Kobe Bryant vs LeBron James vs Michael Jordan: stats, rings and careers in the NBA
Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan are some of the greatest players in NBA history, and comparisons among the three are inevitable.
Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan have already earned their place in NBA history, with all three widely acknowledged as basketball legends, especially after they were all named to the NBA 75. It is thus inevitable that when the GOAT debate comes up, exhaustive comparisons among them are made.
Discussing who the best is has been a tricky and sometimes heated endeavor, with so many factors to be considered- not just statistics per game, but also importance to the team, championships won, records set, among many others.
Each player has his supporters (some of them rabid), and though they may never come to an agreement, there are some statistics that have to be taken into account.
The greats of their generation
They were part of different eras of the NBA- Jordan dominated the league in the 90s, Bryant shone in the 2000s, while James is still making waves in the current season.
LeBron has been playing as a small forward, while Bryant and Jordan were shooting guards who often functioned as forwards as well.
All players led their teams to a number of NBA trophies- King James has four to his name, the Black Mamba has five, while MJ has six notches on his belt. His Airness has the most awards so far as Most Valuable Player, getting the nod five times, as compared to LeBron’s four, and the late great’s single MVP win in 2008.
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Bryant, James, Jordan: All stars
They were all frequent participants in the NBA All-Stars- Jordan played 14 times (NBA All-Star Game MVP three times), James has had 17 outings (NBA All-Star Game MVP three times), while the Mamba played 18 times (NBA All-Star Game MVP four times).
Bryant had a career average of 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game, while Jordan recorded 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. James currently holds a record of 29 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.
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LeBron still at his peak
The late former Laker’s career spanned 20 years, from 1996-2016, while the Chicago Bulls icon played in the league from 1984 to 2003. LeBron started playing for the NBA in 2003 and is still playing at an elite level almost twenty years later.
All three had the honor of representing their country in the Summer Olympics, where they each got two gold medals as part of the US national team. James however played a third time, where the team won the bronze.
The GOAT debate is far from over, and it remains to be seen if LeBron James’ performance in the remainder of his playing years will give him the chance to surpass the legacies of those who came before him and definitively claim the title of the greatest basketball player of all time. Then again, his exploits could also be overshadowed eventually by those who are yet to come.