When can you make an argument that 2 > 5?
And you can do the funny math while easily keeping a straight face.
A second consecutive title for James would leave him three short of the Lakers legend (though only one short at the same point in their careers), and obviously James is lacking in the longevity department, having played seven fewer NBA seasons than his counterpart.
But the number that swings this discussion back in James’ favor is his four most-valuable-player awards, three more than Bryant has won in his 17 seasons. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Michael Jordan and Bill Russell (five each) have won more MVPs than James has.
James’ career averages also compare favorably with Bryant’s. He has averaged more points (27.6 to Bryant’s 25.5), rebounds (7.3 to 5.3) and assists (6.9 to 4.8) while shooting 49.0% to Bryant’s 45.4%. James also recently became the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 points and, barring injury, could be the first to score 40,000 if he plays long enough.
Bryant has the 81-point game against Toronto in his corner and is known as one of the game’s best closers, a fearless shooter who is also a volume scorer. James has the more well-rounded game, which can be seen in his rebounding and assist averages. He also has overcome the tendency to disappear in crucial playoff situations that haunted him earlier in his career.
Both players are considered elite defenders.
It’s purely a matter of personal preference, like opting for a Ferrari over a Rolls-Royce. Of course, those who pick the Ferrari might argue that it has more zip and that special something that its rival can’t match.
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