LeBron vs. Kobe: The Debate

The internet is up in arms in a polarizing basketball debate. The question is simple: Who is better at basketball, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant?

Cleveland Mocks takes a look at a number of factors.

  1. Basketball: LeBron clearly has the edge here, with higher career averages in points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, steals per game, blocks per game, field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage, player efficiency rating, career +/-, career total win shares, career triple doubles, win shares per 48 minutes, as well as number of other stats. Bryant does have the advantage when it comes to free-throw percentage. When it comes to being better at basketball, the edge here goes to LeBron James.
  2. Mamba Mentality: One “stat” constantly brought up when it comes to the Bryant-James debate is “Mamba Mentality.” Mamba Mentality is a form of the indescribable “it” factor, that often accompanies great athletes, but specific to Kobe Bryant. This often goes hand in hand with clutch-time (last five minutes of a five-point or less game) baskets. While LeBron and Kobe both have similar usage rates, LeBron’s true shooting percentage is much higher than that of Bryant. Even if the number conclusively show James as being more efficient and impactful in clutch moments, he still doesn’t have that indescribable “it” factor that basketball pundits look for. When it comes to Mamba Mentality, advantage Kobe Bean.
  3. Legal indiscretions: Another category dominated by Kobe Bryant, who was arrested on sexual assault charges in 2003. LeBron has zero legal issues. Another notch in the belt for Bryant.