Everyone has opinions.
People respect opinions that are based on factual evidence. Sometimes, how you present your argument is as important as the argument itself.
So, before I look at any opinion, I attempt to see what the rationale is behind it. I asked you to do that while reading the crux of why Jason Whitlock’s says Kobe has never been on Lebron’s level. Then I will tell you what I think.
We sell the false Kobe narrative because it fuels and justifies our disdain for King James. The closer Kobe is to NBA royalty, the more distance James must travel and the more people he must pass to get a seat at the table reserved for Jordan, Magic and Bird. LeBron haters don’t want him anywhere near the NBA’s Lord, Savior and Holy Ghost. LeBron is Judas, in the haters’ mind, the man who betrayed Cleveland. Kobe is Peter, Jordan’s most trusted disciple.
I don’t care if Kobe wins eight championships, he’s not on the same level as Jordan, Magic, Bird or even the title-less King James. That’s not hatred of Kobe or the Lakers. It’s an objective statement of fact.
In baseball terms, Kobe Bryant was born on third base and we’re allowing him to act like he hit a grand slam. There is no bigger competitive advantage in sports than playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Because of the weather, the beach and the entertainment options, an indoor professional sports franchise operating in Los Angeles has no excuse not to stock its roster with the best talent money can buy. It’s not a coincidence the Lakers have been home to Wilt, Kareem and Shaq.
When you compare Kobe’s all-around game to the Lord, Savior and Holy Ghost, he’s completely outclassed. Kobe is a scorer. Period. That’s all he did Sunday. He put 33 points on Shane Battier, a terrific defender. Kobe had a great game. But he also did little else. He had three rebounds, one assist, zero steals or blocks.
Meanwhile, on a day the Heat played without Chris Bosh and on an afternoon when Wade was off his game and fouled out in 31 minutes, LeBron James played the entire 94 feet. He scored 25 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, passed out seven assists, nabbed three steals and blocked two shots.
You put Bynum and Gasol around LeBron James and everyone in the league would expect that team to win a championship. Kobe wants the roster blown up. He’s still upset David Stern stopped the Lakers from acquiring Chris Paul.
You give Wade the same rosters Kobe has played with throughout his Los Angeles career, and I guarantee you the Lakers win the same number of titles — if not more. If you look at their career numbers, Wade is a better all-around player than Bryant. Wade bests Bryant in field-goal percentage, assists, steals and blocks and is in a virtual tie with Bryant in points per game (25.4 to 25.3) and rebounds (5.3 to 5.2).
Don’t even waste your time comparing Kobe’s averages to Jordan’s, Bird’s, Magic’s and LeBron’s. Kobe isn’t on their level.
Whitlock is trying to get you over to his side, but he fails in several ways.
The first is that he ignores that there was a time before Twitter, before Whitlock became the Black Skip Bayless, before there were a million sports blogs and the real Skip Bayless became the voice of the Mini Skips, Kobe Bryant was the most hated man in sports.
Combination of Shaq leaving, his rape accusation and various other things all happened at once to contribute to Bryant’s reputation.
You think Lebron has it bad, imagine already having three championships and not getting credit for any of them. There were many articles saying Kobe could never win a title without Shaq and that he was the most selfish basketball player of all time.
That is not taking into consideration the shadow of Michael Jordan that has been hovering over Kobe Bryant for over a decade.
Lebron has been pampered for the majority of his time in the NBA, he has been slandered for a year and half, deal with it.
As far as Kobe not being on Lebron’s level they are two different players and Whitlock’s argument while nicely written doesn’t make any sense.
Lebron is a freak of nature, quite possibly the most gifted NBA player of all time. Kobe doesn’t have the physical gifts that Lebron has. He never did and he never will. He will never be as good of a rebounder or passer than Lebron, but Whitlock forgets one crucial thing.
What made Jordan, Magic and Bird great wasn’t just their physical gifts it was their mental ones.
Vince Carter was physically gifted, just like Dominique Wilkins was, but you need something else and that is why Lebron can never be on Kobe’s level, not yet at least.
Because mentally Kobe’s passion, dedication and serial killer mentality is what gets him in the discussion of greatest players of all time.
It is lazy to assume that Lebron or Wade could just step into Kobe’s shoes and do the same things. As Jay Z once said in response to Damon Dash saying he made Jay.
“Ok, Make Another Hov…..”
Implying that if it is that easy, then why hasn’t someone else done it?
If that is Kobe and Wade playing against the Mavericks last year or Kobe and Bron do the Heat win that title? You can’t make assumptions like that and that is where Whitlock fails miserably.
Whitlock says don’t just look at stats, but then uses stats to try to prove while Lebron is on a higher level.
It is a contradiction to mask that he is just trolling for something to get people talking. The facts of the matter is Kobe Bryant has been in the league 16 years, been to 7 Finals and is still playing like an elite player in the NBA. What he is currently doing is unheard of.
He has missed less games than Wade while playing in double the amount, so think clearly before you say Bryant is so easily replaceable.
Lebron James is the best player in the NBA and has a chance to be one of the best players ever, but let the King get one crown before we start comparing him to Michael, Jordan, Bird or………..