Former NBA All-Star Feels Kobe Bryant was Harder to Guard Than LeBron James

Published 03/14/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, right, and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James have their game face on as they guard each other in the fourth quarter at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008. Lakers lost 98–95. LeBron James scored 14 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter. Kobe Bryant finished with 33 points. (Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) | Courtesy: Getty Images


Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are two of the greatest players in NBA history. Bryant was dominating the NBA when James entered the league in 2003. Since then, until 2020, Bryant and James were part of 13 of the 17 NBA Finals. But fans often wonder – who was the better player between the two of them? One former All-Star reveals his pick of the two.

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Stoudemire picks Kobe Bryant over LeBron

Former NBA All-Star and current Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Amar’e Stoudemire gave an interview recently. When asked about who was harder to guard between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, he seemed to struggle with an answer. Stoudemire noted that Kobe was intellectually on another level, but James was more explosive. But he picked Kobe for his lack of weaknesses.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27: LeBron James (L) and Kobe Bryant (R) look on during a basketball press conference ahead of the London 2012 Olympics on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

“Kobe has a different intellect with the game. Well, he talked whenever you talked to him, he was all business and it was, like, strategic. LeBron was probably harder to play against because he was also more explosive. Actually, I take that back, Kobe’s harder to guard because Kobe, there was no weaknesses.”

Kobe was absolutely spectacular during his time in the NBA. Several former players have come out and noted how much of a menace he was. Bryant would never give up on a play and would hustle his way to the basket one way or another. That made him utterly dangerous and got him so much of his success. Kobe used his skill and grit to get what he wanted.

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Who is better between Kobe and LeBron?

However, LeBron James has been considered the most unstoppable player in NBA history. With his size, build, speed, and athleticism, James can take the ball to the hoop with ease that has never been seen in the NBA. Furthermore, James is one of the best passers in basketball history, so stopping him doesn’t mean the player has stopped the offensive play from succeeding.

Cavaliers LeBron James celebrates what he thought was a three-pointer at the buzzer as Lakers Kobe Bryant walks off the court at halftime at the Staples Center Friday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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Who is better between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant? Both players have been some of the most influential figures in NBA history. Between themselves, they’ve won nine NBA championships and redefined the way basketball is played. Some give the advantage to Kobe for his five championships with the Lakers compared to James’ four. However, James could match and even surpass Kobe by the end of his career.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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