LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant: Who is the king of Basketball?

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Difference between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant

In the world of basketball, Kobe Bryant has practically achieved legendary status by now, mostly on the strength of his three championship rings. While this of course means that he has reached a lofty plane that so few players ever manage to reach, it does open him up to being toppled by any one of the many players that are now making their own waves. LeBron James is one such player, and many are already touting him as a serious threat to Bryant’s reign. Does James in fact have what to takes to measure up? Let's see!

LeBron James
Kobe Bryant


Kobe’s offensive style is undoubtedly one of the smoothest and most elegant in basketball history, and is effortlessness is truly a joy to behold. Many have in fact likened his offensive style of play to Michael Jordan's, another elegant architect of the court. LeBron’s offensive game isn't quite as developed as Kobe’s yet, although he is clearly adding more tricks to his repertoire all the time. He recently showcased his long shot to great effect, and even his 3-pointers are much better than they were previously. In addition, once LeBron goes in for a drive, he is virtually unstoppable. Both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have some improvement to make in their defensive games however, since they are both just a little more effective than average. By most accounts though, Kobe seems to have the edge in this regard.

Playing Style

LeBron James’ playing style is characterized by picks early on in the game, wherein he utilizes his effective passing skills to get other players involved. One criticism against James however is that he tends to make ill-advised jumpers when a drive would have been more effective. Bryant on the other hand, displays a lot more flexibility in terms of changing his approach depending on the circumstances of the game. One notable disadvantage however is that he usually doesn't hold on to the ball for very long, and instead quickly passes it off or makes a move. This has been attributed to his relatively small hands.


LeBron James is still relatively early into his career, although he has already racked up a similar number of accomplishments to Kobe Bryant. In addition, much of Kobe’s accomplishments have been partly attributed to the presence of Shaquille O'Neal (unfairly or not), whereas James has had no such "partner". One of James’ most impressive accomplishments is having almost single-handedly beating Detroit Pistons, effectively ending their four-year winning streak. Of course Kobe was no slouch either, with a remarkable career that is marked by no less than three championship rings, all of which were the result of heart-stopping, game-winning moves.


LeBron James

  • Still early in his career but show remarkable talent
  • Constantly improving and adding skills
  • Needs some improvement in his defensive game
  • Usually picks early in the game

Kobe Bryant

  • Has won three championship rings
  • Is a slightly better defensive player than LeBron James
  • More flexible in his approach to the game at hand
  • Small hands have been attributed to his tendency to pass off the ball quickly 

Really! Who is the king of Basketball?
  • LeBron James
  • Kobe Bryant

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