but still a great gutsy performance.
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#13 kball

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 05:28 PM

Where is the article going to land?

 

I have LBJ ahead of Kobe now.

But suffice it to say everyone who has played in the NBA, is playing in the NBA, or has hoped to play in the NBA would KILL to have either's career except the following players

MJ, Kareem, Wilt.

 

For what its worth


Excited for  1. Lebron! (Still love me some Kobe, but damn this guy is amazing) 2. Another big get (Whether in FA or in a trade we need some attractions and closers) 3. Young Guys making big jump (Assuming we have anyone left after more necessary moves either genius ones or in desperation)

READY FOR SEASON!!!

 

 


#14 DaSmoothOperator

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 07:01 PM

POM prisoner of the Moment LBJ is the greatest player today but not of all time, most of ya haven’t even seen hoops til last ten years or so lucky to witness Kobe some remember MJ but Kareem and Wilt Bill Russell nope. How many finals has Bron lost? Case closed three wins is better than many but not all time Common Man! BTW it means I’m older than dirt lol

Edited by DaSmoothOperator, June 27, 2018 - 07:02 PM.


#15 bfc1125roy

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Posted June 27, 2018 - 09:20 PM

Where is the article going to land?

 

I have LBJ ahead of Kobe now.

But suffice it to say everyone who has played in the NBA, is playing in the NBA, or has hoped to play in the NBA would KILL to have either's career except the following players

MJ, Kareem, Wilt.

 

For what its worth

 

Why do you have LeBron over Kobe?

 

 

POM prisoner of the Moment LBJ is the greatest player today but not of all time, most of ya haven’t even seen hoops til last ten years or so lucky to witness Kobe some remember MJ but Kareem and Wilt Bill Russell nope. How many finals has Bron lost? Case closed three wins is better than many but not all time Common Man! BTW it means I’m older than dirt lol

 

What would you say if I said that LeBron making it to the finals is better than MJ/Kobe losing in earlier rounds of the playoffs for multiple seasons? 



#16 GCMD

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Posted June 28, 2018 - 01:13 AM

Surprised to hear that happened with Magic freaking Johnson of all people. He was definitely considered one of the greatest ever when he retired! Wasn't following the Lakers at that time, but it's believable given what's going on in the media now. 

 

Part of it was people trying to distance themselves from the whole "HIV+" thing and the other part was the NBA and David Stern's desire to make bank off Michael Jordan/Bulls.  The NBA took a PR hit because of Magic and they wasted no time trying to re-brand themselves with MJ.


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#17 kball

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Posted June 28, 2018 - 05:19 AM

I have him over Kobe mostly the eye test and stats.

And health throughout his career.

 

LeBron also started out faster and contributed more right off the bat than kobe.

And LBJ had no one close to the player kobe had with shaq, and has still accomplished so many things.

He also has 3 more MVPs.

 

And just a wider range of overall talent. Affecting the game in more areas. In addition to being a lethal and capable scorer consistently.

 

The measure of how great LeBron is, is how many folks ON A LAKER WORSHIP FORUM are willing to concede lebron is just thismuch better than the greatest laker ever.

 

And there have been a lot of great lakers.

 

And as much as i love my lakers i have

Oscar slightly ahead of West

Bird (but even more slightly) ahead of Magic...And Magic and Bird still remains my favorite rivalry ever by a wide margin

 

Not a lot of daylight between these comparisons.

But some

 

Kobe remains my favorite player of all-time 


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Excited for  1. Lebron! (Still love me some Kobe, but damn this guy is amazing) 2. Another big get (Whether in FA or in a trade we need some attractions and closers) 3. Young Guys making big jump (Assuming we have anyone left after more necessary moves either genius ones or in desperation)

READY FOR SEASON!!!

 

 


#18 noknife

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Posted June 28, 2018 - 05:19 AM

Why do you have LeBron over Kobe?

 

 

 

What would you say if I said that LeBron making it to the finals is better than MJ/Kobe losing in earlier rounds of the playoffs for multiple seasons? 

 

Because LeBron is a better player than Kobe.  There is no bigger fan of Kobe than me, my dogs name is Kobe (named after Bryant).  I have watched both of their careers, I want Kobe to be the better player, because I love the Lakers.  He just isn't.  Kobe is better than anyone other than LeBron that plays in the current NBA, but he is definitely below him in the pantheon of all time greats, its been true for awhile, its true now, and it will be true when the dust settles.



#19 KidRN

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Posted June 28, 2018 - 05:39 AM

I have him over Kobe mostly the eye test and stats.
And health throughout his career.

LeBron also started out faster and contributed more right off the bat than kobe.
And LBJ had no one close to the player kobe had with shaq, and has still accomplished so many things.
He also has 3 more MVPs.

And just a wider range of overall talent. Affecting the game in more areas. In addition to being a lethal and capable scorer consistently.

The measure of how great LeBron is, is how many folks ON A LAKER WORSHIP FORUM are willing to concede lebron is just thismuch better than the greatest laker ever.

And there have been a lot of great lakers.

And as much as i love my lakers i have
Oscar slightly ahead of West
Bird (but even more slightly) ahead of Magic...And Magic and Bird still remains my favorite rivalry ever by a wide margin

Not a lot of daylight between these comparisons.
But some

Kobe remains my favorite player of all-time

I give Kobe the eye test easily on both ends of the court.

At their very best, I'm taking Kobe.

Lebron as great as he is, may be the most overrated player in history. He was forced into the Jordan comparisons prematurely. Excuses are made for every single downfall he's had. I've never seen so many excuses made for an athlete in my entire life. Kobe was forced into the Jordan comparison prematurely as well but it didn't last nearly as long because of the rape case.

Look at the other all time greats of this generation...

Nobody makes excuses for Mayweather, Brady, Woods, Kobe, Jeter...

Their legacies are based on what they DID. I feel like Bron's is based on what he COULD HAVE DONE.

Edited by KidRN, June 28, 2018 - 05:48 AM.

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#20 kball

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Posted June 28, 2018 - 05:44 AM

I give Kobe the eye test easily on both ends of the court.

Really?

 

I can see that but only in terms of flashiness...

And ability to make really difficult shots.

Kobe gets the nod there imo


Excited for  1. Lebron! (Still love me some Kobe, but damn this guy is amazing) 2. Another big get (Whether in FA or in a trade we need some attractions and closers) 3. Young Guys making big jump (Assuming we have anyone left after more necessary moves either genius ones or in desperation)

READY FOR SEASON!!!

 

 






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