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Sports

Who is a better basketball player: LeBron James or Kobe Bryant?

Lebron James.

It’s honestly not even close. It someone irks me that so many casual fans and die hard Laker fans still want to keep Kobe in the GOAT discussion, but Kobe just isn’t in that discussion.

Let’s go over the reasons why Lebron is better:

  1. Lebron has more awards. Lebron has more MVPs, FMVPs, a ROTY, more All-NBA selections and he’s only 2 All-Star selections away from Kobe as well. The FMVPs especially matter since Kobe was not the best player on 3 of his championship teams while Lebron was the best player on all 4 of his.
  2. Lebron beats Kobe statistically in every category except for FT% (which lets be honest, Kobe has an advantage as a guard). Lebron beats Kobe in total points, total rebounds, total assists, total blocks, total steals, PPG, RPG, APG, SPG, BPG, FG%, TS%, Win shares, PER etc whatever stat you name. Lebron is ahead of Kobe in.

Those are the two main reasons why Lebron is better than Kobe, and those two reasons should be good enough for most people, but Kobe fans aren’t most people, I know there’s these ‘intangibles’ that people will argue for Kobe over Lebron on, so I’ll address some Kobe fan’s remarks here:

“Kobe should be in the GOAT convo, put some respect on the Mamba!”

Sorry, he’s not. He’s about the same level as Hakeem, and Hakeem is never mentioned in the GOAT convo. Also, Kareem, Duncan, Bird and Magic are all ahead of Kobe and never mentioned in the GOAT convo and I don’t hear their fans complaining.

“Kobe is more loyal than Lebron. Lebron always jumps teams to chase championships and Kobe bled purple and gold”

Well, that’s not true. There’s multiple instances where Kobe requested a trade from the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant confirms he wanted trade in 2007 to the Chicago Bulls

Phil Jackson Says Kobe Bryant Requested Trade from Lakers During 1999-00 Season

At the time Kobe had a bad squad and wanted out of LA. So it’s a misconception that Kobe was a die hard Laker.

“Kobe is more clutch than Lebron and has more killer instinct”

First of all what is killer instinct anyways? Is it always taking the last shot? Because Kobe factually is not as clutch as Lebron is.

Why Kobe was Never a Top Five Player

Kobe might be the least clutch player in the NBA

The truth about Kobe Bryant in crunch time

3 Reasons Why Kobe Bryant is Overrated – LWOSports

LeBron James Clutch Stats vs Kobe Bryant Clutch Stats – The Ball Zone

LeBron is More Clutch Than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant

LeBron May Be The Most Clutch Playoff Shooter Of His Generation

These are just some of the numerous stats that prove that Lebron is actually more clutch than Kobe is. Kobe’s clutch reputation is mostly based on myth more so than fact.

Kobe has never had any playoff moments as memorable as Lebron scoring the last 29 out of 30 points against Detroit in 2007, or that chasedown block against Iggy in the 2016 Finals. People seem to assume Kobe is more clutch based on the fact that Kobe is very aggressive and eager to shoot the last shot, whereas Lebron tries to make the right basketball play. However, they don’t seem to understand that taking the last shot regardless of basketball position usually leads to missed baskets, which has happened with Kobe far more often than he has made those baskets.

“Kobe never needed a superteam to win”

Well, first of all – if you have prime Shaq do you really need a bunch of lesser HoFers on your team? The team is already good just having prime Shaq as a teammate right? Later on in Kobe’s career, he had to have exactly the right team built around him to win. Namely, a team full of players who are excellent rebounders and without big egos to clash with Kobe. Oh and it has to be a triangle offense system too because Kobe would never pass the ball to anyone else.

Also the statement is factually untrue because the 2004 Lakers and 2013 Lakers by the definition of having more than 2 HoFers on the team, can be called a ‘superteam’, it’s just that they weren’t successful, because most superteams are not successful. 1997 Rockets, 2020 Clippers are two other examples. Turns out Lebron is quite the exception since he elevates everyone else around him. Even Rondo and Dwight who people wrote off before this year started, became champions when they played with Lebron. Don’t think that would have happened with Kobe (because we know it didnt work with Kobe, twice).

And plus let’s look at Kobe’s Finals opponents – 2000 Pacers, 2001 76ers, 2002 Nets, 2009 Magic, 2010 Celtics. The only one out of that group that can be considered even remotely challenging is the 2010 Celtics – and that group could be considered just as old as the 2014 Spurs everyone makes fun of Lebron for losing against, age-wise. KG was not the same post-surgery and Perkins was out for the Finals. And he still needed 7 games to beat that team.

Lebron’s best teammate was 2011 DWade, then 2020 Anthony Davis. Wade would decline after 2012. Kyrie was not on the same level, and Love and Bosh just weren’t as good as people like to think. Plus look at Lebron’s Finals opponents – the only ‘easy’ one was the 2020 Heat. Kobe has never had to face a team as hard as the 2015–2019 Warriors, or the 2013–2014 Spurs.

“Kobe never had a Finals game as bad as Lebron did in 2011”

Kobe has had multiple Finals games arguably worse than Lebron’s 2011 Finals performance.

2000 Finals, Game 5 – Kobe had 8 points. Everyone who makes fun of Lebron’s 8 points in the 2011 Finals – well Kobe matched that here and no one ever brings this up. Kobe also averaged 15 PPG this series – lower than Lebron’s 17 PPG in 2011.

2004 Finals – Kobe shot 38% for the entire series. Including only 11 points on 31% in Game 3. Lebron has never had a Finals series that inefficient. Oh BTW – Kobe had 4 HoFers on that team and lost to a team with one all star. I really think the 2004 Finals was just as much an upset as the 2011 Finals.

2008 Finals, Game 4 – Kobe got 17 points on 31% shooting. That’s pretty awful.

2010 Finals, Game 7 – Kobe shot 6 for 24 that game. If it wasn’t for Gasol and Artest with some key moment plays that game, it would have ended in a loss.

“Lebron dropped the ball in 2009 to meet Kobe in the Finals”

This one irks me a lot because was Lebron supposed to make the Finals with his second best player being Mo Williams? That team was high in the regular season sure, but it wasn’t built for the playoffs. It was basically carried by Lebron. That he lost to Dwight Howard in 2009 wasn’t anything to be ashamed of. Dwight Howard was really really good in 2009 – people forget.

Also I think the more important question I have is why is Lebron being blamed for 2009 when Kobe had a chance to meet Lebron in 2011 and dropped the ball there and that never gets mentioned?
People always trash Lebron for losing to the 2011 Mavericks but Kobe lost to the exact same team as the defending champs – and got swept by them no less! And if you want to bring up Jason Terry’s stats against Lebron, you really should bring up the fact that Kobe and Terry were actually guarding each other – cause they actually played the same position! Lebron didn’t directly guard Terry, they played different positions.

“Lebron always takes credit when he wins, and blames others when he loses. He’s a toxic teammate. Kobe is a better leader.”

This one is possibly the most untrue of them all. Lebron has never ever blamed any teammates, no matter how badly they performed. And Lebron’s teammates have been just as bad as Kobe’s. Don’t let Kobe fans tell you that Smush Parker and Kwame Brown were the worst players in NBA history. They were not.

From 2003–2008, Lebron’s best teammate was Zyndrunas Ilgauskas. He took the 2007 team all the way to the Finals.

From 2009–2010, Lebron’s best teammate was Mo Williams. He won 66 games in the regular season with him as the second best player.

Kobe’s team was bad, but his second best teammate was Lamar Odom. Odom is better than either Zydrunas or Mo Williams, I’m sure anyone will tell you that. Odom was a very capable player, it’s just that Kobe fans want to focus on Smush and Kwame, well did you know Lebron played with guys like Daniel Gibson and Eric Snow? Arguably just as bad as Smush and Kwame.

^ Lebron’s second best player on the 2007 team (Larry Hughes). He took that team to the Finals.

^ Kobe’s second best player on the 2006 team (Lamar Odom). Lamar averaging 19/11/5 a game. They lost in the first round.

Kobe’s best performance with that team was when he went up 3–1 against the Suns in 2006 in the first round, but then inexplicably stopped shooting the ball in the Game 7. Kobe fans tell me it was to ‘spite Phil Jackson’ but there’s no excuse for acting that way in any game. The only comparable times was when Rick Barry stopped shooting in Game 7 against the Suns in 1976 because his teammates didn’t back him in the fight, and when Pippen got angry at Phil for a play drawn up for Toni Kukoc in the 1994 series against the Knicks. Lebron has had no such temper tantrums.

Plus – Kobe’s fans often say he was robbed of MVP that year. Well, if you can’t make it past the first round, if you can’t elevate your teammates that much, how much of an MVP can you be right? And it’s reflected in the voting – Kobe was not on the MVP ballot in 2005 (no it was not related to the rape case, it was because he missed the playoffs), and in 2006 he was 4th place in MVP voting. So much for being robbed by Steve Nash. Lebron on the other hand took his pitiful teammates all the way to the Finals. That’s the difference.

Also, people like to talk about Lebron missing the playoffs in 2019 despite tearing his groin. Kobe missed the playoffs in the middle of his prime. It’s not like his teammates were any worse than Lebron’s teammates in 2019. Explain that.

In addition, Kobe has infamously cursed out his teammates and trashed talked them in various interviews.

Kobe explains why he and Howard never got along

Kobe Bryant blames Pau Gasol for Lakers’ Game 4 collapse against Thunder

Kobe Bryant calls ex-teammate Smush Parker ‘the worst,’ jokingly chides the Lakers for letting him ‘walk on’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTjeRZY2Uhg

Lebron has never ever trashed his teammates publicly. Even when his teammates had a brain fart, like JR Smith did in 2018 Finals Game 1, or Markieff Morris in 2020 Finals Game 5. Kobe would have trashed them and ruined their careers. Instead, we have seen JR Smith welcomed back by Lebron and winning another ring, and Dwight’s career have a resurgence with Lebron.

There’s a reason why Lebron is able to ‘recruit’ other players to play with him – it’s because everyone wants to play with him! From AD to Rondo to Danny Green to McGee to Demarcus to former rivals like Lance Stephenson – they all want to come to LA to play with Lebron! In contrast – due to both Kobe’s personality and the fact that he had signed a huge contract with the Lakers post-injury depriving them of any cap space – the Lakers had been unable to acquire any big name free agents for 5 years after Kobe came back from injury.

There seems to be a double standard with Kobe and Lebron. Anything Kobe does that is arrogant or ego-tistic is played off by Kobe fans as being ‘alpha’ or having ‘mamba mentality’ whereas if Lebron had acted the exact same way he would be called ‘arrogant’ and ‘prima donna’.

Lebron called himself the GOAT you say? What an egotistical prima-donna.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diCtJ-tdA5o

Kobe Bryant labelled himself the greatest of all time, ahead of Michael Jordan and LeBron – Republic World

^ Kobe called himself the same thing? It’s ok, we’ll brush it off because it’s Kobe.

All this is to conclude that I think Kobe’s negative traits and aspects get downplayed or brushed off by Kobe fans. He never ever gets the blame, meanwhile his fans always blame Kobe’s teammates instead. Dwight Howard was soft. Steve Nash was past his prime. Malone and Payton was past their prime. Shaq wasn’t in shape. Smush and Kwame were the worst players of all time. Kobe was just trying to teach Phil Jackson a lesson. Kobe was being tough on his teammates to toughen them up. Whenever Kobe wins a ring, it’s all him. 5 rings that’s all Kobe’s. Kobe carried the 2009–2010 teams. The rest of that team were scrubs.

Meanwhile for Lebron, it’s the opposite. He always gets the blame, his teammates never get any blame. Missed the playoffs? All because Lebron couldn’t elevate his teammates. Lost in the Finals? Because Lebron choked. Who cares if his teammates were injured, it was all Lebron’s fault. Won a championship? Well he needed help to win. He had a stacked team. He recruited too many superstars. His Finals path was too easy. He shouldn’t have passed the ball to Danny Green, he was too ‘scared’ of the moment. Kobe would never have done that. Also, Ray Allen and Kyrie Irving saved his legacy. Derek Fisher and Robert Horry’s shots? pretend it never happened. Kobe never needed anybody else taking the last shots. Of course not.

See what I mean?

Anyways, all this is to show that 1) Lebron is definitely better than Kobe and 2) Kobe fans are delusional and overrate the man quite a bit

Categories
Sports

Questions about the selection of Classic Teams in NBA 2K

Me and my friend who love NBA history have a few questions about the selections of the classic teams in NBA 2K and since the classic teams have mostly stayed the same for the past few years this applies to previous editions of NBA 2K as well as 2K21:

Biggest complaint is why is there so few 1950s/1960s/1970s classic teams?

-1967 76ers (one of the greatest teams ever) has never been represented in 2K
-1967 runner up Golden State Warriors (Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond) also would have been nice
-1960 Celtics with arguably a better roster than the 1965 version, never been represented in 2K
-1960s Cincinnati Royals team with prime Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas would have been nice
-No 1950s teams (no Mikan, Schayes, Pettit, Arizin led teams etc) have ever been represented in 2K
-None of the 1970s championship Celtics team (led by Hondo and Cowens) has ever been represented in 2K.
-None of the Unseld led 1970s Bullets teams which went to 4 Finals in the 70s have ever been represented in 2K
-A 1970s Bulls team (with Bob Love, Jerry Sloan, Norm Van Lier etc) would have been nice
-A 1970s Suns team (Connie Hawkins, Paul Westphal, Walter Davis etc) would have been nice
-1970s Sonics team (Jack Sikma, Dennis Johnson, Gus Williams etc)
-1977 Blazers (Bill Walton, Maurice Lucas etc) – especially odd since the runner up 1977 76ers is always included
-NO ABA teams are represented. ABA is part of NBA history (they merged) so I think ABA teams should get some representation. Plus when you have Euroleague and WNBA teams on here I think definitely historical ABA teams deserve a fair shake considering it’s actually part of the NBA. I think one of the 1970s Pacers teams that’s part of that dynasty (Mel Daniels, Roger Brown, Freddie Lewis, George McGinnis) should be represented. Also that powerhouse 1975 Kentucky Colonels team (Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel) should be on here. And a 1970s Nets team as well led by Dr J. They deserve to be on here they were part of NBA history.
Then, some questions about the existing classic teams
-Why the 1985 Bucks and not the 1983 version with Marques Johnson added?
-Why so many non championship Chicago Bulls teams? Is there that many people that want to play as rookie MJ?
-Why is the 1998 Spurs on here but not the championship 1999 version?
-Why is the 1998 Lakers on here but not the championship 2000 version?
-Why is the 1994 Nuggets on here but not the arguably more fun to play 1988 version with Alex English and Fat Lever? or the post ABA 1977 version with Dan Issel, David Thompson, Mack Calvin and Bobby Jones? That was a loaded Nuggets team.
-Where is the 1983 76ers (Dr J, Moses)??? Or any 80s version of the 76ers? That team went to 3 Finals in that decade! I remember they used to have the 1985 version because they thought they could get Charles Barkley in but they couldn’t and went with the watered down version of that team, but that’s at least betting than omitting that team entirely!
-Odd selection of teams. what’s so special about the 2014 Pacers, 2013 Grizzlies, 2007 Wizards, 1995 Knicks, 2003 Mavs, 2010 Blazers, 2003 Suns?

It’s especially odd when you consider they have most of the players to construct these classic teams, they are all in the all-time team versions, but for those of us who want to play with the actual classic team, we have to make a custom roster and we still miss most of the role players that played there. So it’s not the same. Just a huge head scratcher.

It’s weird that a lot non championship, non Finals teams are on here but a huge chunk of the 50s/60s/70s championship teams are missing.

If you were to ask me the top 5 teams I would most want to add to the NBA 2K roster here are my picks:

  1. 1983 76ers

  2. 1967 76ers

  3. 1972 Pacers

  4. 1974 Celtics

  5. 1977 Blazers

Categories
Sports

Rick Barry is probably the most underrated SF ever

Why is Rick Barry seemingly so forgotten by modern NBA fans and analysts?

Whenever a list of the top SFs all time get mentioned, inevitably there’s Lebron and Bird, Dr J, KD and Pippen get mentioned, and sometimes Elgin Baylor, James Worthy, Dominique Wilkins and even Paul Pierce get thrown in.
..but what about Rick Barry?
 
For people who don’t know how much of a statistical beast Rick was, his playoff stats were monstrous:
 
1967 playoffs – 34.7 PPG / 7.5 RPG / 3.9 APG
1970 playoffs – 40.1 PPG / 10.0 RPG / 3.3 APG
1971 playoffs – 33.7 PPG / 11.7 RPG / 4.0 APG
1972 playoffs – 30.8 PPG / 6.5 RPG / 3.8 APG
1975 playoffs – 28.2 PPG / 5.5 RPG / 6.1 APG
1976 playoffs – 24.0 PPG / 6.5 RPG / 6.5 APG
1977 playoffs – 28.4 PPG / 5.9 RPG / 4.7 APG
 
He’s one of only 4 players to ever win a ring without another all star on his team (the others are Ben Wallace, Hakeem Olajuwon and Dirk Nowitzki)
 
He’s the only player to ever lead the NCAA, ABA AND NBA in scoring
 
He was the first SF that you could call a ‘point forward’ due to his passing ability
 
He had the highest FT% in history at the time he retired
 
“He was Larry Bird before Larry Bird” is what many fans who watched him play said about him
 
He has the highest scoring Finals Average of all time at 36 PPG, even beating out Michael Jordan’s 33 PPG
 
He has over 25k career points if you include his ABA stats
(which the NBA should and is baffling that they don’t because you know, they merged so ABA history should be part of NBA history)
 
He had “mamba mentality” way before Jordan/Kobe made it popular; He would never shy away from shooting a shot, he was psychologically competitive and he was tough on his teammates. The problem was, back in the 1970s this type of mentality was widely disliked and hence he was probably robbed of a few MVPs (which were voted on by players back then). Now, ironically we praise players with this kind of mentality.
 
Head to Head matchups versus other SF greats of the time:
 
Rick Barry vs Elgin Baylor
Barry – 28.2 / 9.8 / 3.1 / 44% FG%
Baylor – 19.4 / 9.5 / 2.4 / 42% FG%
 
Rick Barry vs Connie Hawkins
Barry – 23.4 / 6.9 / 5.7 / 45% FG%
Hawkins – 15.0 / 7.1 / 4.7 / 50% FG%
 
Rick Barry vs Billy Cunningham
Barry – 29.5 / 7.4 / 3.2 / 44% FG%
Cunningham – 16.5 / 9.6 / 3.5 / 44% FG%
 
Rick Barry vs Gus Johnson
Barry – 32.1 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
Gus – 19.4 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
 
Rick Barry vs Roger Brown
Barry – 28.5 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups Brown – 21.4 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
 
Rick Barry vs Julius Erving
Barry – 24.7 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
Dr J – 26.6 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
 
Rick Barry vs John Havlicek
Barry – 28.1 / 8.4 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups Hondo – 22 / 5.7 / cant find other stats on their h2h matchups
 
Rick Barry vs Chet Walker
Barry – 27.2 / 8.1 / 3.7 / 45% FG%
Chet – 20.1 / 6.5 / 2.8 / 49% FG%
 
So as you can see, Barry basically destroyed every other SF of his era – the only exception being Dr J (who was younger than Barry)
 
How could a player so dominant at his position be routinely left out in conversations? SLAM magazine left him out of their all time SF mount rushmore candidates – but inexplicably put Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce there. ESPN left him out of their all time Warriors starting lineup, instead putting in Draymond Green over him. TNT’s 2011 All-Star Fantasy Draft where 6 analysts drafted 10 players each – Barry was not picked.
 
It’s inexplicable to me that Rick Barry is mostly forgotten and even if he is remembered, mostly remembered for his granny style free throw shot and him being a racist commentator. When I went to watch the Warriors games, I was the only one wearing a Rick Barry jersey. Sometimes I even saw Mullin jerseys – but never Barry jerseys (or Thurmond jerseys for that matter). And that’s kind of sad because not only should his dominance as a player be remembered, but he’s one of the few players back then who would thrive in today’s game with his ultra competitiveness, his point forward skills, his complete game (post, interior, perimeter) and his long range shooting.
Thoughts? I think he’s one of my top 2 most underrated players of all time along with Artis Gilmore.