There has been an ongoing debate ever since LeBron James came into the league and quickly rose to stardom of if he is better than Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
Bryant has the edge in championships, as he has won five rings in seven Finals appearances. Meanwhile James has won three rings in eight appearances, although his career is not yet over so he still has time to win more.
One person who knows both LeBron and Kobe better than anyone perhaps is Kyrie Irving, who is a former teammate of LeBron’s and has a close relationship with Kobe, looking to him as a mentor.
Irving recently chimed in on the debate when he appeared on ESPN’s First Take Monday morning, and he chose Bryant, calling him his second favorite player behind only his dad, via Joseph Sherman:
Kyrie answers the "Kobe or LeBron?" question. pic.twitter.com/c4DZO8qFZS
— joseph sherman (@SHERMYSZN) September 18, 2017
Irving choosing Kobe may not come as a surprise as this summer he demanded a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron being cited as the primary reason for that, although Irving denied that on his First Take appearance.
LeBron and Irving won a championship together in 2016 with the Cavaliers and played together for three seasons, reaching the NBA Finals in all three of them, so it says a lot that he would still choose Kobe over him.
As far as achievements go LeBron still has a way to go if he wants to match Kobe’s career. In addition to the five championships, Kobe was named to 18 All-Star games, 15 All-NBA teams and 12 All-Defensive teams in his 20-year career.
LeBron has been named to 13 All-Star games, 13 All-NBA teams and 6 All-Defensive teams in 14 seasons so far. He has Kobe’s number in MVP awards though, winning four compared to Kobe’s one.