The Eclectic Quill

February 13, 2009

Kobe vs. Lebron, the Definitive Debate

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kelly @ 12:15 pm
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116 Comments »

  1. Well, like I said, if anyone can make an meaningful, statistical argument. It appears you can’t.

    Let’s not pretend that the problem Kobe has is that he never touches the ball or something shall we? He has led the NBA for basically the last decade in shot attempts so any suggestion that Lebron’s stat line is better is because he touches the ball more is just crazy. The reason Lebron is the “epicenter” is that he can be. Kobe can’t because he’s too busy trying to be the man.

    As to Kobe and “his” rings he hasn’t LED the Lakers to anywhere except the finals (which Lebron has done too). Only thing is that Lebron did it with a team that was inferior.

    As to Lebron’s “legs being shot” we’ll just have to wait and see on that one, but it seems to me that it’s more hope on your part than reality.

    Here’s what I garner from your vitriolistic response. You are a blind Kobe fan and you substitute vehemence for reason.

    Comment by kelly — February 17, 2009 @ 7:14 am | Reply

  2. John smith your the biggest idiot in the world if you really think kobe is better.. after reading a page that says that lebron owns him.. your just plain and simple a dumbass.. Not only is lebron better, the mvp this season, and the best player this league has ever seen. But he is also going to take a team who has never won a title and destroy your front runner team the fakers. LMAO last title lakers won will be there last for some time friend so give it up.. bostons old after this year soo is the fakers.. which leaves the best team in nba still young and ready to create a dynasty.. see you in 10 years john when the cavs have won 7+ titles and your still typing i think kobes still better lmao.. All i got to say about kobe and mj when talking about lebron in the same sentence. is kobe who? MJ who? Lebron james mvp and best player ever!

    Comment by King — March 22, 2009 @ 9:57 pm | Reply

  3. 1. At 57-13 Cavs have the BEST OVERALL record in the NBA. (57 wins ties the Franchise record)

    2. At 32-1 Cavs have the BEST HOME COURT record. (NBA record is 40-1 by the Celts in ’85)

    3. At 14-1 Cavs have the BEST BACK2BACK 2nd game record.

    4. At 13-2 Cavs have BEST AFTER LOSS record.

    5. At 31-4 Cavs have the BEST INTERCONFERENCE record.

    6. At 32-0 Cavs have the BEST RECORD WHEN SCORING 100 pts.

    7. At 46-2 Cavs have the BEST RECORD WHEN LEADING AFTER 3 Quarters.

    8. At 17-2 Cavs have the BEST OVERALL RECORD SINCE THE ALL-STAR BREAK.

    9. At 25-12 Cavs have the (4th) BEST ROAD RECORD. (To date, Cavs have played the fewest home games of any team. 8 of final 12 at home.)

    10. At http://www.basketball-reference.com Cavs have the BEST SRS Rating. (Simple Rating System. Cavs have held this spot 90% of season.)

    11. At +24, the Cavs have the BEST KARL rating in the NBA. (A scale GMs and Coaches use subtracting home Losses from road Wins)

    12. At http://www.82games.com Cavs have the BEST ROLAND rating. (An annual breakdown of team strength developed by an 82g site contributor)

    13. At http://www.basketball-reference.com and http://www.espn.com Cavs have the BEST PLAYOFF CHANCES in ’09 of Winning the Finals. (25%-35%)

    14. At +9, the Cavs have the BEST POINT DIFFERENTIAL per game in the NBA.

    15. At 91ppg the Cavs have the BEST DEFENSE based on points allowed in the NBA.

    16. At .334, the Cavs have the BEST 3POINT SHOT DEFENSE based on percentage yielded.

    17. At .431, the Cavs have the (2nd) BEST DEFENSE based on Field Goal % yielded. (Remove the (2nd) in a week…)

    18. At 47ppg and +15 in Plus/Minus Rating, the Cavs have the BEST PLAYER DUO in the NBA in Lebron James and Mo Williams.

    19. At 31.7 PER, #3 in Defensive Rating at 98.7, and #8 in Offensive Rating at 120.7, Cavs have the BEST PLAYER and this years NBA MVP!

    20. At 31.7 PER (Player Effeiciency Rating), LeBron would have the highest PER score EVER! MJ had a 31.4 once. He was NEVER below 100 in Defensive Rating with an Offensive Rating of 120+ as James is this year, and only James and CP3 are Top 20 in both ratings this year…

    Comment by King — March 22, 2009 @ 9:59 pm | Reply

  4. what john… what??? btw above is compliments of ~DWarner~

    Comment by King — March 22, 2009 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

  5. John smith is a fucking idiot, thats all i gotta say get off kobe’s small ass dick

    Comment by sacramentobaby — March 22, 2009 @ 10:31 pm | Reply

  6. josh smith you are a fucking clown! i hope you are cryign when the cavs and lebron james kick your ass in the finals

    Comment by george — March 22, 2009 @ 10:38 pm | Reply

  7. John Smith, King James will kill the Fakers in the NBA Finals if they make it out of the West.

    Comment by Carter — March 22, 2009 @ 11:51 pm | Reply

  8. lebron is a great player and undoubtedly the leagues mvp this year but just for the sake of an argument i still would go with the fact the kobe still is the better player based on career accomplishments coupled with the fact that lebron plays for stats. i mean common why else would you rush to steal a defensive rebound from a partner just simply to attain a triple double.

    Comment by boweboy — March 22, 2009 @ 11:57 pm | Reply

  9. Are you serious boweboy? Career accomplishments? We’re talkin about who’s better right now. Also, LeBron plays for stats? Wow… it’s in every person’s nature. If you have one more rebound to go for triple double, wouldn’t you go for it? Everyone has the tendency to do so. Doesn’t mean they’re playing for stats all the time. That’s saying LeBron passes to open men because he wants assist… WTF? he passes to open men because they are open and that’s the winning play.

    Comment by SP — March 23, 2009 @ 12:12 am | Reply

  10. Kobe who? Wade who? come on it’s obvious that King James is the MVP! It will be a double MVP for him, season & finals.

    Comment by EJ — March 23, 2009 @ 12:19 am | Reply

  11. lol lebron yea might not have as fluid as a game like kobe, but defensively he is a beast, you rarely ever see lebron use both nor one of his hands on the guy he’s guarding, kobe always hand checks usually with one hand, and you know the refs won’t call it that is why he does it, lebron is a better defender, and a thing people dont look at, how long has kobe been in the league compared to lebron, just wait until lebron gets to kobe’s nba experience, GO CAVS ALL THE WAY

    Comment by STALLION — March 23, 2009 @ 12:50 am | Reply

  12. huh? stupid comparison…tsk

    Comment by dream on LBJ — March 23, 2009 @ 3:18 am | Reply

  13. Great, great article….to ALL basketball fans. It’s refreshing to see fact’s when comparing these 2, versus just biased opinions being thrown back and forth. Awesome read…yet, the media and the Lakers/Kobe fans will NOT ever give credit where it’s due.

    Can you please send this to ESPN so Stephen A, Skip Bayless and the rest of the delusional talking heads can FINALLY get it RIGHT, instead of their horrendously biased opinions? It would be justice served to all who have to endure their babble on a daily basis.

    Again, great fact-packed article. Im looking forword to more articles just like this one.

    Comment by Euronymous — March 23, 2009 @ 7:57 am | Reply

  14. Nice statistical break down.

    I’m wondering if you’re suggesting that the MVP has been reduced to statistical analysis. I’m also wondering if you’re suggesting that stats are the only barometer to use when evaluating a player.

    Additionally, do your stats take into consideration that one player has been playing with a lingering injury for a full year, yet has still managed to rack up elite stats that force comparison with those of a injury-free player who has nowhere as many miles on his body.

    To paraphrase Samuel T. Cogley from Star Trek, are athletes today fading in the shadow of the computer and mathematics.

    Comment by New Yorker — March 23, 2009 @ 9:43 am | Reply

  15. New Yorker

    I’m wondering if you’re asking rhetorical questions or making a quzi-argument without actually having to say anything.

    Is the MVP “reduced to statistical analysis.” First, the article isn’t about who is MVP, it’s about who is the better player. In fact, a quick ctrl+f will show you that MVP (or Most Valuable Player for that matter) is ever brought up in the blog entry, so the answer to your question would be, “No.” Second, if you’d read all the way to the middle of the first paragraph before responding you might have seen, “Foreseeing the potential argument here, I will acknowledge that of course there’s some room for subjective analysis, but not to the exclusion of objective analysis.” I think that answers your loaded and rhetorical question before you even asked it. I would like to ask you, conversely, do you suggest that we completely remove any objective evaluation of performance from the equation and just argue by the subjective seat of the proverbial pants?

    Do I take into consideration that one player has been playing with a lingering injury of a full year? I would say that I’m hard pressed to accept that ONLY one player is beset by nagging injuries. Both played in the Olympics and both play very hard and are fouled a lot. I think one player just whines a lot more than the other.

    I don’t have anyone from Star-Trek to quote, but then I don’t need to respond to a fictional argument with a fictional character do I? I think we are much closer to a media age where sensationalism and marketing set the course for how athletes are judged, not performance. Statics measure performance and performance, not subjectivity, not math and not computers should be the foundation of the arguments.

    Comment by kelly — March 23, 2009 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  16. stallion you are the man! and correct! go cavs all the way!

    Comment by george — March 23, 2009 @ 4:21 pm | Reply

  17. I’ll refute your statements using statistics for the 08/09 season I’ll try and provide some comparisons where I can to help with the overall understanding of both players accomplishments.
    I’ll also provide a disclaimer to my post in saying that I believe that Kobe is a better all around player then LBJ. However, LBJ is a great player in his own right.

    Scoring averages.
    Kobe: 36.4 MPG (career 36.5)
    LBJ: 38.1 (career 40.7)
    Kobe is playing less minutes this year which contributes to his scoring output. Kobe has more go to scorers on his team allowing him to score less. He is not needed to put up a lot of shots in order to keep his team in a game and come out successfully. There are many games where Kobe doesn’t even play in the 4th quarter because his team is winning the game without him. I’ll guess and say that he leads the league in not playing in the fourth quarter.

    “Effective Field Goal Percentage”
    Go to http://www.nba.com/hotspots/ and do a side by side comparison between Kobe and LBJ. The court is broken into 14 quadrants showing the shooting percentages of a player across all quadrants. For this season, Kobe has a higher FG% in 10 of the 14 quadrants compared to LBJ. LBJ’s numbers are swelled by the fact that ALL his scoring takes place around the basket. LBJ is not a jump shooter at all. In fact, he’s a horrible jump shooter.

    Assists
    Kobe is not the primary ball handler on his team. The offense does not “run through” Kobe. When Kobe gets the ball in his hands it is too score. LBJ is effectively the “point guard” for the cavaliers. The offense runs through LBJ in that he initiates the teams offensive sets at an early portion of the shot clock. It is not Kobe’s job to pass the ball, it is his job to score. Alternatively, one can argue that since LBJ is the primary ball handler and he acts as the point guard should his assists be higher then 7 a game? Chris Duhon and Dwayne Wade average more assists per game then LBJ. Therefore those 2 players are better at that portion of the game then LBJ.

    Offensive Rebounds
    Lakers: Andrew Bynum(hurt), Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Josh Powell, DJ Mbenga(limited minutes).
    Cavs: Big Z, Varajao, Big Ben(hurt), Lorenzon Wright
    The Lakers 5 is better then the Cavs 4 front court. What team leads the 08/09 league in rebounding?? Again, like assists, Kobe does not need to rebound. That is not his role on his team.

    “Offensive Win Shares”
    So this guy took an arbitrary math system used exclusively for MLB and altered the numbers to fit into basketball so that it would provide him the necessary math formula. This formula requires the calculation of the offensive rating for a player (arbitrary number), a calculation of offensive possessions for each player, a calculation for marginal offense for each player (subjective), and a calculation for league marginal points per win.
    This is how offensive win shares are determined. I’ll leave it at that.

    Defensive Rebounds
    See Offensive Rebounds

    Steals
    The most lame stat to track. Here is some math to prove that this should not be placed in the defensive category. I’ll round up the numbers to make it easier to understand. LBJ is averaging 38.1 minutes a game, let’s call that 38 minutes. He is averaging 1.84 steals a game, let’s call that 2 steals a game. Using math to quantify percentages we take 38 and divide that by 2 (formula 38/2=19), which results in 19. If steals are calculated as a defensive stat then LBJ plays defense twice a game every 19 minutes. With that being said, I agree that LBJ is a better defensive player then Kobe.

    Blocks
    For Kobe (and the Lakers) see Offensive Rebounds and Defensive Rebound.
    Weak Side help does not make one a great defensive player. Overall career numbers point to both players not being great shot blockers.

    “Defensive Rating”
    I like 82games.com, but I hate the fact that they rely on John Hollinger’ player efficiency rating. This system has way to many arbitrary numbers in the formula. It is hard for me to accept PER.
    I will respond to one of your points though
    “The All-Defensive team is voted for by NBA coaches and is very much a “reputation” based reward. Reputations can be manipulated by hype and by “big plays” or “big games.” When Kobe elects to he can play some serious shut down defense. He does this particularly when there’s a prime time matchup against a primetime player and it helps him build the reputation. The nights when he’s taking defense off, no one is watching. The tables above aren’t only paying attention to what happens when Kobe is trying like the NBA coaches are. ”
    This is true. Kobe does take off from defense a lot and gambles. However, this does not discredit Kobe’s ability to play great defense against the top talent in the league. Which has been proven this season in games against Miami, Cavs, and Boston.

    “Clutch” stats”
    see “Effective Field Goal Percentage” to truly understand how this works. LBJ is clutch in running to the basket to get a dunk or layup. Kobe is clutch in hitting 3’s or mid range shots. One cancels out the other and dunks and layups are a lot easier to accomplish.
    To a certain degree your own statement devalues the concept of LBJ being a “clutch player”. You said “So Lebron is taking far fewer shots but scoring more points. This is in part because he is far better at getting to the line (11 more free throw attempts per 36 minutes!!!) and partly because he has a higher shooting percentage.” Which means that LBJ’s ability to get foul calls is what is really helping him to score the necessary points in those clutch minutes. The higher scoring percentage is attributed to LBJ scoring at the basket. Kobe does not do this. He is a jump shooter so he is not going to get that foul call and his shooting percentage is not inflated by dunks and layups.

    “Game Winning Shot Opportunity = 24 seconds or less left in the game, team with the ball is either tied or down by 1 to 2 points.”
    I am going to expand on the reference that you use. The numbers mentioned in your link are from an article written in 2003. In 2003 LBJ was in his 3rd year and Kobe was in his eighth year. To use the 82games.com article accurately we need to place both players in equal measure. We need to place both Kobe and LBJ at an eight year mark. In 8 years Kobe has attempted 56 shots and made 14 in total. We now turn to the time machine calculator to factor LBJ using his 3 year mark numbers; 50 attempts 17 makes.

    In an 8 year period this trending turns into this formula:
    50 (attempts) /3 (years)=16.6 (attempts per year) *8 (years) =133.3 (FG attempts over 8 years).

    Now we figure out how many shots over the 8 year course are made. Using his made shots over 3 years (17) we use this formula.
    17 (APG in 3 years) /3= 5.6 (makes per year. I’ll round this up to 6)

    Estimated FG% over an 8 year period:
    133/6= 22.1% per year. This is LBJ’s estimated “clutch” FG% over an estimated 8 year period using the current 3 year period numbers from the article.

    Comment by Steven — March 23, 2009 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  18. Steven, from the outset, allow me to say that I respect both the tone and content of your reply. However, I don’t think you’re successful in refuting me. I want to say this to you first, so you get the right tone in reading my content. Often times these things can come out wrong in the e-world.

    Scoring Averages–
    I just can’t accept that 80 second offsets the difference, especially when you consider that Kobe takes many more shots. As far as whether Kobe is a better outside scorer I’ll accept that, but I don’t think that makes him a better player. Lebron is better at getting to the basket, which is why he’s able to get more of those close in baskets. That’s not a detriment. A basket 2 point FG is the same, wherever you shoot it from. Kobe might be a better shooter, but Lebron is a better scorer.

    Assists:

    I would just say that MJ played the same position in the same offense and he never had the trouble compiling the overall stats. I simply don’t agree that the triangle puts Kobe at a disadvantage or that Kobe doesn’t get enough touches. You have to realize that a good number of Lebron’s assists don’t come because the offense goes through him but because he sees the court better than anyone in the NBA. In all honesty, he probably is hurt more than helped by his team. He probably loses about 3 or 4 assists a game by his teammates missing shots that they should easily make. He constantly hits people with passes where they are six feet out and miss the shot, or take to long to take the shot.

    Rebounds:

    Check the articcle, I mentioned your argument already, and that’s why I made rebounding a wash. Kobe’s probably the best rebounder at his position in the NBA.

    Offensive Win Shares: I think yo misunderstand it. It’s not based on anything with MLB nor is it arbitrary. It accounts for things like differences in offense etc. It’s why I think it’s helpful.

    Blocked Shots: I have to disagree. Lebron is usually near the top of his position for the category. Overall, Lebron is much better shot blocker than Kobe.

    Clutch Stats: Again, it doesn’t matter where the shot comes from. Running and dunking doesn’t mean it counts for less than two points. Bottom line, he’s a far more efficient player in the clutch.

    Defense: I went through a great deal of trouble to clarify on that point. What you can do is irrelevant if you aren’t doing it on a daily basis.

    Game Winning Shots: I see why there is confusion. I forgot to link the document. The numbers I used were actually from this year. 82games redid the analysis and those numbers are what I represent here. The link is to their previous study from ’03 because I cut and pasted their quote, and as a result their link. The information is up to date. The reason for the quote is that it shows Lebron’s huge improvement in the area, an improvement not considered in your calculations.

    Comment by kelly — March 23, 2009 @ 8:13 pm | Reply

  19. the thing with this kobe-lebron argument is that kobe fans are trying to MAKE EXCUSES more than they are trying to do a better job at showing FACTS that kobe is indeed better. seriously, with all those footwork, smooth release, low post art, etc that kobe submits, he still ends up the lesser producer…. in almost all categories. he shoots better and he should since he is a shooting guard while lebron is a forward. same way that lebron should get more rebounds. but the thing is, kobe can’t capitalize on gasol and his stud team mates than lebron to his much lesser talented team mates. despite pau gasol which is an instant offense due to his length and accuracy (ironically, he contributes more than bryant in offensive rating), the cavs have the best record. and lastly, if kobe is at his prime and he gets outplayed and “owned” in every freakin’ production statistic by his 24 y.o. counterpart, what does that say anything about kobe? he can’t even outplay a 38-y.o. almost washed up jordan. my, my, mj at 38 is still ballin’. and to add insult to injury, kobe lost twice already in the finals trying to be the “man” by not capitalizing on shaq/payton and gasol. i rest my case with these “king of denial” kobe fan boys.

    Comment by charles barkley — March 24, 2009 @ 12:15 am | Reply

  20. Hi Kelly,
    I still disagree on the points that you wish to convey using stats. Science always argues with science to prove and re-prove theories and practices. The desire is the ensure that the most accurate level of knowledge is tested and proven using scientific methods that cannot be argued against.

    The problem with the statistical analysis that you provide in your post is not entirely accurate. I am not concerned with how good the creator of that analysis is, or whether or not that statistician has good intentions. My concern rests in the math formula used to provide the facts that they wish to share. As it stands right now several of your references do not use inarguable, 100% accurate math formulas. John Hollinger’s PER rating HAS arbitrary numbers in the calculations. Offensive Win Shares HAS arbitrary numbers in the calculations.

    Again, I’ll provide my counterpoints.
    Scoring Averages–
    No, LBJ is not the better player because his talents are still linear. When I watch LBJ play on offense and he has the ball in his hands I already know what he’s going to do. LBJ will either drive to the basket, or shot a wide open uncontested 3 point shot because the defense gives him that shot. Houston and the Lakers have already exposed LBJs offense in the games that they have played him. They took away the driving lanes and made him a jump shooter. LBJ could not convert the outside shots that were given to him because he is not a complete player. All he can do is dunk. His dunking inflates his scoring averages.

    Assists:
    Phil Jackson does not use Kobe in the same fashion that he uses MJ in the triangle. I been watching the Lakers since 1980. I have seen Kobe play since day 1. He does not play in the triangle in the same manner as MH did, Primarily because Kobe cannot jump anymore; he lost his vertical after that knee problem he had a fee years ago. Also, as you mentioned, Kobe is also hurt by his team in the fact that he DOES PASS to them and they miss shots. Assists ratio are entirely dependent on the other teammate making the shot.
    And as I mentioned in my first response, Kobe is not a passer, he is a scorer.

    Offensive Win Shares:
    Quotes from http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html
    “What is a Win Share?
    Bill James developed his system such that one win is equivalent to three Win Shares. My system deviates from James’s system in three key ways:
    In my system, one win is equivalent to one Win Share.
    James made team Win Shares directly proportional to team wins. In his system, a baseball team that wins 80 games will have exactly 240 Win Shares, a baseball team that wins 90 games will have exactly 270 Win Shares, etc. In my system, a basketball team that wins 50 games will have about 50 Win Shares, give or take.
    James did not allow for the possibility of negative Win Shares. In his system, the fewest number of Win Shares a player can have is zero. In my system, a player can have negative Win Shares. I justify this by thinking about it in the following way: a player with negative Win Shares was so poor that he essentially took away wins that his teammates had generated. ”
    The win share system was modeled after Bill James. Bill James created his system for baseball. Continuing.
    “Calculate marginal offense for each player. Marginal offense is equal to (player possessions) * ((player Offensive Rating) / 100) – 0.92 * (league points per possession)). For Tim Duncan this is 1373.19 * ((107.385 / 100) – 0.92 * (1.02929)) = 174.26. Note that this formula may produce a negative result for some players.”

    The win share system is arbitrary because the numbers are not constant. If the calculation is determined on league points per possession divided by a player efficiency rating the result fluctuates over time. The results of this math is inconsistent since the individual numbers can be effected by injuries, and even teammates. Again, this is an arbitrary numbering system that is not 100% accurate. I want to stress the importance of using scientific formulas that are 100% accurate and inarguable.

    “Clutch Stats: Again, it doesn’t matter where the shot comes from.”
    Actually it does. LBJ drives to the basket more often because he has no outside game. That driving to the basket results in more foul calls, which in turn results in easier points. On other words, LBJ relies on getting bailed out by the refs to get the points needed in those moments. Does it work? Yes it does. Is it effective? Yes it is. But to call that “clutch” is a stretch of the English language. I’ll agree that 2 points is 2 points, a score is a score. But one player in this discussion is relying on the intervention of an outside officiating decision while the other one is not.

    Defense:
    For this year I went through the Cavs 08/09 season schedule and looked at the wins and losses for the team. There is an overwhelming amount of games where the small forward of the Cavs opponent was able to score 20 or more points. Ideally we want to say that LBJ was guarding that player. However, 82games.com does not track who the player was guarding when determining their defensive rating numbers. Unless we know the exact formula used in the factoring we cannot provide an accurate assessment of results.

    Game Winning Shots:
    I stand corrected. I based my math on the differences in years. My numbers are incorrect then. We would now need to know if LBJ is hitting outside shots or is he still relying on driving to the basket to get a dunk/layup and or relying on getting a foul call to get the points needed.
    There should be one caveat noted from 82games.com assessment. It is:
    “Obviously though this definition means a shot may not actually be a game winner — it may only tie a game (if down two points) or it may allow enough time for the opponents to get a game winning shot of their own. Still it seems a reasonable compromise. ”
    Essentially, they ignore shots that tie the the basketball game. Even though a game tiring shot is just as important as a game winning shot.

    Comment by Steven — March 24, 2009 @ 10:22 am | Reply

  21. Here is a good article from Bill Simmons that points out that current statistical analysis in basketball is not entirely accurate nor effective.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=4011524

    Normally, I think Simmons is a douche bag homer, but I like the point that he is making in his article.

    Comment by Steven — March 24, 2009 @ 10:40 am | Reply

  22. Alright Steven, let’s narrow the field of conversation here.

    1) I’m not decrying Win Shares as the end all and be all of all stats, and yes, it has weaknesses, but it also still has value. You make it seem like I’ve been reduced to arguing that and only that as my entire point. It’s wrong. There are several such formulas the people use and they all have Lebron way ahead of Kobe–there’s just no getting around it.

    2) Try and explain it away all you want, but there’s a reason Lebron gets more assists than Kobe, and it’s not just the offense they play in. Lebron gets assists where no one else would. His court vision is remarkable. When Kobe gets the ball he’s looking to shoot, and failing that he’ll pass out. It’s Kobe’s mind-set, not the offense. Lebron is looking for whoever has the best shot, whether it’s him or anyone else. I’ve seen him give up the ball when he had a clean shot because someone else has a better shot. I don’t see Kobe do that. In fact, I’ve seen Kobe take bad shots when other players have good shots.

    3) I just flat out disagree with your insistence upon the notion the notion that for whatever reason a player should get more credit for an outside shot that taking it to the hole. It’s just wrong. Two points are two points wherever the shot comes from. Your argument is about who has the better outside game, not who is the better player. There is obviously an advantage to a shooting guard in that regard. Shooting an outside shot doesn’t make him a better player, it makes him a better outside shooter. I took a lot of effort to take the fact they play different positions into consideration here, but your reducing the argument to who is a better outside shooter is not doing that. Posting up and/or driving to the hoop are just as legitimate ways to score, even if the ball doesn’t have to travel the same distance from his hands to the rim. Are they going to call off the basket and give the other team the game because it came from closer in? Of course not. Two points is two points, which is what I mean when I say where the shot comes from doesn’t matter. If you’re going to make this such an issue, sorry my friend, you have to establish your premise. You haven’t articulated why it matters.

    Having said that I think you sell Lebron short on his outside game. He actually has more 3’s than Kobe, and their only separated by .9% in 3-Ptfg8%. That’s hardly even worth mentioning. Kobe makes 1 more 3 pointer out of every 100 attempts. Lebron’s effective FG% is .527 and Kobe’s is .502. Overall Lebron makes a higher percentage of his shots. If that’s becuase he takes them from inside, it’s not a weakness, it’s a strength. He CAN take it to the inside so he does. Should he be camping out and taking worse shots just to show he can make them? That’s silly.

    4) I don’t think that “overwhelming” is an actual number. 😉 First, your assessment doesn’t take into account what that small forward does when Lebron is on the court versus off the court, which I believe the 82games number does. Second, I’d like to get more specific data than “overwhelming” before throwing out three different assessments (defensive win shares, roland ratings and defensive rating) which come up with near identical conclusions.

    5) I don’t think that there’s any reason to assume that Kobe has had more success with game tying shots, or that if they included those numbers there would be any reason to expect a different result.

    6) As far as the link goes, I think some of it is valid and some of it is blowhardery. Statistics measure performance, period. Are there different things we can measure that help us understand the game better? Yes. It’s a work in progress. Generally though, it seems like you’re trying to explain away stats rather than prove Kobe’s deficiency in them. You have yet to make a statistical argument that Kobe is a better player, you’ve only argued with the validity of some of the stats I’ve used. I’ve used a great deal of different ways of looking at it for a reason though, becuase there’s not perfect way of measuring a player right now. However, when you try and measure performance 6 ways to Sunday and keep getting the same results its time to start questioning your opinion and stop questioning the stats.

    Comment by kelly — March 24, 2009 @ 11:33 am | Reply

  23. i will say it again – but first, good job to both of you guys giving us some sort of adhesives to focus our opinions. going back, why can’t the kobe fans come up with something that can prove kobe is the better player? instead, they want to attack the validity of statistics that “support” and validates lebron’s actual performance. you just can’t do that even if you take away statistics, simply because kobe is a reputed ball-hogging, selfish player who wants to score all the time. it’s a matter of mind-setting: lebron wants to create first, as kelly pointed out, and kobe wants to score first. of course, the result would be totally different. well, sorry that lebron is actually more efficient in scoring, either… and in almost all facets of the game. kobe just shows more flash than lebron. more form than substance. but at the end of the day, it’s lebron who brings in more substance than form. it’s called efficient production – the ultimate goal of every producer.

    Comment by charles barkley — March 24, 2009 @ 9:49 pm | Reply

  24. readers please view.

    http://www.82games.com/0809/CSORT11.HTM

    I take it with a grain of salt.

    Comment by Steven — March 25, 2009 @ 10:36 am | Reply

    • I hope in seeing that list, the sort ordered points wasn’t the only thing you took note of. I hope you also noticed that Lebron has a higher FGP, a higher 3P%, as well as things like 4 more rebounds and twice the assists, 12 to 6. Overall, Lebron’s clutch stats are much more impressive than Kobe’s–but only if you can get past the notion that points scored is the only stat that matters.

      Comment by kelly — March 25, 2009 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

  25. exactly, kelly. most kobe fan boys are just looking at one picture, like what kobe is doing – and that, to score. i take steven’s post – wherein, an instance that kobe tops in one category (clutch scoring for some spurts) and it was actually sorted as to highest score. we can always sort data in different criteria, like rebounds, etc.. my point, actually, is most kobe fans are trying to dismiss statistics, but the moment a measuring criteria puts kobe on the top spot, they will be all over it. it’s nothing new, actually, and kinda getting old, too since they can’t find anymore criteria that can show kobe producing better statistics. so most of them ends up attacking the established criteria. take it from john hollinger, he formulated a new one VA or valued added to include minutes in measurement.

    Comment by charles barkley — March 25, 2009 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

  26. “# kelly Says:
    March 25th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I hope in seeing that list, the sort ordered points wasn’t the only thing you took note of. I hope you also noticed that Lebron has a higher FGP, a higher 3P%, as well as things like 4 more rebounds and twice the assists, 12 to 6. Overall, Lebron’s clutch stats are much more impressive than Kobe’s–but only if you can get past the notion that points scored is the only stat that matters.”
    =================================================

    Yes Kelly, what you are saying is true but it is not relevant because the stat I linked from 82games.com was about the top overall clutch player for the 08/09 season.
    You actually just validating all my previous posts. Your argument above is the same argument I have been trying to convey in my lasts posts. The fact that the construction of certain statistics can be erroneous in their delivery. The stat I’m linking is basically saying who is the most clutch player right based on scoring. The stat leaves out other key deciders.

    What I do find extremely odd about the stat, now that I look more closely at it, is the Games Played column and Minutes column. They are all different for all players. Pulling from a different pool of overall numbers can skew results.

    That is why I had originally said that I take it with a grain of salt.

    =================================================
    “exactly, kelly. most kobe fan boys are just looking at one picture, like what kobe is doing – and that, to score. i take steven’s post – wherein, an instance that kobe tops in one category (clutch scoring for some spurts) and it was actually sorted as to highest score. we can always sort data in different criteria, like rebounds, etc.. my point, actually, is most kobe fans are trying to dismiss statistics, but the moment a measuring criteria puts kobe on the top spot, they will be all over it. it’s nothing new, actually, and kinda getting old, too since they can’t find anymore criteria that can show kobe producing better statistics. so most of them ends up attacking the established criteria. take it from john hollinger, he formulated a new one VA or valued added to include minutes in measurement.”

    Charles,
    Statistics can be dismissed when they are not accurate. It’s a fairly simple decision. A person decides to track stats and then creates an arbitrary formula based on those stats. That arbitrary formula does not results in %100 unequivocal truth. The results are more along the lines of a best guess solution.
    We then have a multitude of fans that flock to these best guess results to prove their point because they think that it’s accurate.

    Also, you just mentioned John Hollinger, so I am going to pretty much ignore anything you say further on this subject. Thank you.
    =)

    Comment by steven — March 26, 2009 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  27. So wait a second here. I go through a great deal of effort to look at things form a dozen different directions and take a full and complete look at something. Then to “prove” you point that stats can be misrepresented you misrepresent one stat. Your point is fallacious. I didn’t rest everything on a single stat. What’s actually laughable is that you couldn’t actually use the stats that I represented in order to “prove your point” that stats can be misrepresented. Of COURSE they CAN be, but that doesn’t mean if they are used they ARE BEING. The only stat misrepresented on this entire page is the one you used. That’s significant.

    The problem is that the stats are accurate, including Hollinger’s. You’ve only misrepresented certain things. You’re misrepresenting him here. His stats aren’t “arbitrary,”, they’re “adjusted” which is a very different situation. What’s incredibly ironic about that is that Hollinger’s adjustment probably actually FAVOR Kobe. The reason it varies is its adjusted for game pace and minutes. So for instance the fact that Kobe plays LESS minutes means he benefits from Hollinger’s stats. You’re comments in regards to your “closer look” at the games played in the link you posted is further evidence of how much thought your putting into it. Obviously not every team is going to have the same number of games where the required margin of difference within less than five minutes to play is met. There are no problem with the stats. Take a cue from Obama and take the time to learn what you’re talking about before you say anything. 🙂

    Comment by kelly — March 26, 2009 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  28. “Kelly Says:
    March 26th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    So wait a second here. I go through a great deal of effort to look at things form a dozen different directions and take a full and complete look at something.” Then to “prove” you point that stats can be misrepresented you misrepresent one stat. Your point is fallacious. I didn’t rest everything on a single stat. What’s actually laughable is that you couldn’t actually use the stats that I represented in order to “prove your point” that stats can be misrepresented. Of COURSE they CAN be, but that doesn’t mean if they are used they ARE BEING. The only stat misrepresented on this entire page is the one you used. That’s significant. ”
    =================================================
    I provided that 82games.com stat to prove to you that statistical analysis does not always provide the complete story. Nor does it provide the truth about a player and a players ability. I was hoping that my “I take it with a grain of salt.” would have been that indicator, but I apologize for not accurately explaining myself.
    Your whole blog post on the other hand, reeks of perceived definitive accuracy just because you choose to use “offensive win shares” and “”Defensive Rating” and the like. I’m a technical professional Kelly and when I read and look at reference material I do so in a critical thinking mindset. Unfortunately your post does not posses that objectivity. Which is fine, it’s a blog post, you wrote what is essentially an editorial. I am not taking that away. I’m just arguing against your points and references.
    Overall, the facts that you provide to point out that Lebron is better then Kobe are questionable because each player has to play a different role on their respective team. Lebron is the beginning and the end on the Cavs, Kobe does not fill that role on the Lakers.

    Why is it that out of the top 10 assist leaders in the game 8 of them are point guards, 1 is a shooting guard, and 1 is a small forward? Why does Lebron average 7 assist a game from the Cavs, yet Delonte West and Mo Williams average 3.5 and 4.0 APG respectively? Hey, have you ever asked why no one on the Lakers is averaging more then 5 assists per game on the entire team? Do you think there is a reason for that? By the way, the Lakers lead the league in team assists.

    Lebron averages 7 rebounds per game and Kobe averages 5. But Andrew, Pau, and Lamar are at 8,8 and 9.5 RPB. By the way, what team leads the league in rebounds? Which team isn’t in the top 10?

    Scoring wise Lebron is averaging 1 more point per game over Kobe, but he’s also playing 2 more minutes per game.
    Here are some numbers to will totally trip you out:
    LBJ
    Total shots taken 1388

    Inside the paint: 428/702
    (702-428=274/702*100=) %39.0

    Outside the paint 251/686
    (686-251=435/686=*100= )%63.4
    ===========================
    Kobe
    Total shots taken= 1504

    Inside the paint: 409/763
    763-409=354/763=0.46*100= %46.0

    Outside the paint: 296/741
    763-296=467/763=0.612*100= %61.2

    Outside shot attempts difference between Kobe to Lebron.
    741-686=56/741=0.074*100=%7.4
    (source:http://www.nba.com/hotspots/ as of 3.26.09)

    “The problem is that the stats are accurate, including Hollinger’s. You’ve only misrepresented certain things. You’re misrepresenting him here. His stats aren’t “arbitrary,”, they’re “adjusted” which is a very different situation. What’s incredibly ironic about that is that Hollinger’s adjustment probably actually FAVOR Kobe. Your willingness to “ignore” what I have to say is more indicative to your unwillingness to open be open minded about the subject than it is him.

    ==================================================
    Not true. Statistics are not accurate when they posses non-factual numbers or numbers that do not physically exists within the test matter/subjects. Case in point, Hollinger’s new VA rating. Here is his formula:
    VA Value Added is the estimated number of points a player adds to a team’s season total above what a “replacement player” (for instance, the 12th man on the roster) would produce. Value Added = ([Minutes * (PER – PRL)] / 67). PRL (Position Replacement Level) = 11.5 for power forwards, 11.0 for point guards, 10.6 for centers, 10.5 for shooting guards and small forwards

    My problem with this is the equation where he divides by 67. Why 67? What is that number? Why is it there? What is the physical reason to have it there? Where does 67 actually exists in a 46 minute basketball game?
    Hollinger then assigns pre-defined ‘position replacement level” measurements based on a players position. Why? What is that number? Why is it there? What is the physical reason to have it there? Where does that number actually exists in a 46 minute basketball game?

    Comment by steven — March 26, 2009 @ 3:42 pm | Reply

  29. Steven,

    Why don’t you ask him? I’m sure he had a reason. You are jumping to the conclusion that it is arbitrary rather than try to learn the reasoning before your blast it. You don’t KNOW why he uses 67, that doesn’t mean there’s not a reason for 67.

    You need to take a step back and look at things from a broader perspective. For instance the whole point of Hollinger stats is to account for disparity in different types of things. For instance, Kobe might play fewer minutes, but they also play a faster game. The Lakers average 6 more possessions per game than the Cavaliers do. Ergo, in spite of the fact that Kobe is playing fewer minutes his production per possession is lower than Lebron’s. Also, Hollinger takes into account that there are different positions with different responsibilities. Why don’t you take a moment to actually study the stats your criticizing before you criticize them. LEARN why 67 before you arbitrarily call it arbitrary.

    The bottom line here is you are misrepresenting stats to show they can be misrepresented. Of COURSE they can, but your argument is flat and meaningless unless you can show MY stats are being misrepresented. For instance if your argument is that Kobe is the best per minute over time scorer in the NBA in the clutch, and you used your stat, then it’s fine. If you are using it to show that he’s the best player then it’s wrong.

    Comment by kelly — March 26, 2009 @ 11:32 pm | Reply

  30. you are actually doing good, Steven, until you dismiss John Hollinger’s work. He is one of the best in the industry. He sells books and “geeks” buy it. by “geeks” mean intelligent, logical people who excels at what they do. even ordinary people who want to elevate their mathematical analysis ponders on John’s formula. i know you want to disprove lebron’s value by trying to find loopholes in statistics. but it doesn’t work that way. we can all use our naked eye and fingers to count how much points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, etc. lebron put every night for the past six years on a consistent basis. that alone will convince us that he is truly an amazing player. he improves year by year especially in defense this year. he learned a lot from kobe too. kobe being the veteran and more experienced when they played together. it’s just that you can’t stop the elevation of lebron’s game. it’s not kobe’s fault, too that lebron’s game is just sky rocketing. beating kobe’s in every category, well, almost save for consistent shooting. the fact the in our own basic observation without using these tools, we can agree that lebron impacts the game much more than kobe. can you imagine how much deadlier will gasol be if he is playing with lebron? varejao, yes that offensive liability for so many years, plays one of the deadliest pick n roll with lebron in the cavs offense, which is ranked between 4th to 2nd in the league. also, one thing that elevates lebron from kobe is that he has gifts that kobe doesn’t have. one is genetic anomaly – he is super extraordinary athlete, perhaps, the first of his kind in the sports. two, you can’t really compare kobe’s court vision and passing ability to lebron’s. it’s not even close. kobe is a decent passer as well, but lebron is just gifted in that category. that, actually is what makes him the most dangerous player to opposing teams. he is a very efficient scorer, yet he posses another weapon that can expound his damage by a four-fold (additional 4 scoring options at his disposal). my own challenge to kobe fans is simple. instead of attacking a legitimate rating system like PER, roland rating, etc., why not do a better job at finding measuring criteria (or hard evidence) that will show kobe’s value? attacking the credibility of an opposing proponent is really an old tactic used by desperate debaters. we just can’t circumvent “facts”. they are created by a system – basketball rules.

    Comment by charles barkley — March 27, 2009 @ 12:26 am | Reply

  31. Steven,
    If we go by your logic, then Boris Diaw is a much better player than Shaq since Diaw can shoot in , around far from the basket, able to and has in fact played more positions (guard, forward and center) than Shaq who can only dunk.

    By your logic, you are saying that Hakeem Olajuwon with his a thousand and one moves was a much better scorer than Kareem Abdul Jabbar who basically had one move-the skyhook.

    Comment by Rula — March 28, 2009 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

  32. Rula,

    That’s a plain misrepresentation of my logic. My logic is that Lebron does just about EVERYTHING better than Kobe. Shaq does some things FAR better than Diaw.

    Why do Kobe supporters have to resort to straw men to win an argument?

    Comment by kelly — March 28, 2009 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

  33. kobe is the most popular player in the world his jersey was better selling then yao ming in china(bejing)

    Comment by kb24 — March 30, 2009 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

    • kb24…

      OK. This is relevant how?

      Comment by kelly — March 30, 2009 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  34. This has to be one of the dumbest articles ever written. Do you stat geeks ever wonder why great players don’t really use them to measure anything? LOL..The only way you could really compare stats is if both players played in the same system,played the exact position,and played the exact number of minutes. Since that is pretty much impossible,all that crap you posted was just rubbish. Now i don’t want hear about how the stats were measured as if both guys played forty eight minutes. They don’t,and no one’s production could stay up for 48 minutes. All you proved is that you lebron nuthuugers are hungry for attention,even after your precious idol has already said kobe is better than him. Sorry but I would take magic’s,jordan,barkley,lebron’s,and many other hall of famers opinion over a lebron tots…LMAO give it up already. Also Wade4MVP!!!!!

    Comment by Wade4mvp — March 30, 2009 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  35. Wade4mvp

    Thanks for that insightful comment, one which I’m sure was read without even reading the article, which sort of draws into question the qualification to make the first statement.

    If you had actually read it you would understand why the comment reflects a lack of reading it. But you’ll have to read it get that.

    Comment by kelly — March 30, 2009 @ 1:10 pm | Reply

  36. i just have to say that i think kobe is a great player but after jordan left the nba was a lil boring but it made me start playing bball more cause i wanted to be the next best thing like MJ then here comes lebron james in 2003 and just made me put that bball down and started watching him ( i still play bball lol) anyways if you look at what kobe has done in his 13 years then look at what lebron has done in the 6 years you would see that lebron is guning for alot of records in a short period of time and the only thing i could say that kobe has on lebron is the 3 rings (dont 4get shaq was the main reason) but after shaq left what happen? shaq once again with a star player got one more ring (kobe no ring) if kobe was on a team like cavs yea he would be the scoring leader cause he wouldnt pass the ball and thats what you guys have to look at lebron is passing so much more but yet still passing kobe in points lebron has more pressure on him than any other player in the nba and he has had that for his 6 years of being a nba player now he making his name bigger and bigger and all kobe fans can do is hate and try and bring his name down come on thats not right at all when MJ left it was kobe+shaq now its all about lebron but kobe is still playing and i think thats why kobe fans are mad cause they was hopeing he left b4 this monster of a player enter the room and right now i look at lebron and that is my version of a Mj not that he plays like MJ but what he brings to the nba i cant really keep saying MJ is the best ever because i didnt really see that many of his games im only 19 i mean i know old timers who been watching nba b4 mj and they tell me other players are the best to ever do it and thats just how life is my 13 year old brother says lebron is the best ever and thats because lebron is his era and he still likes Mj but not as much as LBJ the point im trying to prove is that kobe fans just dont want to let go

    its like if i had a dog that was 5 years old and my mom gets a new puppy and that puppy is so fun and does more than my old dog like jump higher do more tricks run faster ….. and i still say my dog better because thats the first dog i liked even though that lil puppy is doing much better things than my dog.

    Comment by Ryan Jones — March 30, 2009 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

  37. Let’s say Kobe is the best player in the NBA right now. Lebron James is only 24 years old and yet he is comparable to Kobe Bryant who is what, in his late twenties and in his prime years? So if Lebron James is comparable to Kobe Bryant at the age of 24 and not even in his prime years, where will he be when he is near Kobes age?

    Comment by errks — March 30, 2009 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

  38. Hey first off i gotta say is even though i consider myself to be fairly smart, i cant nearly compete with kelly and steven, so please dont expect me to be throwin stats left and right.

    alrite, secondly, i think this article is great and would reccommend you send it to espn or nba.com ecause this seems like a kind of thing theyll like.

    third, im gonna try to break all these stats down. Lebron leads kobe in pretty much every stat. and to this, kobe fans will brobably say something along the lines of “So what, if kobe wanted to he can score 50+ points, 15 assists, etc.” and thats probably true. im not trying to undermine kobe, hes an amazing player, but this article is about what the players DO now what their capable of. lebron is the better all around player, period. he is a better defender, he shares the balln and he rebounds more. but, just to show you im not just one-sided and close minded, ill give you some unbiased stats
    1560= 1560 is the FGA Kobe bryant has had this season
    1461= 1461 is the FGA Lebron James has had so far.
    now im sure people thought, since kobe seems to take more shots most of the time and thats why he doesnt have as much assissts, kobe would have way more FGA. but the truth is, kobe has basically only 100 more field goal attempts

    2070=number of total points lebron has scored this season
    1989=kobes total points

    364=this is the number of assists kobe has this season
    538=lebrons assists number

    559-lebrons total rebounds
    393= kobes total rebounds

    127=lebrons steal total
    105=kobes steal total

    90=lebrons total blocks
    35=kobes total blocks

    this is just to show everyone lebron can stil do what kobe does and more. what kelly showed you was how much per game they were supposed to have, i just thought i would give you guys a bigger picture.

    Comment by Chuck Norris — March 30, 2009 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

  39. to kelly and steven- im so glad i just spent like 2 hours reading this(im pretty bad) it was so worth it…lol
    to make it clear – i think lebron is the better player, he does evrything better than kobe, (including being a better person, and much more fun peronality, yehyehyeh, – i know i dont personaly know him…but that is just the way it seems to me, and i can argue that…)
    the ONLY thing we can ALL AGREE on is that kobe is far superior in the outside scoring department- he has owned that jumpshot for the last decade however that doesnt all of a sudden mean he is a better overall scorer–> as both of you have mentioned at some point.
    not only does his superior outside game DOESNT make him better than lebron “scoring wise”, it most certainly doesnt make him a better overall player(ps lebron is SUPERIOR on the defensive end anyway – as both of you also said, and provided numerous statictics for)
    SOOOOOOOOOO, ive mentioned offense(KB < LBJ)
    defense ( KB guess what he still took them to the finals, first in franchise hisory!!! and at only 21 or 22, not sure , but who cares even if done at like 25 still very very young + younger than kobe, when he took a far and away better team to the finals.
    im not gona talk about how KB folded when he finaly got to the finals by himself(well just HIM leading the way) coz i know you will bring up what happened in 06 finlas, however what happened there very different, the only reason the cavs where there is becasue of him and the spurs and Pop knew that, and when the spurs completely shut him down and let him shoot, three was no answer from the cavs at all- every1 was like OMg cavs in the finals…HOWWWWWW???!!!!- easy answer, the reason is lebron james single handeldy taking a team to the finals, getting past wizards for the whatever time in the row, beating pistons ( game 5 anyone) .. ok im on a ramble, im sorry but its very hard to not go off on a ramble in such a topic…
    to summarise my long and boring commnet:
    offense LBJ
    defense LBJ
    teammate LBJ
    JUST FOR DESERT- we are comparing lebrons first 6 seasons,(and its very close) to what kobe has managed to do over his 11 year or so career- that is an amzing feat by itself!
    to further this point, i wonder how much Kobe would pale as a player compared to lebron , if we would only take HIS first 6 seasons in the nba, lebron still has along time to go , and even if he hasnt passed kobe yet(like few think – KEELLLYYYY) he will next, or the season after that,and i bet you and any other kobe fan can agree on that.

    Comment by lukas — March 30, 2009 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

    • Lukas,

      The sky is the limit for LBJ.

      Comment by kelly — March 30, 2009 @ 4:10 pm | Reply

  40. this is the plain and simple fact. yes stats are nice, but every guy on every team in the nba is playing 82 games every season for ONE reason- that shiny gold trophy. I’m a DIEHARD laker/kobe fan but I do agree that LBJ will be the mvp this year because he is playing some excellent bball. but when kobe says that he doesn’t care about numbers, but about winning the championship, i believe him. at the end of the day, every guy wants to be piled up on the podium with matching t-shirts and hats, popping champagne. when ur hugging the gold trophy, do the season stats even matter? when its all said and done, LBJ may have the best stats in the league, with all the triple doubles one man can handle, but if that other team is hugging the trophy, do we honestly think he’ll be saying “well they can have the ring, because I have better stats.” NOT A CHANCE. so lets face it guys. its allll about the ship and we’ll see who’s more hungry!

    Comment by Corey — March 30, 2009 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

    • Corey,

      It’s a strawman. Do you think that Lebron would prefer the MVP to the trophy? Also, caring about stats doesn’t really mean anything and whether Kobe meant what he said or not is irrelevant. What matters is production. Stats aren’t just things, they are measures of production. People want to compartmentalize the two but you can’t. Lebron produces more than Kobe, which means he is a better player. The proof of that is in the stats. Also, let’s wait and see who wins the trophy before we assign it shall we?

      Comment by kelly — March 30, 2009 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

  41. to corey, yes very true indeed. howvere you cant undermine and say that individual awards, and stats dont mean nothing, yes they mean way less then the larry o’ trophy , bit still quite a lot…
    that being said, the casv will be champions this year( i f hope so), they are the the best team in the league… with the best player, and the ONLY team I, and felow cavsfans trully fear is the second best team in the nba wit the secoond best player, (im my mind lakers are the only team who has a chance at beating us).
    becaseu if these two met in the finals, it wouldnt mean that i would favour the cavs to win, and for lebron to manhandle kobe, i wacth the game, cheer, and pray for every proceeding play, thats my job as a diehard cavs fan.
    because at the end of the day, even though lebron is significantly better than kobe, on any given night – them(&their teams) can have the edge over the other, coz their are both supertars, and both teams are elite.
    im just goonna tell you this – lakers are goin down in the finals- AGAIN- GO CAVSS!!!

    Comment by lukas — March 30, 2009 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  42. Kobe sucks! My team is better and WE will win our first championship this year beating those L.A. Fakers.

    Comment by LeBron — March 30, 2009 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

  43. In response to those who call LeBron somebody who just goes for stats. If thats true then why does he have so many games where he comes up a rebound short of a triple double or where he is well on his way to triple and sits out the fourth because the game is in hand. The only stats LeBron cares about are in the win-loss column.

    Comment by Derek — March 30, 2009 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

  44. “learn the reasoning before your blast it. You don’t KNOW why he uses 67, that doesn’t mean there’s not a reason for 67. ”

    Without a doubt there is a reason why Hollinger uses the number 67. I do not question that he has a reason for it. I question its legitimacy.
    Is 67 an accurate number, or is it a number HE HAD TO USE in order to get his formula to work mathematically? There is a difference. Hollinger’s reasoning to use the number is irrelevant unless there is a physical and factual purpose behind the number.

    “Kobe might play fewer minutes, but they also play a faster game. The Lakers average 6 more possessions per game than the Cavaliers do. Ergo, in spite of the fact that Kobe is playing fewer minutes his production per possession is lower than Lebron’s.” \

    There are 48 minutes per game in the NBA. Kobe is averaging 36 minutes per game. That leaves 12 minutes that he is not on the court. The 6 more possessions that you mention can take place whilst Kobe is on the bench. The Lakers do not play a faster game. The second unit plays at a faster pace but not the starting unit. Kobe is still averaging 1 less point per game then LBJ and there is only about a 1minute to 1.5 minutes difference between the two players. So point per game is a wash. Also, the effective field goal percentage is a wash as well due to the fact that Lebron is a dunker not a jump shooter. As I mentioned in my statistical analysis I did, Kobe is a better shooter around the paint, and 2 percentage points less then Lebron away from the paint. However, those results are skewed by the fact that Kobe takes a lot more shots from the outside then Lebron (116 more shots). Statistically speaking, Kobe is a better all around shooter/scorer then Lebron especially when you look at the “around the paint” shooting percentage.

    LBJ
    Total shots taken 1388
    Inside the paint: 428/702
    (702-428=274/702*100=) %39.0

    Outside the paint 251/686
    (686-251=435/686=*100= )%63.4
    ===========================
    Kobe
    Total shots taken= 1504

    Inside the paint: 409/763
    763-409=354/763=0.46*100= %46.0

    Outside the paint: 296/741
    763-296=467/763=0.612*100= %61.2

    Outside shot attempts difference between Kobe to Lebron.
    741-686=56/741=0.074*100=%7.4
    (source:http://www.nba.com/hotspots/ as of 3.26.09)

    “The bottom line here is you are misrepresenting stats to show they can be misrepresented. Of COURSE they can, but your argument is flat and meaningless unless you can show MY stats are being misrepresented.”

    Your blog post centers on this thesis statement “If we want to argue about who the better player is we need to look at the stats, plain and simple” and the relationship between Kobe and Lebron. You then go on to provide the statistics that you believe to validate Lebron being better then Kobe. Obviously I disagree as noted in my previous replies. As you mentioned in the quote above, not only can stats be misrepresented but they can also be misinterpreted. I feel that this is what is occurring with your viewpoints. You’re looking at this years stats between Kobe and Lebron and effectively saying that due to those stats, Lebron is better then Kobe. Statistically speaking, Lebron is having a better year then Kobe to the point where he will probably win the league MVP award. However, Lebron IS NOT better then Kobe as you see it Kelly. So we reach an impasse where you say that stats prove a point and I say that stats do not prove a point and do not provide the full picture.
    So again, I’ll prove that your use of stats are incorrect, and at the least, misrepresent the facts.

    Points per game: It’s a wash between the 2 players. 1 point difference between the two players and about a 1 minute difference in minutes per game between both players.
    Effective Field Goal Percentage: Again, a wash between both players because of how they score the ball. And yes, it is important to factor in how they score the points.
    Assists: Here is a point of argument. Lebron has more assist then Kobe for the year. Lebron starts at the 3 spot and actually plays the 1. He is the starting point guard for the Cavs. Therefore the opportunity for him to get assists is more prevalent then Kobe. Also, the Cavs play in a different offense then the Lakers. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, there is a reason why no one on the Lakers averages more then 5 assists per game and yet the Lakers are 2nd in the league in team assists. Counting assists is a wash since both players do not play in the same manner. How is one guy supposed to get a bunch of assists if he does not run the offense and the team offensive sets are not dictated by that player?
    Offensive Rebounds: The Lakers have about 5 players that focus on getting rebounds. The cavs do not. Similar to assists, Kobe is not expected, nor is he relied upon, to get rebounds (unless he’s in the vicinity of a rebound, and you do mention in your original post that this is a wash between both players).
    Offensive Win Shares: I am not a believer in this stat. If you wish to lend credence to it, so be it.
    Defensive Rebounds: Again, falls inline with the same facts related to offensive rebounding. Essentially Kobe is not required to rebound. Also, the Lakers lead the league in rebounds.
    Steals: 1.8 steals a game versus 1.2 steals a game. Are those on the ball defensive steals or are they jumping into the passing lane steals? What does the stat reflect in terms of where the steal took place? This is a major consideration.
    Blocks: The Lakers have a better front court then the Cavs so Kobe is not required to play close the basket to work for blocks. That is the job of Pau, Andrew, Lamar, and DJ.

    I understand the effort you placed in creating your post Kelly. However, I see it as being a bit incorrect and you essentially mislead your readers in your statements and points that you provide.
    Lebron is having a great statistical year, Kobe isn’t. Lebron is asked to do that much more for his team and Kobe isn’t. Therefore his opportunities to garner more statistical numbers are in his favor.

    Lebron is not better then Kobe because of statistics. Kobe is better then Lebron because he has already reached the point where we as fans can look at his body of work and understand that the dude is one of the best players in basketball that we have ever seen. Sooner or later, Lebron will be there as well.

    Comment by steven — March 30, 2009 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

  45. “Ryan Jones Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 2:44 pm
    the only thing i could say that kobe has on lebron is the 3 rings (dont 4get shaq was the main reason) but after shaq left what happen? shaq once again with a star player got one more ring (kobe no ring)”

    Key concept to your post is that Shaq won when he had the help of another top notch talent player.

    Kobe cannot win by himself.
    Lebron cannot win by himself.
    KG cannot win by himself.
    Pierce cannot win by himself.
    Ray Allen cannot win by himself.
    Carmelo cannot win by himself.
    CP3 cannot win by himself.
    Nash cannot win by himself.
    etc etc etc.

    Also, HOLY RUN-ON-SENTENCE BATMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    =)

    Comment by steven — March 30, 2009 @ 5:33 pm | Reply

  46. Steven

    Lebron cannot win by himself.

    lets put these scenario and i hope it will happen . . what if the laker or the cavs is going to win the title . .

    what do you think is going to sound better on your ears if lets say were not talking about stats. .

    kobe won coz of gasol ??? or lebron won coz of mo ???

    stats = production/performance

    we will know how they do coz of there performance. .

    Comment by Manny — March 30, 2009 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

  47. Stephen,

    I see the effort placed in responding. However let me explain a couple of things.

    1) The bulk of your argument seems to be explaining away stats, not explaining why Kobe is better. Some things I think we’re just never going to see eye to eye on. You think that points in the paint are worth less than perimeter points. I don’t. I think a two point fg is the same whereever it comes form. Your missing the point of my representation here, which is deliberately set out to consider different positions etcetera. The fact is, you haven’t actually brought up anything about my stats that is actually wrong or misleading.

    2) I’m not saying that Lebron is a better player becuase he has better stats. I’m saying he is a better player because he produces more, and the stats are the proof of that.

    3) Let’s say you’re argument holds water and the reason Lebron has more assist because he plays the point. First, I think Mo Willimas would have a contention with that but let’s set that aside for the moment. If it is true, it’s not an argument against Lebron. It’s a point in his favor. The reason he runs the offense is because he can. How many 6-8, 265 lb guys can you say that about? The man has the athleticism and vision of a point guard, but can still post up and get to the rim as well as anyone in the game. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.

    As far as the offense goes, I have no doubt in my mind that if Lebron were there, he’d be averaging the same assists, if not more than he is now. Lebron does not get more assists because he is in a different system, the system he is in allows for him to get more assists because he is a better passer. I think he is probably the best passer in the history of the NBA who was not a point guard, and probably near the top including point guards.

    Whether the steals are on the ball or jumping in the lane is moot. They are steals. You keep trying to parse thing that don’t parse.

    Comment by kelly — March 30, 2009 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

  48. “# Manny Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Steven

    Lebron cannot win by himself.

    lets put these scenario and i hope it will happen . . what if the laker or the cavs is going to win the title . .

    what do you think is going to sound better on your ears if lets say were not talking about stats. .

    kobe won coz of gasol ??? or lebron won coz of mo ???

    stats = production/performance

    we will know how they do coz of there performance. .

    Obviously as a Lakers fan I want the Lakers to win. Kobe having Pau provides the Lakers a chance to accomplish that. Lebron having Mo provides him the chance to win as well. I believe your assumption is that the Cavs have lesser talent then the Lakers. The Cavs have the best record in the NBA and are one of the better defensive teams in the league. They aren’t slouches over there.
    So, to a certain degree your point is null.

    Both the Lakers and Cavaliers are team that equal balance between scoring and defense. Is there a slight advantage in having Gasol over Mo?

    I don’t know. Hopefully we find out in June.

    Comment by steven — March 30, 2009 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

  49. steven Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Is there a slight advantage in having Gasol over Mo?

    you joking right ??

    lets put it these way, if JAMES was with the laker . . i bet they’ll be almost undefeated or atleast they’ll break the team record of the BULLS. .

    so if your saying that KOBE is better than JAMES, then answer these for me . .

    why dont they have the best record ?? in terms of cast talent . . lakers are more superior than the cavs . .

    and how about this ?? if kobe did a lil’ more production or the so called STAT . . they would have won the game much easier . .

    in terms of cluch . . what would you like, beating a team by only a point or 2 or in a good margin ?? coz i believe the cavs only have a few games that went to the wire . .

    so these is all i have to say . . i know that you’re a KOBE fan but lets face it . . He’s spotlight is starting to fade !!

    Let Go and keep moving Forward . .

    Comment by Manny — March 30, 2009 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  50. steven Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Obviously as a Lakers fan I want the Lakers to win. Kobe having Pau provides the Lakers a chance to accomplish that. Lebron having Mo provides him the chance to win as well. I believe your assumption is that the Cavs have lesser talent then the Lakers. The Cavs have the best record in the NBA and are one of the better defensive teams in the league. They aren’t slouches over there.
    So, to a certain degree your point is null.

    – so how did ever come up with the conclusion that the CAVS have equal talent with the LAKERS coz we all know that they dont . . so if you dont believe on STAT that much, how come they have the best record so far ?? its mainly coz of LEBRON performance . . He’s making his team better , and one point that back it up is making MO an allstar these year. . while KOBE has GASOL and ODOM . . those players were already an allstar before joining the LAKERS . .

    so how can you say KOBE is better ???
    base on stat – we can see JAMES is producing more
    subjective – JAMES is making his teammate better and you can see that on the teams record.

    so please, am tired of your excuses !! just accept the fact that everything is going on JAMES’ way.

    Comment by Manny — March 30, 2009 @ 8:02 pm | Reply

  51. Kelly,

    Excellent job.

    Lebron indeed is a team player; I am an MJ fan from Chicago. I witnessed the glory years of basketball, and I have never seen someone whos all-around vision and basketball IQ as well as skills reminscent of MJ’s until Lebron……

    Well done, you really should send this to some websites/channels.

    Kobe’s game bothers me, but more than anything, the ridiculous Kobe fans bother me, especially when they dare compare him to Jordan (who is of course light years ahead). It’s absolutely ridiculous.

    Anyway, Kelly, i was wondering, do you have any of these cool stats on Jordan? I really want to see some Jordan/Kobe/Lebron comparissons or just Jordan numbers in general like gamewinners/attempted etc.

    Thanks again, EXCELLENT post.

    Comment by Sha — March 30, 2009 @ 8:06 pm | Reply

  52. Lebron’s TEAM has a better record. Kobe’s TEAM is better. Enough said…

    PG – I’ll take Mo
    SG – I’ll take Kobe
    SF – I’ll take Lebron
    PF – I’ll take Odom
    C – I’ll take Gasol

    Lakers win the positional battle 3 to 2…and the CAVS have the BEST record in basketball, only one reason why…LEBRON JAMES. That should be enough to get Lebron the MVP trophy.

    Comment by ferpac — March 30, 2009 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  53. This is one of the greatest posts I have ever read. I think that if Michael Jordan read this, he would totally agree too. It would be nice if espn did a whole segment on your post.

    Comment by Tyler — March 30, 2009 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  54. BTW, the reason that Steven won’t admit it, is because he’s bias. First of all, he’s a Lakers fan, the most hostile fans of all. I think that you, Kelly, are not a bias person, and see these comparisons through stats, while Steven is only trying to find a hole in your blog.
    Steven is clearly using his own judgment and opinions to go against all your statistics and the statistics that you have used from “experts.” Let’s try to see him come up with a number/percent in which kobe will have better stats then Lebron an any category. Let him, and he’ll take years to do it or till Kobe is done from the NBA.

    Comment by Tyler — March 30, 2009 @ 8:44 pm | Reply

  55. I’ve been a Lakers fan for 40 years. The only beef I’ve got with you is: You hadn’t heard Mark Twain’s quote before? Really? “There are lies, there are damn lies, and then there are statistics.”

    LeBron deserves the MVP this season. Period. What I don’t like about Kobe is that he’s spent most of his post-Shaq career whining about his teammates. Hey, I wouldn’t put much effort into offensive play when everyone in the Staples Center knows who’s going to shoot.

    Comment by BillH — March 30, 2009 @ 9:30 pm | Reply

  56. You guys all rock. You guys should take a degree in stats or something.

    I must say i am not really a fan of anyone at the moment. Personally, i’ve only played PG (mainly because of my height and because im not a good enough shooter), so i look to PGs in the NBA for inspiration, and i’ve worked a lot on my distribution. So far, none of the PGs have really caught my eye (i think Rose is overrated, and so is chris paul and deron). But that’s not the issue here.

    Between Kobe and LBJ- i must say i like Kobe more. But i also know why. He exemplifies that a person of average (in nba average) dna and physique who works on his game a lot really can become a great player. Not just a good player mind you, a great one.

    Kobe’s game is all abt that. It makes us drool and dream that if we practice our footwork and elevation enough – we can nail that fadeaway jumpshot too. It’s possible. With practice. With lots and lots of practice. At least that’s the impression he gives us. Almost the same feel as what MJ gave us.

    When i look at LBJ’s game, I’m amazed at the player. He is more dominant on the court than bryant, and i believe that this will be more and more a reality – and every statistic available prob says that too. But i cant identify with his game at all. He’s a little like shaq – where i feel that nature has dealt a kind hand, and there’s abso-f#@! no way that i can ever barge my way into the paint and dunk on a big opposing player. His game is all about aggression and domination – and using every physical god given prowess to the maximum advantage, bullying smaller (and often bigger), less talented guys into submission.

    I’d say that kobe has also shifted his game since gasol was acquired. But i think there were other reasons why he shifted his game too. His knee. His age. Because of all these reasons, and because i feel that LBJ will have many dominant years ahead of him, i’m rooting for Bryant for MVP and c’ship – sentimentality, for his contribution to the game, and because of the belief he gives me, that if i work hard enough, i too can become a great player.

    If i wanted to win a cship bad, and i had to pick between the two – im gg for LBJ anytime in 09 and beyond. But if i wanted to develop as a player personally, and hopefully evolve to a good player someday, i’ll take my chances with KB.

    As for wade, well, i’ll take him seriously once he ditches his plaster fetish.

    Comment by NBA2009 — March 30, 2009 @ 9:40 pm | Reply

  57. we all must not forget that playoff basketball is an entirely different thing altogether. teams are very very unpredictable. and while things may be looking all fine n dandy during the regular season, it can change so quickly in the playoffs (mavericks, warriors, 07 playoffs). so while we all have our favorites to win, the door is still open for disappointment. ive seen it so many times before. so in the meantime im gonna sit back, relax and enjoy the show. (BUT STILL…GO LAKERS!…LOL).
    i love playoff basketball! countdown to April 19th

    Comment by Corey — March 30, 2009 @ 11:32 pm | Reply

  58. i really hope that every guest poster on here would take fanaticism, reality and objectivity into a smooth perspective as what NBA2009 did. you’re a kobe fan yet you are one of a kind. keep it up.

    Comment by charles barkley — March 30, 2009 @ 11:54 pm | Reply

  59. First thing I wanna say is that I hate the person who posted the link to this article on the R2MVP Daily page on nba.com. I just spent 2 hours (maybe more) reading the full article and every comment written – mainly that of Kelly and Steven. Its 4am btw.

    Its the first time I followed all the comments posted on any article.

    Great article. Worth the long read.

    I also agree that 2pts is 2pts whereever it may come from. If a basket counts for the same point, than anywhere you get thay basket, its worth the same. But if you ask Jordan, he’ll tell you that a vicious dunk over someone is worth more than a jump shot over someone. Because, the dunk will at times demoralize the opponent and hype up their own team which can determine the outcome of a game.

    Comment by Luffy — April 1, 2009 @ 2:54 am | Reply

  60. ‘Manny Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 7:42 pm
    lets put it these way, if JAMES was with the Laker . . i bet they’ll be almost undefeated or at least they’ll break the team record of the BULLS.’
    Based on what truths?
    Say we replace Kobe with LBJ and he’s obviously on the Lakers which happen to be coached by Phil Jackson, who runs the 9 championship ring garnering Triangle Offense. The starting 5 would be 5/Bynum, 4/Gasol, 3/Walton or Ariza 2/James, 1/Fisher. Here is how the triangle works. The system’s most important feature is the sideline triangle created between the center, who stands at the low post; the forward, at the wing, and the guard(James or Fisher) at the corner. The team’s other guard stands at the top of the key and the weak-side forward is on the weak-side high post — together forming the “two-man game”.The goal of the offense is to fill those five spots, which creates good spacing between players and allows each one to pass to four teammates. Every pass and cut has a purpose and everything is dictated by the defense.
    Essentially, the team passes the ball around and waits for the defense to commit to a certain player with a specific area of the court. This creates a “man open” scenario where 1 player reaches a spot on the floor to take a wide open jump shot, or, the center (Bynum/Pau) attacks the basket on a one-on-one play to score. Guards in the triangle are asked to shot open jump shots from 13 feet out. These guards are expected to be able to hit these shots. Again, NO ONE ON THE LAKERS AVERAGES MORE THEN 5 ASSISTS PER GAME BUT THE TEAM IS SECOND IN THE LEAGUE IN TEAM ASSISTS PER GAME. reflect on that for awhile


    why don’t they have the best record ?? in terms of cast talent . . Lakers are more superior than the cavs . .and how about this ?? if Kobe did a lil’ more production or the so called STAT . . they would have won the game much easier . . ”

    Lakers don’t play defense during their games sometimes and it costs them. The Lakers are still 58-13 and will reach the 60+ wins mark for the year. That’s nothing to sneeze at. And no, Kobe doing more does not results in winning easier.
    That’s a begging the question theory.

    “Manny Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 8:02 pm
    – so how did ever come up with the conclusion that the CAVS have equal talent with the LAKERS coz we all know that they dont . . so if you don’t believe on STAT that much, how come they have the best record so far ?? its mainly coz of LEBRON performance . . He’s making his team better , and one point that back it up is making MO an allstar these year. . while KOBE has GASOL and ODOM . . those players were already an all star before joining the LAKERS . .”
    Cavs have the best record in the NBA right now. That is no small task. The team is playing great basketball as a whole. If you feel that Lebron is the catalyst to that then so be it. Also, Lamar is not an all-star; he has never been an all star on any team that he has played for. he’s a very talented role player that does his part to help his team win.

    And to stop the whole “player X makes his team better” fallacy in this debate please look at these numbers. Not a whole lotta extra production from the starting 4 who apparently are made better by Lebrons “STATS”.
    Based on the 5 man unit with the most minutes played that includes Lebron from http://www.82games.com/0809/0809CLE2.HTM,
    Here are the numbers.

    2007/08 regular season player averages:
    West: 10 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.7 rpg
    Wallace: 4.2ppg, 0.6 apg, 7.4 rpg
    Ilgauskus: 14.1 ppg, 1.4 apg, 9.3 rpg
    *Williams: 17ppg, 6.3 apg, 3.5 rpg
    *Playing for MIL

    2008/09 regular season player average
    West: 11.5 ppg, 3.6 apg, 3.1 rpg
    Wallace: 3.0 ppg, 0.8 apg, 6.6 rpg
    Ilgauskus: 13.4, 1.0 apg, 7.4 rpg
    *Williams: 18.1 ppg, 4.0 apg, 3.4 rpg
    *Playing for CAVS
    Delonte West has had his assist and rebounds go down for the year and only shows a 1 point gain in his yearly scoring.
    Mo Williams has had his assist and rebounds go down for the year and only shows a 1 point gain in his yearly scoring.
    Ben Wallace is down from all 3 statistical categories this year from last year.
    Big Z is down from all 3 statistical categories this year from last year

    “Tyler Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 8:44 pm
    BTW, the reason that Steven won’t admit it, is because he’s bias. First of all, he’s a Lakers fan, the most hostile fans of all. I think that you, Kelly, are not a bias person, and see these comparisons through stats, while Steven is only trying to find a hole in your blog.
    Steven is clearly using his own judgment and opinions to go against all your statistics and the statistics that you have used from “experts.” Let’s try to see him come up with a number/percent in which kobe will have better stats then Lebron an any category. Let him, and he’ll take years to do it or till Kobe is done from the NBA.”

    Tyler, Kobe is not having a better year then Lebron. I have said this already. And please leave the ad hominem attack in your closet with Lakers fans being hostile. It really makes no sense.

    Yes I’ll agree that I have a bias opinion on the matter. However that does not mean that my arguments and counter-points are any less accurate or truthful. I disagree with Kellys’ assessment that Lebron is a better player BECAUSE OF STATS. That is Kellys’ thesis. Kelly is saying that because Lebron has more assists then Kobe, Lebron is better, because Lebron scores more points per game Lebron is better. That is just bad logic and reasoning. It is a flawed argument.

    Comment by steven — April 1, 2009 @ 11:11 am | Reply

    • Three things on this reply Steven, and sorry I didn’t see it until now. .

      First, on the Triangle Offense thing. this seems to be the big mantra that must be getting pumped in LA. As I told Chidley though, Jackson would find a way to work the offense around James. Do you seriously believe he wouldn’t try and include James’ unparalleled vision and passing from the small forward spot into the game? The bottom line is that Kobe’s passing game is good, but not great.

      Second, you’re seriously using a stat that shows the Williams-West-James-Wallace-Ilgauskas unit is the best five man unit in the NBA against Lebron? And then, you’re the one talking about fallacy? Uhm, talk about backwards reasoning! I would venture to say that the fact that West, Williams, Wallace and Ilgauskas are made to fill out the rest of the best lineup in the NBA is proof enough of that.

      Third, and I really don’t understand why you are having trouble grasping this, I’m not saying that Lebron is better because he has better stats. I’m saying he has better stats because he is better. Lebron gets more assists becuase he is a better passer. Ignoring the stats is not bad logic and reasoning, it’s setting logic and reasoning aside entirely to shoehorn your bias into the discussion.

      Comment by kelly — April 22, 2009 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  61. Kelly I really enjoyed your post. I am not going to approch you with some stats of my own and I do think that they can be misleading and that you can pick and choose which stats you want to use to present your arguement. Not saying you did that or anyrhing, just saying what one can do. It’s funny because I am a lake fan but live in ohio. I was one grade ahead of him and have has watched him play for about 10yrs now. And in my opinion, I think your stats say he is the most consistent player. Not quite ready to say he is the best yet. I’ll make that decision after the playoffs. Last year LBJ had year like this as well, just not as good on defense, but still good. And it was also better than kobe’s. But then the playoffs came around. The part of the year that really defines a player. And lbj producion fell significantly and kobe’s rose slightly. I’m sure there are some factors as to why this happened, just as there are some for lbj better stats over kobe’s. My point here is that lbj doesn’t seem to perfom well in clutch. And when I say cluth, I refer to big games, such as playoffs. With the expection against detroit game 5 06 and boston game 7…. but if he made the layup in game 1 against boston, there is no game 7. Please excuse my grammar and spelling.

    Comment by Milton — April 16, 2009 @ 9:37 am | Reply

    • Milton. You make some points worth looking into. I’ll reply more when I have a chance to do some research on that.

      Comment by kelly — April 20, 2009 @ 1:37 pm | Reply

  62. lets put it these way, if JAMES was with the laker . . i bet they’ll be almost undefeated or atleast they’ll break the team record of the BULLS. .

    Manny, Your argument is all speculation. We don’t know what Lebron would do on the Lakers playing in an offense where HE IS NOT the sole facilitator in a triangle offense with no jumpshot.

    Comment by Chidley — April 20, 2009 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

    • Chidley,

      You’re making the same mistakes as Steve.

      1) Don’t confuse not taking jump shots with not being able to take one. Their percentages (Kobe .351) and Lebron (.344) To put that in perspective it’s the difference of about 2 3-pointers on the season. The argument is based on the notion that Lebron’s points come from in the paint, where they should come from, after all, he IS a forward. Kobe makes more points from the backcourt, true, but he’s a shooting guard. That’s where he is supposed to score from. But let’s say I extended that fact into the argument that Kobe “can’t take it the whole.” How big of an idiot would that make me look like?

      2) The triangle offense worked for Jordan to get assists, not for Kobe. Also, Kobe is not lacking for shots. Wade was the only person this year to take more shots than him and no one did the three years prior. Let’s not pretend that Kobe’s problems come from not getting the ball enough. That’s demonstrably (and now demonstrated to be–twice!) wrong.

      No we can’t make assumptions about what if Lebron were in LA. You’re correct in saying so. However you make the same error in logic by assuming that Kobe would be doing better if he weren’t in LA. He touches the ball every time down court, and LA has more times down court than Cleveland. One could argue that both his superior teammates and the higher tempo HELP Kobe’s stats far more than the triangle “hurts” him.

      Comment by kelly — April 20, 2009 @ 1:35 pm | Reply

  63. I see where you’re coming from Kelly, but it’s still all speculation. The bottom line is LBJ plays the 1 guard as a SF so by default his stats SHOULD look like that. The triange is an offense meant to move the ball..period. That’s why it’s no surprise that the lakers as a TEAM led the league in assist. Kobe, broken finger and all, put up solid numbers even though he is not facilitating the game like a PG which Lebron has the luxury of doing. Lebron is not EXPECTED to shoot at his position, but a SF shouldn’t be dribbling the ball down the court facilitating the offense either. So since he plays different positions I think it’s ok for me and others when we want to judge his jump shot ability to do so. Lebron would not thrive in the Triangle offense in my opinion. Interesting point about the jump shooting; but from what I SEE Lebron’s Jump shot is streaky. I’m don’t need stats to quantify what I SEE on a night to night bases. The fact that Kobe can drive and shoot as a SG does not make it bad that Lebron as a 3 guard can drive but not shoot.

    Comment by Chidley — April 20, 2009 @ 10:21 pm | Reply

    • Chidley,

      Alright I’m seeing basically two different argument from you. 1) Lebron essentially plays a point forward so he is going to get more assists, 2) It’s OK for you and others to judge his jump shot which you perceive as not being very good and which you consider to be “streaky.”

      Let’s tackle them separately. Your first argument doesn’t wash for one very simple reason. Lebron does what he does because he can. Kobe fans want to dismiss what Lebron does because the so much of the offense goes through him. What they ignore is that the offense goes through him becuase he can do what he does. He’s a unique player in the history of the league that way. He’s 6′ 8″, has possibly the best court vision in the league, and is also, at lest by the players’ estimation, its most athletic player. It’s like saying that we shouldn’t count Howard’s rebounding becuase he’s a center and really big, really strong and can jump like a cricket. You can’t dismiss what a player does merely because he has the tools that enable him to do it. You say his stats “should” look like that but there’s never, ever been a player that played the SF position whose stats do look like that. You can make all the kinds of arguments you want about how Lebron would play in the triangle, but I’ll tell you straight up, Phil Jackson would have a field day if he found out Lebron were coming to LA. He wouldn’t try and shoe horn Lebron into the offense, he would adapt the offense to Lebron’s talents and abilities.

      Now, with the scoring thing. First, let’s take a step back and look at the big picture. During the regular season this year when all was said and done Kobe and Lebron both had the same scoring average. Also, both had essentially the same three point shooting percentage, separated by .7 percent. Now you can make some sort of argument about “from what you see Lebron’s jump shooting is streaky” but a) that’s subjective b) it’s subjective based on a very limited viewing experience, i.e. how many of Cleveland’s 82 games did you watch this year? and c) it’s irrelevant. If it’s streaky off then it’s streaky on. The bottom line is that you just can’t parse one type of scoring from another. When the game is over, if it’s 101-100 the team with 100 never wins if they made a higher percentage of their outside shots do they?

      Comment by kelly — April 22, 2009 @ 7:02 am | Reply

  64. chidley, your argument holds no water. you’re concluding about something that has never happened. lebron will not thrive in the triangle, are you kidding me? it’s always a lame excuse for kobe supporters that his assists are down ‘coz of the system. that is just bull crap. how come he is posting some good assist numbers lately? that’s because he has MATURED a lot. he can put up assists like lebron if he wants to BUT he choses not to. because he is what he is. kobe is a score. period. lebron is just better at everything else – scoring included. well, kobe is a much better perimeter shooter. but lebron is MUCH BETTER at taking it to the hole. bottom line, as what was obviously mentioned – field goals percentage. and seriously, let’s not fool our selves. lebron will eat kobe alive. and making the regular season this year as example is really pathetic. they both laid an egg. let’s wait till they meet in the finals and got at most 7 chances to showcase who is really the best (just to convince these blined and biased kobe supporters despite the VERY VERY OBVIOUS)… sometimes it’s really mind boggling how STUPID some people are for not seeing the reality.

    Comment by charles barkley — April 22, 2009 @ 2:23 am | Reply

  65. Hi Willy! Your head is hurting if you read all that…oh, and you’re welcome!

    Dee

    Comment by Dee — April 28, 2009 @ 1:44 am | Reply

  66. Kobe doesn’t get as many assists as he can because hes content to let his teammates become threats and create for their own. There is no stat for this but that’s why you see Kobe’s stats go up and down. Either he’s driving and kicking out trying to set up others or is content to take a backseat, let his teammates do damage on their own and conserve energy. There’s no doubting that lebron is having a better season stats wise. Lebron is in the prime of his career so he has more energy and a younger body. I’m not going to say that Kobe’s career is winding down because I dont think so. But he is definitely conserving energy for the playoffs and to keep his career longer. With the notion that lebron is in the prime of his career and Kobe is getting old, one would suspect that Lebron would have better numbers. I would also make the claim that no team in NBA history has built a team that is so dependent on one player as the cavs are with lebron. I can’t think of a stat for that either, so I guess you could say it’s not valid. But it is a legitimate point worth considering. Kobe’s team is stacked and thus they aren’t as dependent on him. Why would you force your will on the team for statistics if you are kobe? It would be stupid for kobe to really try to take a bigger role then needed just for stats. In response to kellys logic on lebron is having a better season statistically because he is better then kobe. So are you saying that if you put lebron on a team with shaq, AI, Vince Carter, and Barkley for example. That he would be better then kobe? Better then kobe as in, of course, having better statistics? Or would you put into consideration that Lebron wouldn’t have the ball enough to have good enough statistics to even compare to kobe?

    Comment by bryan — April 28, 2009 @ 5:05 pm | Reply

  67. Of course I would take those things into consideration. What your comment and rhetorical question ignore though Bryan, is that I have in the original argument.

    Comment by kelly — April 28, 2009 @ 7:27 pm | Reply

  68. bryan,

    kobe has the better supporting cast and puts up number less then lebron.

    when kobe has the same supporting cast or worse then lebron, he still puts up number less then lebron, but only beating lebron in points.

    lebrons averages are going to be consistent whether it be with a bunch of all stars or with a mediocre team.

    Comment by tyler — April 30, 2009 @ 2:59 pm | Reply

  69. “Kelly Says:
    April 22nd, 2009 at 7:16 am
    Three things on this reply Steven, and sorry I didn’t see it until now. .
    First, on the Triangle Offense thing. this seems to be the big mantra that must be getting pumped in LA. As I told Chidley though, Jackson would find a way to work the offense around James. Do you seriously believe he wouldn’t try and include James’ unparalleled vision and passing from the small forward spot into the game? The bottom line is that Kobe’s passing game is good, but not great. ‘

    Without a doubt Phil Jackson would use Lebron’s talents. That goes without saying. However, it is extremely important to factor in player/team personal. Again, let’s take the current roster and replace Kobe with Lebron and let’s look at this scenario using the starting 5 player, not the bench players.
    Lebron would have to know how to play with 2 back to the basket seven footers, whose primary scoring abilities revolve around playing by that basket. Pau and Andrew are not BigZ, both those players cannot shoot 18-19 footers on a nightly basis. Do the Lakers decide at this point to become an ally-opp team for 82 games?
    Ariza and or Walton are not known consistent knock down 20+ foot jump shooters. Fisher would probably be the only reliable outside shooter.
    Essentially the game plan is changed for the Lakers at this point. Do they let Lebron spend all game driving to the inside, which is already occupied by two seven foot men. Or do the Lakers use Lebron as a cutter on dunks and backdoor screen and lobs? Or, do they use Lebron as an outside shooter because the paint is already occupied by two very tall guys?

    The Lakers, with Lebron and the current roster would not play under the same principles that Mike Brown employs at Cleveland. Extremely different teams with different strengths.

    “Second, you’re seriously using a stat that shows the Williams-West-James-Wallace-Ilgauskas unit is the best five man unit in the NBA against Lebron? And then, you’re the one talking about fallacy? Uhm, talk about backwards reasoning! I would venture to say that the fact that West, Williams, Wallace and Ilgauskas are made to fill out the rest of the best lineup in the NBA is proof enough of that. ”

    No, I am using the stat that shows Cleveland’s best winning percentage 5 man unit that INCLUDES Lebron. The stat shows that for the year (at least the reference date when I used the stat) the teammates that play with Lebron do not show individual positive production. The stat shows that playing with Lebron these players overall contributions, stat wise, is down from the previous year. This essentially goes against the belief that Lebron makes his team mates better. Negative production from the teammate is not positive growth.

    “Third, and I really don’t understand why you are having trouble grasping this, I’m not saying that Lebron is better because he has better stats. I’m saying he has better stats because he is better. Lebron gets more assists because he is a better passer. Ignoring the stats is not bad logic and reasoning, it’s setting logic and”

    Kelly, you cannot provide a thesis statement of “If we want to argue about who the better player is we need to look at the stats, plain and simple.” and then try and explain that you are not using stats to prove that Lebron is better when a majority of your original post contains various resources to both players stats.
    All the stats tell me is that Lebron is playing as the main focal point in the Cavs offense and he constantly has the ball in his hands for 23 of the 24 second clock. You give anyone enough time to do something with the ball and they will. You ask one player to do everything they possibly can on their team and you get the production you see from Lebron. The fact of the matter is that Kobe is not asked to be the main assist guy on the Lakers, Kobe is not asked to be the main rebounder on the Lakers, Kobe is not asked to be the end all be all for the Lakers. Therefore, he is not. This fact results in Kobe not producing the same stats that we see in Lebron.

    Lebron does not get more assists because he is better then Kobe Kelly. I can’t understand why you are having trouble grasping this. If you want to look at assists then Jose Calderon is better then Kobe and Lebron because he averaged 8.9 assists per game.
    That number is entirely better then what Kobe or Lebron can do. I have never seen Kobe average 8 assists per game. I have never seen Lebron average 8 assists per game. This clearly points to the fact that Jose Calderon is better then Lebron James and Kobe Bryant.

    How do you think Phil Jackson would use Jose’s talents on the Lakers?

    Comment by steven — April 30, 2009 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

  70. “# Tyler Says:
    April 30th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Bryan,

    Kobe has the better supporting cast and puts up number less then Lebron.

    when Kobe has the same supporting cast or worse then Lebron, he still puts up number less then Lebron, but only beating Lebron in points.

    Lebron’s averages are going to be consistent whether it be with a bunch of all stars or with a mediocre team.”

    That is not true Tyler. You are making the assumption that Lebron somehow has some magical ability to allow his teammates to score points. This are no facts to support this and Lebron has not played on any other team with different players where those players soem how became better scorers. Lebron gets assists because his teammates can shoot outside shots. Plain and simple.
    Also, to refute the whole Kobe has a better supporting cast look at the side by side compairions between the 4 players that start with the Cavs and Lakers.
    Both Williams and West are better then Ariza and Fisher and there is no huge disparity between BigZ and Bynum. I’ll leave Wallace out of the equation because he is a bum.

    Fisher: 9.9ppg(42fg%), 3.2APG, 2.3RPG
    West: 11.7ppg(45fg%), 3.5APG, 3.2RPG

    Ariza: 8.9ppg(46fg%), 3.2APG, 4.3RPG
    William: 17.8ppg(46fg%), 4.1APG, 3.4RPG

    Gasol: 18.9ppg(56fg%), 3.5APG, 9.6RPG
    BigZ; 12.9ppg(47fg%), 1.0APG, 7.5RPG

    Bynum: 14.3ppg(56fg%), 1.4APG, 8.0RPG
    Wallace: 2.9ppg(44fg%), 0.8APG, 6.5RPG

    Comment by steven — April 30, 2009 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

  71. Steven,

    First you need to understand the distinction between what I’m saying and what you’re saying and honestly I’m beginning to believe that you are to blinded by your position to see the difference. I can not put it more plainly than I already have, Lebron is not better because he puts up better stats, he puts up better stats becuase he is a better player. The thing you keep ignoring is that obviously Lebron’s stats are enormously better and throughout the article my whole point was to take into consideration the different variables and compensate for those things. Now you’re asking me to account a second time. Meanwhile you’re trying to penalize Lebron for being good at what he is good at, i.e. passing, driving to the hole etc. while inflating the areas of the game Kobe is good at. In short your saying I’m skewing the stats because I’m not skewing them. I don’t think you realize this because you are blind to how much your own bias is distorting your view.

    I’ve taken time to respond specifically to your arguments, yet you completely ignore my responses and keep typing the same response. I honestly don’t understand how you can type with your fingers in your ears but I commend you for the talent. You’re deliberately distorting anything and everything I say. I just don’t think you’re being intellectually honest at this point and I don’t even think you realize it.

    To compare my argument with saying that Calderon is better than Kobe is a perfect example of this. It’s clearly an outright distortion because I never reduced things to a single statistic.

    You say that the game goes through Lebron and that’s why he gets more assists. I keep responding to you that the reason the game goes through Lebron is that it can, which is unique for a forward. It can because his court vision and passing ability are purely and uniquely special. I also respond that Kobe does take more shots than anyone in the league over the last five years, clearly showing that he touches the ball plenty, disproving your notion that the reason Kobe doesn’t have more assists is that he doesn’t touch the ball as much. Kobe is a magnificent shooter but a lot of times he forces shots when someone is open. He could both raise his field goal percentage and his assist total if he had the vision that Lebron has.

    I think your response to Tyler is a good representation of distorting stats. You say that Williams and West are “better” than Ariza and Fisher and then put up the stats. You put West (SG) next to Fisher (PG). You put Ariza (SF) next to Williams (PG) you compare Gasol and Big Z which is fair enough and Bynum and Wallace (who isn’t starting). Anyway in your comparison Fisher and West are pretty close to identical in their stats yet you say West is “better”. Then you say there is “no huge disparity between Big Z and Bynum” and in your side by side you show Big Z next to Gasol. Still however you take it, let’s just say this much. Fisher, Ariza and Bynum, to Z, West, and Williams is more or less a wash. So the 4th, 5th and 6th best players on the Lakers compare favorably with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th best payers on the Cavs. You make that comparison without even realizing that your essentially leaving Gasol and Odom out of the picture. Who cares if Odom doesn’t start! He’s the 3rd best player the Lakers have.

    So the next time you want to lecture on these sorts of things I think you need to take the log out of your own eye first Steven.

    Comment by kelly — May 1, 2009 @ 7:47 am | Reply

  72. Kelly,
    Lebron is a truly unique player in the league because of his physical attributes, not because of his basketball knowledge. Ask yourself this question; would Lebron be able to do what he does if he was Kobe’s size with Kobe’s bad knee? Would Lebron be able to do what he does if he did not have the physical abilities that he possesses?
    The Answer to those questions is, no he wouldn’t.
    I hope it doesn’t happen, but what type of player would Lebron be after a major knee injury?

    I think that Lebron is the most physically athletic player in the league and he plays a great game of basketball. However he IS NOT BETTER THEN KOBE because his game is missing a couple of things.

    In the game of basketball Kelly, a player has to posses GREAT ABILITY in ALL ASPECTS of the game to be considered one of the greats. Right now there is a slight difference between Kobe and Lebron. That difference is that Lebron cannot shoot the ball at all. I know it is slight but it is a difference non the less that separates the two players.

    Kobe can do everything that Lebron can do.
    Kobe can rebound
    Kobe can pass the ball
    Kobe can play defense
    Kobe can play just about anywhere on the court on both sides of the ball. Does he do it all the time? No, but then again he doesn’t have too. He is surrounded by a very good team that allows him to trust his teammates which he didn’t do in the past because his past teams sucked (after the Shaq years).

    Kelly I understand what you are saying in your subsequent posts. I keep referencing your original post since that is your thesis statement and the purpose of this blog post.
    In that thesis statement you stated that Lebron is better then Kobe and here are the stats to prove it. Which is fine.
    However, you did not factor in the team system that Kobe plays in compared to Lebron. Those differing systems are going to have an end result on those stats. Lebron is getting the stats he is getting because he is asked to do everything for that team. Mike Brown himself said that the entire offense revolves around him. Lebron has the athletic ability to accomplish those tasks for his team. However, Lebron is not completing those task because he is better then Kobe. That is a stretch of the truth Kelly. Is Lebron an efficient player? For this season, yes he is. But again, that doesn’t make him better then Kobe. All it does is prove that he is an efficient player, that is all.

    My facetious comparison between Calderon, Lebron, and Kobe was to prove that stats alone do not prove the entire story. Which you are basically saying in your entire original blog post. I’ll paraphrase your thesis statement for you.
    “Lebron is better then Kobe, and here are the statistical analysis samples to prove it”. This is what you are saying Kelly. Again, I respect your opinion. However, your opinion is incorrect.
    That is why I provided the example of Jose Calderon to disprove your statement of “Lebron gets more assists because he is a better passer.” Lebron is not a better passer, Lebron is the Cavaliers point guard and it is his responsibility to pass the ball to his teammates when they are open. This is no different to what Dwayne Wade, Baron Davis, Rajon Rondo, Jason Kidd, Jose Calderon, Steve Nash, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul are doing.

    My response to Tyler was to provide a starting 5 versus starting 5 side by side comparison. It was to prove that Lebron’s starting 4 players are just as good as Kobe’s starting 4 players. There is no huge difference between both sets of players. I mentioned Wallace over Varajao since Wallace has been the primary starter for most of the season (prior to injury). In the same manner that Bynum was the primary starter for the Lakers (prior to injury). I did this to disprove this ongoing myth that somehow the Lakers are filled with all-star players. Which is a stupid belief in the first place since the all-star voting is a popularity vote rather then to a true talent vote. The Cavs are not a team of scrubs. The Cavs won 66 games this year. That is no easy feat. Contrary to popular belief, those 66 wins were accomplished by team play and effort. Those 7 assist per game that Lebron averaged were not just given to him by the NBA because he is such a nice guy. Those 7 assists per game were accomplished because his teammates were hitting their shots when given the ball. Lebron is able to get those assist because the Cavs play a fairly straight forward form of offense.
    Give Lebron the ball at the top somewhere, the shooters spread out to their spots on the floor, Lebron runs forward to a certain spot on the court and waits for the defense to collapse on him, once the defense collapses on him that means that one of his teammates are open, Lebron throws the ball to that teammate, that teammate then shoots a wide open shot. This is called basketball 101. It works, it’s effective, and it’s easy. There is no hyperbole, or “legendary court vision”, or “ZOMG LEBRON MADE A PASS THAT NO ONE IN THE NBA HAS EVER MADE BEFORE”, or “WOW, look, Lebron just invented passing the ball in the NBA”.

    It is straight forward, simple, effective basketball Kelly. This form of basketball has been in the NBA for the past 60 years.

    I’m going to leave the plank in my eye because I have no reason to remove it. Thank you very much Kelly. =)

    Comment by steven — May 1, 2009 @ 12:14 pm | Reply

  73. Steven, I’m done arguing with because you simply aren’t open minded. You keep repeating arguments that I’ve addressed without even acknowledging that I’ve addressed them. Who wants to have a conversation like at.

    I’ll put it simply for you. You think Kobe is better because he plays for the Lakers.

    Comment by kelly — May 1, 2009 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  74. steven, you are such a homer. kobe can’t score 50 points and dish out 10 assists. kobe can’t average 32 pts, 11 rebs and 7.5 assists in a PLAYOFF game. lebron will feed and feed and feed and feed shaq if he has a shaq down low. kobe can’t ever reach a PER of 39.333 in the PLAYOFFS, or 31+ in the regular season, or even above 25. kobe can’t take it to the hole against against a CELTICS defense like lebron does. and if ever lebron blows a knee, he will be playing like magic johnson. if he gets older, he will be playing like karl malone. what’s not? kobe can’t put up statistcs like lebron ‘COZ HE CAN’T AND HE NEVER HAS AND NEVER WILL. his greatest feat is a 35 ppg season, translate it to PER and it is 28.0, on the same year, lebron had a PER of 28.1. no shit, you talk like a typical laker homer who does not possess any objectivity. if lebron has bynum, gasol, and odom, he will average at least 12 assists per game, because he will draw so much attention that you’ll have gasol, bynum and odom scrambling on the weakside or if lebron always plays the high post, it’s over. darn, i hated reading your ignorant responses. don’t post again.

    Comment by charles barkley — May 2, 2009 @ 2:22 am | Reply

  75. I’m going to make my response as brief as possible.

    Lebron-better passer, better team player, more athletic, better stats, 1 finals appearance, rookie of the year, potential MVP for this season

    Kobe-better scorer, better shooter, better ball handler, better on-ball defense, 3 championship rings, 5 finals appearances, reigning MVP.

    And for those of you that say those 3 championships should only be credited to Shaq, might I remind you that Shaq was in foul trouble in many of those games, which enabled Kobe to take over the game. Shaq was just too dominant to top for even the greatest players. People overlook Kobe’s contributions because he didnt receive Finals MVP. At the end of the day, with or without Shaq, that is still 3 championships that Lebron doesnt have.

    I know that Lebron still has time, but this is a lot to accomplish in even 13 years.

    I do give LBJ credit as being the better passer and better team player of the two. However, those are the only two skills that must be acquired over time. Many times people mistake athleticism for skill. Anyone who really watches LBJ’s game realizes that a majority of his points come from fastbreak dunks(jumping ability and speed) and free throw line (an indication of his unreal strength). Don’t get me wrong, LBJ is a great scorer, but doesn’t create his shots with nearly the ease that Kobe does.

    Not that brief, I guess.

    Comment by Marcellus Chamberlain — May 4, 2009 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

  76. And to the poster that said LBJ is killing Kobe at age 24, he is also killing Michael Jordan at age 24 in stats. So are we ignorant enough to say that LBJ is more skilled than MJ himself? This proves the invalidity of statistics.

    Comment by Marcellus Chamberlain — May 4, 2009 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  77. Marcellus,

    You don’t give Lebron enough credit. He’s actually a better scorer in the paint than Kobe. He’s scored more points at his age than Kobe had. Kobe might be a better on the ball defender but Lebron is a better off the ball defender. I also think Lebron is a better

    And yes, I do give credit to Shaq for those rings. It’s silly not to. Who won MVP? I’m sort of thinking if Lebron had been playing with one of the most dominant big men in the history of the game the last few years he might have a ring or two. It’s ludicrous to compare team accomplishments when the teams have so much disparity. Why don’t you just argue that Hory is one of the greatest players in the history of the game becuase of “all the rings he has.” His specious, plain and simple.

    Finally, comparing LBJs stats with MJs doesn’t prove the invalidity of stats, it proves the validity of LBJ.

    Comment by kelly — May 4, 2009 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  78. “Steven, I’m done arguing with because you simply aren’t open minded. You keep repeating arguments that I’ve addressed without even acknowledging that I’ve addressed them. Who wants to have a conversation like at.I’ll put it simply for you. You think Kobe is better because he plays for the Lakers.”

    Kelly I am open minded. I am just not accepting to your opinion. I think it is false. I respect what you wrote, however, I am unable to agree to it.

    Here is a different perspective about the two players Kelly.

    Lebron is an aberration. Players his size should not be able to do what he does. It really is impressive. Lebron’s issue rest within Lebron. He has been in the league for 5 year. Let’s add up his high school years (4) and his NBA years together; we get 9. In those 9 years one very glaring fact stands out about Lebron. That fact is that he has not changed his game. He still plays basketball the way he played it in high school. We do not hear it from all the analysts and truth Sayers of the NBA, but the fact is that Lebron has not changed his game. He has not elevated his game. Lebron is still doing the same things he was doing in high school. He dominated high school because he was so physically gifted. he is dominating the NBA because he is physically gifted. The rebounds and scoring you see are accomplished through his athletic talent. It’s not basketball talent or basketball knowledge, it’s athletic talent. The assists that you see are from coaching and practice. Coach Brown tells Lebron “Hey Lebron, you run to this side of the court with the ball and West, Williams, and BigZ will be standing right in these spots. You throw them the ball and they’ll shoot it”.
    As I mentioned previously, that is straight forward, smart basketball. It’s effective and it will allow any team to win games. Lebron accomplishes what he accomplishes through physical talent not greatness. Learn to identify the difference.

    Lebron is not better then anyone in the NBA. He is physically gifted.

    Kobe came into the league as a scrawny 6’4″ kid that barely weighed 200lbs. He grew a bit and put on a couple more pounds. He was a raw talent that people knew could play well. Once he became a starter for the Lakers in the 99-00 season he pushed his game further and further. He developed skills that he did not posses when he came into the league. He learned how to become an unstoppable player in this game not because of his physical abilities, but by his basketball knowledge. Kobe worked to become a great player by effort, will, determination, desire, and commitment. He worked hard so that he would be able to do everything there is to do on a basketball court. Kobe has worked to become a great player and quiet possibly one of the greatest players in the history of basketball. Again, he did not get there through sheer athletic ability. Kobe has become a really good player because of his effort to become a great player.

    That is the real difference between the two players. One player had to push himself to become great and the other player is just jumping over people. One player has incredible athletic ability and the other player has incredible basktball knowledge. One player was born with all the necessary physical atributes to excel and the other player had to work hard to get to where he is at.

    I would like to share a nice quote from 20secondtimeout.com:
    “Briefly restating the main idea, it should be evident to anyone who is paying attention that most of the players on Team USA benefited greatly by having Kobe as a teammate. LeBron and Wade have noticeably improved their commitment to playing defense and everyone associated with Team USA commented about Kobe’s maniacal work ethic in the weight room and on the practice court. Not too long ago, I saw a quote from Cavs’ GM Danny Ferry that stated that LeBron got a good look at exactly how hard Kobe works and since it is LeBron’s goal to be the best player he has taken to heart what he has to do to try to match Kobe. ”
    source: http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/2009/03/kobe-bryant-perception-versus-reality.html

    Comment by steven — May 4, 2009 @ 5:08 pm | Reply

    • Steven,

      Also, I don’t say you are closed minded because you disagree. I say you are closed minded because of the way you disagree. An open mined person considers the arguments being made. A closed minded person ignores them and proceeds to shout the same arguments again and again. I’ve responded your arguments but you don’t consider those arguments.

      Your diatribe on how Kobe worked hard to become a great player while Lebron hasn’t worked on his game at all shows ignorance in both directions. I won’t say that Kobe doesn’t have a work ethic, it’s legendary, but it’s far too much to say that Lebron hasn’t worked on his game. You speak as though you are in the know and the rest of the basketball world is not. The fact is that Lebron has worked on his game and does work on his game. You also miss the boat when you suggest that Kobe ame into the league with virtually no expectations. From his first year the media was adoring him and proclaiming him the next Michael Jordan.

      Comment by kelly — May 5, 2009 @ 3:43 pm | Reply

  79. charles barkley Says:
    May 2nd, 2009 at 2:22 am
    “steven, you are such a homer. kobe can’t score 50 points and dish out 10 assists. kobe can’t average 32 pts, 11 rebs and 7.5 assists in a PLAYOFF game.”
    You are probably right. Kobe might not be able to get those number. But who says that he needs to?

    ” lebron will feed and feed and feed and feed shaq if he has a shaq down low.”
    And based on how assists are recorded Lebron’s assists average will drop considerably. Also, since Lebron is a horrible outside shooter his FG% and scoring would drop considerably. I am not a fan of PER, but to appease your perspective this would cause Lebron’s PER to drop as well.

    ” kobe can’t ever reach a PER of 39.333 in the PLAYOFFS, or 31+ in the regular season, or even above 25.”
    So

    ” kobe can’t take it to the hole against against a CELTICS defense like lebron does.”
    So.
    Lebron can’t shoot an outside shot to save his life. Take the current rules out on how defense is allowed to be played against players like Lebron and Lebron can’t take it to the hole against against a CELTICS defense like lebron does.

    “and if ever lebron blows a knee, he will be playing like magic johnson. if he gets older, he will be playing like karl malone”
    I doubt that. You want me to believe that Lebron is going to reinvent himself after a possible major knee injury the way Karl did? In one season or 1 off season?
    You forget that Karl already possesed a jump shot during his early years. Whereas Lebron does not.

    “what’s not? kobe can’t put up statistcs like lebron ‘COZ HE CAN’T AND HE NEVER HAS AND NEVER WILL. his greatest feat is a 35 ppg season, translate it to PER and it is 28.0, on the same year, lebron had a PER of 28.1. no shit, you talk like a typical laker homer who does not possess any objectivity. if lebron has bynum, gasol, and odom, he will average at least 12 assists per game, because he will draw so much attention that you’ll have gasol, bynum and odom scrambling on the weakside or if lebron always plays the high post, it’s over. darn, i hated reading your ignorant responses. don’t post again.”

    There is no way Lebron averages 12 assists on a Lakers team that runs the triangle offense. It is totally impossible. Also, based on how assists are recorded, when a player takes two or more dribbles after a pass, and scores, the initial pass cannot be counted as an assist since that pass did not immeditely lead to a score. Pretty much that has been an essential basketball rule that has been in a league since a very long time ago. Power forwards and centers score by feel. They have to see where their defender is at first before they make thier offensive move. Normally that move can take 2 to maybe 4 seconds. By rule an assist cannot be recorded on that type of score.
    I am a Lakers fan, and I really like Lamar. However, he is a horribly inconsistent player. Getting consistent jump shooting from him over the course of 82 games is not likely. He’ll provide everything else, just not outside scoring.
    The rest of your statment rests to heavily on supposition and possibilities. Not fact.

    Here’s a cool question for you. What happens when Pau, Andrew, and Lamar don’t hit their outside shots when Lebron passes them the ball? What would Lebron’s assists numbers look like after that? Or are you imagining that the Lakers would become and ally-oop team for 48 minutes every game? We could call it the triangle-ally-oop-offense, that has a nice ring to it.

    Comment by steven — May 4, 2009 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  80. “kelly Says:
    May 4th, 2009 at 2:55 pm
    Marcellus,
    You don’t give Lebron enough credit. He’s actually a better scorer in the paint than Kobe. He’s scored more points at his age than Kobe had. Kobe might be a better on the ball defender but Lebron is a better off the ball defender. I also think Lebron is a better”

    Kelly I have already provided proof that Lebron is not a better scorer then Kobe. Below is a post I made in this blog back on March 30, 2009. My source is from NBA .com (http://www.nba.com/hotspots/ as of 3.26.09) .
    Here is my reponse from that post that states that Kobe is in fact a better scorer around the paint.

    At the time Lebron was “shooting” 39% around the paint compared to Kobe’s 46%.

    LBJ
    Total shots taken 1388
    Inside the paint: 428/702
    (702-428=274/702*100=) %39.0

    Outside the paint 251/686
    (686-251=435/686=*100= )%63.4
    ===========================
    Kobe
    Total shots taken= 1504

    Inside the paint: 409/763
    763-409=354/763=0.46*100= %46.0

    Outside the paint: 296/741
    763-296=467/763=0.612*100= %61.2

    Outside shot attempts difference between Kobe to Lebron.
    741-686=56/741=0.074*100=%7.4
    (source:http://www.nba.com/hotspots/ as of 3.26.09)

    Comment by steven — May 4, 2009 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  81. Steven, I like how you say LeBron is an awful outside shooter, yet…

    LBJ: 3PM-3PA 1.6-4.7 3P% .344

    KB: 3PM-3PA 1.4-4.1 3P% .351

    “Lebron can’t shoot an outside shot to save his life.”

    Apparently, he can. Oops.

    Also, I don’t think you watch the Cavs very much. If you saw them play, you would see LeBron making passes you’d be hard pressed to find many other NBA players making. You’d also hear constant commentary on how LeBron has fantastic court vision. I pretty sure NBA commentators know better than you. He’s a stellar passer, better than Kobe, and if you want to blame that on the offensive system and not regard statistics, then so be it, but that doesn’t change the fact that he outshines Kobe in passing. As well as all of the areas mentioned in the article (which I enjoyed immensely, by the way Kelly, thanks). Your stubborn, Laker-fan mentality is blinding you from realizing the truth. You’ve been lowered to dredging up lousy excuses for why LeBron puts up the numbers he does, rather than realizing that he simply can do more, better. You pass off why Kobe doesn’t do as much as LeBron because “he doesn’t need to.” The reality is that Kobe cannot do as much as LeBron, making LeBron overall, the better basketball player. And football player.

    Comment by Sam — May 4, 2009 @ 8:48 pm | Reply

  82. Sam Says:
    May 4th, 2009 at 8:48 pm
    Steven, I like how you say LeBron is an awful outside shooter, yet…
    LBJ: 3PM-3PA 1.6-4.7 3P% .344
    KB: 3PM-3PA 1.4-4.1 3P% .351
    “Lebron can’t shoot an outside shot to save his life.”
    Apparently, he can. Oops.”
    ————————————————

    Those are stand still 3 point shots. Go here http://www.nba.com/hotspots/ Look up Cavaliers>Lebron James>2008-09 Regular Season>Season. Do the same thing for Kobe.
    Look at the percentages and and shots taken in the breakdown of where both players shoot the ball and how frequently they make those shots.
    The math points to Lebron’s inability to consistently hit outside shots.

    Also, in and around the paint, including the restricted area, Kobe has a higher shooting percentage then Lebron. All of Lebron’s points come from dunks and layups.

    If Cleaveland “Lebronses” fans want to hang their hat on Lebron being a better passer then Kobe, so be it.

    Lebron with is a better passer then Kobe. But guess what Dwayne Wade, Baron Davis, Rajon Rondo, Jason Kidd, Jose Calderon, Steve Nash, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul are all better then Lebron because they get more assists then Lebron. Their higher number of assists clearly mean that they do a better job of making their teammates better then Lebron James does.

    Comment by steven — May 5, 2009 @ 11:03 am | Reply

    • Steven,

      Your saying Kobe s a better shooter both in and out of the paint, yet Lebron has a higher field goal percentage. Would you mind telling me what there is that is neither in nor out of the paint where Lebron is making up the difference? Clearly there’s something either wrong with your numbers or your logic.

      Comment by kelly — May 5, 2009 @ 3:28 pm | Reply

  83. Kelly,

    I do feel that I’ve given Lebron credit where it is due. As I mentioned, he is the better passer of the two, better shot blocker & rebounder, better athelete, and the better team player. If I were to break down all of the more detailed components of the game, it would be apparent that Kobe is better than LBJ in most of these areas. Kobe is a slightly better ball handler, far better jump shooter, better scorer, better overall defender(not just on-ball), better playmaker in the clutch, and much more consistent.

    I must say there are moments when Kobe goes into shooting slumps, but he always redeems himself the next game, if not the same game.

    And please do not attack me for saying so but: In my opinion, defense is the most overrated aspect of LBJ’s game. Dont get me wrong, he is an excellent shot blocker and he plays the passing lanes very well. But when is the last time we have seen him guard the best player on the opposing team and successfully guard them? I have seen in many instances where just borderline average players would go right around him and score like he wasn’t even there for almost an entire game. EX. Gerald Wallace-Bobcats (I don’t remember which game it was, but if you go back and watch the game you will know exactly what I mean.)

    Kobe, on the other hand, rarely hesitates to guard the best player on the other team. During the Olympics this summer, who was used as the defensive specialist for the U.S.? Certainly, not LBJ-none other than the Black Mamba, himself.

    As for the comment about Robert Horry, you can’t honestly tell me that Robert Horry’s role for the Lakers was of nearly the same importance of Kobe’s. Sure Horry hit big shots in cluth situations, but so did Kobe. I don’t think that people give Kobe enough credit for his accomplishments in L.A. during their championship run(2000-02). We always say that Kobe couldn’t win one without Shaq, but would Shaq win any without Kobe? No.

    1995 NBA Finals Houston Rockets:4 Orlando Magic:0
    Key Player:Shaq

    Even in 2006, Shaq needed Dwayne Wade to get a ring.

    So don’t just make it seem as if Kobe just freeloaded from those three rings.

    Currently, Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA. He may not have had a better season than Lebron, but he is still the more skilled. In the years to come, it is hard to believe that he won’t surpass Kobe’s skill level, but he definitely has his work cut out for him.

    Sorry for such a long post.

    Comment by Marcellus Chamberlain — May 5, 2009 @ 11:17 am | Reply

    • Marcelus,

      I think you’re being facetious. Of course Kobe played a role, but your sort of missing the blaring point here, Kobe had Shaq, and you’re acting like Shaq is irrelevant. Without him Kobe hasn’t won anything. Lebron’s never had anything close to that kind of talent on his team, yet he’s taken his team to the finals.

      Also, if you’re going to argue about your personal observations then you better make sure your observations are universal. Lebron has frequently, and successfully, guarded the best player on the opposing team. Also, there’s been more times than Kobe fans like to admit that Kobe got torched while guarding a star.

      Comment by kelly — May 5, 2009 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

  84. Kelly,

    I understand Shaq’s huge importance to the team at the time, I was basically saying that Shaq still needed Kobe despite of his dominance.

    I agree that leading an almost talent-less team to the NBA Finals at age 22 is a great accomplishment on Lebron’s part, but we must see the situation for what it was. Not to take anything away from him, because he still played phenomenally for most of that postseason. I absolutely commend Lebron and the Cavs for defeating the Pistons (the only real competition) that year. Lebron made that game a historic game 6 with his performance. But the Cavaliers were in the Eastern Conference (the weaker conference in the NBA). The Cavs being the 2nd seed that year (50-32)would have been the 6th seed in the West. Let’s also remember that the Spurs swept the Cavaliers. Every team that the Spurs played in the Western Conference won at least one game. Thus proving that aside from the Pistons, the Cavs basically cruised through the East. Lebron James averaged 22 ppg (his postseason low), 7 turnovers, shot 36% from the field, 69% from the line, and 20% from the outside. Lebron played his worst basketball of that season in the NBA Finals. Kobe Bryant would never play his worst basketball during the NBA Finals. Neither would he allow his team to be swept. So for you to make a case about Lebron leading them to the Finals is irrevelant simply because he played horribly and they were swept.

    Not that I’m doubting that Kobe has never been outplayed while guarding the star player because I know he has, but please do elaborate on these moments that Kobe was “torched” while guarding the star player. (Examples)

    Once again sorry for such a long post.

    Comment by Marcellus Chamberlain — May 6, 2009 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

  85. And by Steven saying that Kobe elevated his game more than Lebron I dont think he was questioning Lebron’s work ethic. I believe he was just saying that Kobe would have obviously had to work harder to succeed in the NBA. (Lebron having the physical and athletic edge over him) I just believe that Lebron shines more from a statistical standpoint. Lebron makes highlights, which are only important for when they are made, Kobe makes historical plays, which last forever.

    I will take Kobe hitting a game winning shot in the playoffs over Lebron doing a random windmill anyday.

    Comment by Marcellus Chamberlain — May 6, 2009 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  86. I really don’t think that Steven is in a position to judge how hard the two had to work. Kobe also had some huge benefits. He’s had a stable coaching environment, a father who was an NBA player, and the advantage of playing with hall of famers, none of which Lebron has had.

    What Kobe would or wouldn’t do in the finals is a bit hard to say. I imagine some people would argue he wouldn’t “let” his team get obliterated in an NBA final the way he did. As far as Lebron getting shut down by what was then the best defensive team in the NBA when he had no viable alternatives on offense says a lot about how much he did for the team.

    My point in this entire discussion is that any discussion of rings is moot in that when you compare the level of talenit they’ve had surrounding them there is nothing close to make it an honest conversation.

    Let”s rather discuss what they did when they didn’t have talent. Lebron led his team to get swept in the finals while Kobe failed to get his team to the playoffs and demanded to either get talent or be traded.

    And I seem to recall Allen having some big games against Kobe and the Lakers in the finals last year.

    Comment by kelly — May 6, 2009 @ 5:18 pm | Reply

  87. kelly Says:
    May 5th, 2009 at 3:28 pm
    Steven,

    Your saying Kobe s a better shooter both in and out of the paint, yet Lebron has a higher field goal percentage. Would you mind telling me what there is that is neither in nor out of the paint where Lebron is making up the difference? Clearly there’s something either wrong with your numbers or your logic.

    ===============================================

    Kelly go here http://www.nba.com/hotspots/ and look up the regular season totals for Lebron James. This site tracks where a player makes their shot attempts. This site is from the National Basketball Association so it does have some weight with regard to accuracy. As you bring up the numbers for Lebron add up the shots attempted which are listed in the site, you will see that Lebron attempted 1575 shots for the 08-09 regular season total. Of that 1575, 629 occurred in the restricted area around the basketball rim, I.e. the dunking and layup area (it is physically impossible to dunk the ball 5 feet or more from the rim.)
    If you do the overall math between the total attempted shot count and the attempted shot count in the restricted area the math comes out to about 60%.

    So 60% of Lebron’s “Shot” attempts occur in the restricted area. These “Shot” attempts, which he scores on, are factored into a players “field goal percentage”.

    Scoring in the “Painted Area” is as the word applies. Any score that is successful in the painted free throw shooting area. Again, using the same http://www.nba.com/hotspots/ website do a lookup for Kobe. Look at the percentages for his scoring in the painted area.
    Now look at Lebron’s “Shooting” percentages.

    I’ll provide the numbers for the other readers (note; the http://www.nba.com/hotspots/ website breaks down the painted area and restricted area into 4 separate quadrants).

    Lebron “Shooting percentage”:
    Restricted area; 68%
    Left Side post: 32%
    Free throw line: 36%
    Right side post: 25%

    Kobe “Shooting percentage”:
    Restricted area; 62%
    Left Side post: 38%
    Free throw line: 55%
    Right side post: 40%

    Math totals would point to Kobe being a more successful scorer in the paint.

    Go one step further and look at the numbers between both players in the “mid-range” jump shooting area. Lebron has 420 shot attempts compared to Kobe’s 512.

    Comment by steven — May 6, 2009 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

  88. “Kelly Says:
    May 5th, 2009 at 3:43 pm
    Steven,
    Also, I don’t say you are closed minded because you disagree. I say you are closed minded because of the way you disagree. An open mined person considers the arguments being made. A closed minded person ignores them and proceeds to shout the same arguments again and again. I’ve responded your arguments but you don’t consider those arguments. ”

    Kelly,
    I cannot accept your theory that Lebron is “Better” then Kobe. It is just an impossibility for me. I say this not as a Lakers fan, but as a fan of basketball for over 30 years. Kobe has achieved his stature in the league and in league history via work ethic and determination. Not through god gifted, Arnold Schwarzenegger, terminator like, athletic ability.

    If your original statement is Lebron is more gifted, or Lebron is having a better year, or Lebron will have more MVP seasons then Kobe, I would accept that. I would still provide my counter arguments to some of your points. But I would still consider a perspective on those matters more plausible then “Lebron is better then Kobe”.

    Kobe’s 12 year opus has already provided us with proof of his greatness and ability. Lebron has not yet done that in his 5 year ditty. Will lebron be the next great American anthem?
    Of course he will.

    Right now he is still trying to sell his CDs from the trunk of his car.

    Comment by steven — May 6, 2009 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

  89. kelly Says:
    May 6th, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    I really don’t think that Steven is in a position to judge how hard the two had to work. Kobe also had some huge benefits. He’s had a stable coaching environment, a father who was an NBA player, and the advantage of playing with hall of famers, none of which Lebron has had. ”

    Kelly my work ethic reference was to point out that Kobe is maniacal when it comes to preperation. Kobe goes to the El Segundo Practice facility at 4am during practice days. During injuries he stays up ALL NIGHT LONG to receive treatment. Remember last season when Lebron hurt his finger on his non-shooting hand and sat out a few games? Kobe played with a torn ligament in his shooting hand. (he also played in the olympics that year, forgoing surgery). Does Lebron train during practice and the season to get better? Of course he does. But where do we see it in his game? He still can’t hit consistent outside shots, his free throw shooting is bad, and he is still playing the same way he played when he first came into the league.

    If anything I’ll say he played more defense this year and pushed himself to get better in that area. Which is odd because his steals, rebounds and blocks per game are all relatively the same as last year. Although he did average 1 block per game this year.

    Comment by steven — May 6, 2009 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

  90. I never questioned Kobe’s work ethic. You seem to question Lebron’s though, suggesting that he is a mere product of natural ability and raw talent whereas Kobe is a product of hard work. To my mind they are both extraordinary in both regards.

    And my thesis is that at this point of both their careers Lebron is better. I demonstrated my reasoning. Your manner of debate does not take into honest consideration the reasonings I gave, it attempts to spin, to raise up red herrings and straw men. It’s intellectually dishonest and it’s why I think you are closed minded. I’m tired of this kind of debate with you.

    Comment by kelly — May 6, 2009 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  91. Kelly,

    First of all, I wouldn’t ever consider the Cavaliers a team without talent. I mean they had most of the same players that they have now. (Big Z, Anderson Varajeo, Sasha Pavlovic) But now they’re widely proclaimed as the best team in the league. (which I disagree with) What makes them so much different from then? I would’ve taken that lineup any day of the week over the former Lakers. (Kobe Bryant, Luke Walton, Kwame Brown, Vladimir Radmonovic) I understand that the Cavs weren’t the best team, (meaning Lebron did have a profound impact on their success) but they weren’t as talentless as the media & the basketball world make it seem. Once again, I can’t stress enough that the Cavs are in the Eastern Conference, which serves as no threat whatsoever as far as competition goes. I don’t like to say what Kobe WOULD HAVE done, but from a realistic viewpoint I would imagine that Kobe could lead the Lakers past teams like the Raptors, Bulls, Nets, and Wizards. Do you honestly think that the Cavs could beat teams such as: the Mavericks & Suns, (both teams who were practically unstoppable at the time) or the Spurs. (we all saw how that turned out) And the same year that Kobe failed to get the Lakers to the Playoffs, Lebron failed as well. So neither one is better than the other in that respect.

    Comment by Marcellus Chamberlain — May 7, 2009 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  92. seriously, steven, if you’re not a big fan of PER, how can you explain why lebron is currently having a PER of 42 as opposed to kobe’s measly 25? please explain to me why the triangle made kobe have that PER? even if you conserve it by taking other factors, still the the 17 PER difference tells a lot how clueless you are and those kobe fanboys. and when i start to hear from someone ripping on lebron’s jumpshot, i can actually laugh because kobe can’t even capitalize on this edge over lebron. it takes about 30 shots to score decently, that’s because he can’t take it to the hole like lebron. it’s really dumb to settle for jump shots if you have lebron’s ability to drive.
    again, lebron only plays about 38 minutes per game yet he averages 32 ppg, 10 rebounds and 6 assists IN THE PLAYOFFS and to an unworldly efficiency rating of FORTY TWO. FORTY TWO, clueless morons, and kobe NEVER EVEN reache a PER of 30 in his career despite him scoring 35 ppg when he takes 80% of the shots on his team. these kobe fanboys are like whiny pigs that doesn’t have a clue except to hate and hate. lebron is the best and IT’S NOT EVEN CLOSE.

    Comment by charles barkley — May 9, 2009 @ 3:11 am | Reply

  93. to the fans outside los angeles, the kobe-lebron debate is technically over. this is the start of a new one: if lebron is good enough to surpass jordan as the GOAT. kobe is now out of the picture. he had his chance and he is weighed evenly but still wanting.

    Comment by charles barkley — May 9, 2009 @ 3:16 am | Reply

  94. is this the real charles barkley? lol

    Comment by errks. — May 9, 2009 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

  95. charles barkley Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 3:11 am

    seriously, steven, if you’re not a big fan of PER, how can you explain why lebron is currently having a PER of 42 as opposed to kobe’s measly 25? ”
    =============================================
    I don’t know Charles. I am not a fan of John Hollinger’s PER.

    It appears that you are very knowledgeable in John Hollinger’s PER concept.
    Why don’t you explain the calculation formula to me.

    Calculation:
    All calculations begin with what is called unadjusted PER (uPER). The formula is:

    \ uPER = \frac{1}{Min} *\left ( 3P + [(2/3)*AST] + [(2 – factor*(tmAST/tmFG))*FG] + [FT*0.5*(1 + (1 – (tmAST/tmFG)) + (2/3)*(tmAST/tmFG))] – [VOP*TO] – [VOP*DRBP*(FGA – FG)] – [VOP*0.44*(0.44 + (0.56*DRBP))*(FTA – FT)] + [VOP*(1 – DRBP)*(TRB – ORB)] + [VOP*DRBP*ORB] + [VOP*STL] + [VOP*DRBP*BLK] – [PF*((lgFT/lgPF) – 0.44*(lgFTA/lgPF)*VOP))] \right )

    Where

    * \ factor = (2/3) – [(0.5*(lgAST / lgFG)) / (2*(lgFG / lgFT))] ,
    * \ VOP = [lgPTS / (lgFGA – lgORB + lgTO + 0.44*lgFTA)] ,
    * \ DRBP = [(lgTRB – lgORB) / lgTRB] .

    Once uPER is calculated, it must be adjusted for team pace and normalized to the league to become PER:

    \ PER = [uPER*(lgPace/tmPace)] * (15/lguPER)

    Thanks Charles.

    Also
    “Problems With PER
    PER largely measures offensive performance. Hollinger freely admits that two of the defensive statistics it incorporates — blocks and steals — can produce a distorted picture of a player’s value and that PER is not a reliable measure of a player’s defensive acumen. For example, Bruce Bowen, widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the NBA (at least through the 2006-07 season), has routinely posted single-digit PERs.

    Bear in mind that this rating is not the final, once-and-for-all answer for a player’s accomplishments during the season. This is especially true for players such as Bruce Bowen and Trenton Hassell who are defensive specialists but don’t get many blocks or steals.

    Neither PER nor per-game statistics take into account such intangible elements as competitive drive, leadership, durability, conditioning, or hustle, largely because there is no real way to quantitatively measure these things, which are often based on opinion.

    In addition, some have argued that PER gives undue weight to a player’s contribution in limited minutes, or against a team’s second unit, and it undervalues players who have enough diversity in their game to play starter’s minutes.

    Problems with PER Projections
    The projections are built by looking at comparable players at the same age and how their stats changed in the following season. For players in most age brackets, this is extremely reliable, but there have been so few players to turn pro out of high school in the past two decades that there is a very small sample to work with. While some players who have come out of high school have shown a lot of promise in their future years, many have floundered and never quite reached their full potential.”
    source:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_Efficiency_Rating


    charles barkley Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 3:11 am
    please explain to me why the triangle made kobe have that PER? even if you conserve it by taking other factors, still the the 17 PER difference tells a lot how clueless you are and those kobe fanboys. and when i start to hear from someone ripping on lebron’s jumpshot, i can actually laugh because kobe can’t even capitalize on this edge over lebron. it takes about 30 shots to score decently, that’s because he can’t take it to the hole like lebron. it’s really dumb to settle for jump shots if you have lebron’s ability to drive”

    A jump shot is a skill shot. A dunk is someone jumping over the other person. A dunk is based on athleticism not talent or skill.

    One player has great skill the other player doesn’t.

    One player has worked very hard to develop those skills, the other player still plays the same way he played in high school.

    If you are fascinated by Lebron and his wonderful ability to dunk on people then so be it. I think Lebron has some amazing athletic talents.
    But that doesn’t make him better then Kobe.

    Comment by steven — May 11, 2009 @ 11:36 am | Reply

  96. It’s been kinda quiet on here for the last couple of weeeks……I WONDER Y?

    Oh Yeah: BECAUSE THERE NEVER WAS A DEBATE….

    KOBE>LEBRON ALL DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LAKERS ALL THE WAY…

    Comment by Marcellus Chamberlain — June 7, 2009 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  97. What, because the Cavs lost? That’s got to be the most decisively stupid, ignorant comment in this entire thread. How many times did Kobe not get anywhere and it was all because he didn’t have the help. Stupid should be outlawed and you should be in jail.

    Comment by kelly — June 7, 2009 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

  98. There’s no use in throwing names around. Lebron doesnt have any help but they win 66 games, have the best record in the league, and sweep the 1st 2 rounds of the playoffs. They were the “best team” in the NBA then. When they are winning it’s because “LBJ makes his teammates so much better.” All of a sudden they lose and it’s because LBJ has no help. I admit there were times when Lebron was the only one contributing on the offensive end in the Magic series, but he deserves just as much blame as the others. It was a team loss: not everybody except for Lebron. Who’s fault was it when Lebron shot 11-28 from the field (2-17 shots outside the paint) (1-8 3 pointers) and missed 5 critical free throws down-the-stretch of Game 3?
    What was the excuse when the others DID show up in Game 4? Mo: 22 points/Delonte: 17 points/Varejao: 14 points….. Yet they still lose. They just ran into a better team.

    And as for Kobe’s situation a couple of years ago, he had far less help then than Lebron has now.
    Cavaliers other than Lebron: Mo Williams (all-star, double digit scorer) Zydrunas Ilgauskas (former all-star, double digit scorer) Delonte West (double-digit scorer) Anderson Varejao

    Lakers other than Kobe: Smush Parker? Kwame Brown? Chris Mihm? Brian Cook? This was the starting lineup by the way! I’ll give you Lamar Odom, but other than that who did the Lakers have. They still manage to make the playoffs (in the tough Western Conference) and challenge the #1 seeded team in the NBA to a 7-game series.

    In all seriousness, people should learn to accept that Lebron is great (will likely become a top 10 player all-time over time), though overhyped, but just not as good as Kobe (the best player with the best team.

    Comment by Marcellus Chamberlain — June 19, 2009 @ 9:14 pm | Reply

  99. Well first I called no one any names, I made an accurate statement about a comment, not a person. It is inane to suggest because a person’s team goes further they are a better team. It’s an obviously silly suggestion, unless you want to concede that for the last five years Kobe has not been the best player in the NBA. It’s an argument of convenience, only brought to bear when the stars align right.

    Second, reread the article. I’ve consistently stated that Kobe has the better teammates, so don’t suggest that I’ve spun things around now that they’ve lose.

    Comment by kelly — June 19, 2009 @ 11:47 pm | Reply

  100. Kelly, statistically I suppose you can say LeBron is a better scorer than Kobe, but all-and-all, there is no way that you can literally say that”LeBron James is a better scorer than Kobe Bryant”!

    Comment by Jordan — June 20, 2009 @ 2:15 am | Reply

  101. Kelly, I’m not saying that just because the Lakers won and the Cavs didn’t that that’s what makes Kobe better. I have been saying Kobe was better for the last 4 years. I am just really sick of Lebron fans making excuses as to why the Cavs lost to the Magic. Why wont people admit that they just ran into a better team. If Lebron hadnt been so insistent on scoring 50 points then maybe Mo Williams and Delonte West wouldnt be so out of rhythm. Not saying that’s why they struggled, but it is definitely a thought that you have to take into account. What happened during the regular season when Kobe scored 41 points and finished with a triple double against the Magic? The Lakers lost. When Kobe scores just 30+ for most of the Finals: the Lakers win. My point is that getting your teammates involved at the right points of the game is a key factor on the final result of the game. Many games Lebron would come out scoring and getting a few assists here & there, but just creating for himself for the most part. With his teammates not taking a shot for so long, you cant expect them to make shots out of the blue. And other times Lebron was looking to create for his teammates. He has to know when and when not to take over the game. But at this point I do not know how it could be any more obvious that Kobe is better than Lebron. There was not one skill that Lebron displayed against the Magic that Kobe didnt already possess. He averages 32 points, damn near 8 assists, and 6 rebounds. Along with 1 block and 1 steal per game. Kobe didnt have to shoot 24 free throws just to dismantle the Magic defense. Imagine if Kobe actually got just a few more of the obvious calls he deserved. Now when I brought up that Kobe had 3 rings, you said Shaq was the only reason. Now that he has one without the big fella, you say it’s because he has all-star talent around him. He got Finals MVP! He is clearly the best player on the team with no close seconds. (Pau being the 2nd best but not nearly on Kobe’s level) So even if I take away the other 3 rings, it still comes out to be: Kobe: 1 Lebron:0 And on top of that Kobe outplayed Lebron both times that they played in the regular season. (once with the flu) But Lebron just so happens to have 2 of his worst games of the season against Kobe & the Lakers. HMMMM….All of America knows it; including: commentators, former NBA players, current NBA players, coaches and fans. Face it: you’re in denial.

    Comment by Marcellus Chamberlain — June 20, 2009 @ 6:39 pm | Reply

  102. They are both great players judging them from a statistical standpoint , not taking into consideration intangibles such as instiling confidence, help defense , alterings shots etc is definately a mistake. More importantly at the end of the day its about winning not hypotheticals. There are no excuses accepted with regards to who had the better teamates. When Lebron has been in the league as long as kobe has we will see who was truly better. The best player in the league most often will end up with the right cast and win.eg magic, bird, jordan. Lastly at this time from that standpoint when you factor statistics, accomplishments basketball IQ , fundamentals , Kobe is presently the victor. Its possible lebron will surpass him but not definate.

    Comment by basketball enthusiast — November 19, 2009 @ 6:47 am | Reply

  103. stats prove nothing to me because it all depends on the situation you’re in on the team. Lebron isis 6 8′ and weigh’s 260lbs so of course he’s going to get more rebounds. and also i think lebron’s teammates are focused on helping his stats get up as well. when lebron passes the ball to hiss team they shoot it. whenkobe passes the ball the other team’s defense is so tight on the lakers because they re known to be a tough team they they pass the ball, eliminating the assist.
    the lakers give it to kobe everytime the shot clock goes down so of course his shooting % is lower and all lebron does is dunk. and kobe has an injury this season and kobe is 31 and lebron is 25 so of course dumb people like you would say lebronis better

    Comment by AH — January 25, 2010 @ 12:25 pm | Reply

  104. OK. I’m just going to put this simply. Your response ignores things that were addressed in the entry. If you want a respectful response, be respectful enough to read the entry before you argue with it.

    Besides which your assessment is obviously biased and blatantly wrong.

    Comment by kelly — January 25, 2010 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  105. this is a good article, but you should do a statistical break down of kobe’s first six years in the nba compared to lebron’s first six years

    Comment by david — January 31, 2010 @ 3:47 pm | Reply


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