Who is better, Steph Curry or Kobe Bryant?

I think this is an interesting question. Both Curry and Kobe are hovering around that ‘edge of top 10’ greatness (yes I know a lot of Kobe fans put him in GOAT convo but lets ignore those people).

Let’s break down their strengths and weaknesses:

Scoring: Both are fantastic scorers, but do it in different ways. Kobe will usually break down defenders 1v1 and use his vast array of offensive moves to get a bucket. Everyone knows Kobe’s offensive arsenal he has almost every move in his bag. Curry prefers to either drive in for a layup or shoot a long range missile. Curry is more efficient because his shot selection is a lot better most of the time and he rarely takes ill-advised shots. Kobe just doesn’t care about his shot selection and will shoot even with 4 defenders in his face. Both can easily average over 30 PPG+ but of course Kobe has the higher peak (35 PPG) because in his prime he shot a lot more than Curry did. I would call this category dead even.

Rebounding: Kobe for this one. He was more athletic and taller than Curry, easier for him to grab rebounds.

Passing: Curry. Curry is not an all time great passer like CP3, Magic or Stockton but he is still very solid and that’s why he is the PG for his team. Kobe I don’t think has the ability to play PG, Kobe’s best passing was when he played with Shaq but he was always a reluctant passer even within the triangle offense.

Defense: Kobe. Although I think Kobe is an overrated and inconsistent defender, when Kobe is focused he can be a very solid defender. Curry is just a below average defender whether he’s focused or not.

Shooting: obviously Curry.

Awards: Kobe has 5 rings, 1 MVP, 2 FMVP compared to Curry’s 4 rings, 2 MVPs, 1 FMVP. Curry was the best player for 2 rings (2015, 2022) and second best on another two (2017, 2018). Kobe was the best player for 2 rings (2009, 2010) and second best for three (2000–2002). It’s fairly close but Kobe’s extra ring probably gives him the advantage here.

Longevity: Kobe has far more All-NBA selections and higher career totals, as Kobe has quite a long prime (2001–2013) of 13 years whereas Curry was injured quite often early in his career.

Overall I have Kobe ranked slightly higher all time. I think Kobe’s longevity and his defense gives him the main advantage here, but if Curry manages to play at a high level for a little bit longer and/or gets another ring then he might pass Kobe. As a team player, Curry of course has an advantage there too.

Note I’m only using objective metrics here to judge players, not subjective unquantifiable stuff like ‘he changed the game / mamba mentality etc’.


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