Well, this is what Kobe fans WANT you to believe. In reality, there’s a bit of fact twisting going on here.
First of all, it isn’t true that more NBA players have Kobe as the GOAT over Lebron.
“In that poll, 58.3% of the players voted for Jordan as the Greatest of All-Time (GOAT). While LeBron James was right behind him with 33%.”
The fact that this was an NBA PLAYERS poll and Jordan was 1st and Lebron came in 2nd means that clearly, Kobe was behind Jordan and Lebron amongst NBA players. So if any Kobe fans say more players choose Kobe over Lebron.. that’s factually wrong. Unless they think NBA players are ‘Bronsexuals’ too.
Second let’s go over what they say these players said. This is an example of a quote I often see online:
So that’s the quote from Bird. But this is taken way out of context.
^ This is the interview segment. Bird actually said that “Lebron is the most dominant by far” in the same interview. And he only said that he would rather play with Kobe if he wants to win because.. at this point in time Feb 2012, Lebron had 0 rings to Kobe’s 5. So of course he’d say that. But now Lebron has 4 rings, so I’m sure Bird will have a different perspective now.
^ Kobe fans pull up this quote a lot too from Jordan. So Jordan said Kobe was the only player who could beat him 1 on 1 ‘because he stole all my moves’. But he only said in a 1 on 1 game. Basketball isn’t played 1 on 1 and he’s not saying anything about Kobe being greater than Lebron here at all but that’s how Kobe fans took it.
What about some other quotes.. I took some screenshots from Kobe fan page.
So out of these quotes how many of them where the player actually ranks Kobe above Lebron? So many of these quotes didn’t actually mean that they thought Kobe was better all time but that’s how Kobe fans put it.
And other quotes are kind of misleading because they might be outdated.
^ for example in this article from 2020, Paul Pierce says Lebron isn’t top 5.
^ then in 2022, Pierce didn’t think Kobe was top 5.
^ then after Lebron beat Kareem’s record, Pierce called Bron the goat.
Guess which quote Kobe fans use? That’s right, the quote from 2020.
Another example.. Shaq’s been calling Lebron the goat since he broke Kareem’s record, but Kobe fans will dig up older quotes about Kobe of course.
^ And just recently Trevor Ariza said Kobe was his GOAT but also said that Kobe was 1a, Lebron 1b. But more importantly, why do these players think Kobe was the GOAT? Well by Ariza’s own admission, Kobe’s only the GOAT because he was Ariza’s idol. And that’s the case for a lot of players including Kyrie and others. They idolized Kobe so he’s their GOAT.
Is that a legitimate reason why a player should be GOAT? Because you idolized them? No. Idolizing a player does not make them the GOAT. Stats and awards and achievements make you the GOAT. Not idolization.
So these Kobe fans take these quotes out of context, and also very old quotes, to make it seem like they put Kobe above Lebron when in fact it’s not entirely true. And even when it is true, the reasons behind Kobe being their GOAT aren’t exactly legitimate reasons.