This article is a product of Twitter.
Dmoses3, a UCSB student, tweeted@thenexus_sports 22 consecutive times about LeBron James’ dominance and NBA columnist Ravi Bhatia’s stupidity. Ravi had written that Blake Griffin could win a championship before James (amongst other things).Dmoses3 also suggested we hire his friend, Twitter user Teehay.
Intrigued by Dmoses3 recommending a friend rather than himself, Ravi challenged Teehay —actually a UCSB junior named Tyler Hayden — to a LeBron v. Kobe faceoff.
This is Tyler’s LeBron Column. Bhatia’s Kobe response will be in tomorrow’s edition of the Nexus. The full Twitter battle can be seen @DMoses3, @thenexus_sports and @Teehayy.
LeBron is more talented, athletic and efficient than Kobe. It is no fluke that LBJ has led the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating in each of the last four seasons. He has better shot selection, vision and is the ultimate team player. The King attacks the rim more violently than anyone, forcing defenses to collapse while freeing up open looks for his teammates. He is the most gifted passer for his size — ever.
[media-credit name=”Ian Sander” align=”alignleft” width=”172″][/media-credit]His numbers speak for themselves, dwarfing Bryant’s across the board in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and FG percentage. He is the most athletic specimen the game has ever seen. At 6’ 8” and 270 pounds, he has the most unique blend of size, strength, speed, instincts and jaw-dropping athleticism to ever grace the court. His ability to play and guard 1 through 4 while demonstrating more consistent defensive intensity than Kobe also makes him much more versatile.
LeBron, at just 26 years of age, has played seven fewer seasons and roughly one-third the numbers of playoff games as Kobe. This is important to consider simply because he has had far less opportunities to make big shots, or shine in “clutch” situations as Kobe is so over-glorified for.
Moreover, using the NBA’s measure of clutch play — the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime with a margin of five points or fewer — LeBron has again proved to be far more efficient than the Black Mamba in each of the last four seasons. Believe it or not, when Kobe is on the floor in crunch time, his Lakers are actually outscored by their opponents.
In fact, LeBron has actually performed better than Kobe at the end of tight playoff games. Over the course of Kobe’s playoff career, he has connected on five of 20 attempts when having the opportunity to make a potential game-tying or go-ahead field goal in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime, (or 25 percent compared to the league average over the same time of 28 percent). Conversely, LBJ has made five of 12 of these same shots during his playoff career (41.7 percent).
When the two have met head to head, it is yet another landslide victory for King James. James-led teams are 9-5 when meeting with Kobe’s, while playing most of those games on teams with far inferior talent. Bryant has also benefited from playing for the most decorated coach in NBA history. During that infamous 2004-05 season, with Coach Phil Jackson on vacation and Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and Chucky Atkins as his sidekicks, Kobe led his team to a miserable 34-48 record and an 11th place finish in the Western Conference.
James, on a team with comparable talent in 2009, led Mo Williams, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and co. to 66 wins. Also intriguing, this season the Cavs, with a vast majority of their roster still intact, stumbled to a pathetic 19-63 record in their first year without King James — finishing dead last in the Eastern Conference.
Hate him or love him, LeBron is the most dominant player in the game today. Though Bryant does have five titles to his name, we are not measuring who is the most decorated, but rather who is the best. LeBron is the best, and frankly, has been for the last four years.
Daily Nexus reporter Tyler Hayden will be tweeting the night away after Ravi’s response.