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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hmm? Prediction isn't a human's strong suit, but this topic to me is interesting. I think when Kobe retires, he will be ranked among the top20-25 to EVER play this game, as the second best SG behind Air. So really a rephrasal would be, will LeBron rank among the top20 when its all said and done? If one were to say yes, then what would be required for that ranking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Keep in mind that most of Kobe's accomplishments are offensive productions.
Not true, he has a few scattered defensive teams to his resume as well, and he has a few notable defensive performances against certain great offensive players in this league. A few years back when he had more quickness he held Allen Iverson to no buckets in the second half of a game where he had 28 in the first, the comeback against the Magic when Tracy McGrady was going off with 30+ in the three quarters, and the sonning of Vince Carter earlier this season. Defensive plays? Blocks against Michael Redd, steals against the Rockets (Yao/Francis), the one play last year where he sprinted back against the Nugz to block an Andre Miller layup [granted it was his turnover that caused the fastbreak]. In regards to plays and times like these which demonstrate pure defensive skill and willpower, LeBron isn't as gifted on that side of that ball, although he does have tremendous anticipation for what the other team is trying to do in terms of shooting the lanes for steals.

Moving on to more general terms, one thing that gets left out, when talking about these two players is the difference of generations that they represent. Although Kobe didn't really come into his own until about 2000, about 4 years before LeBron, he still came into the league 7 years before him making him a mid-90s draftee. Maybe thats why the Tracy comparisons were so rabid/rampant. In totality though, he has nearly 600 [586 to be exact] games in NBA wear and tear on LeBron. As well conditioned as Kobe is, all that running, all that leaping, all that stress in the lane has an impact right through to an athlete's bones. Which serves to make it unfair to compare them, just as one wouldn't compare a mid90s Karl Malone to a freshly minted Tim Duncan.

Therefore I contend that they are from different eras, and personally thats why I feel more comfortable in comparing James to his draft counterparts in Wade and Carmelo. LeBron is newschool, and Kobe is more rugged in terms of NBA background. Kobe has been in the league a decade now, has recently reached his prime as a player, and really only has about five, six years at the most before he goes supernova. They really are at different points in their games. So to make the points equal, fastforward seven in the future to when James has been in the league for a decade. What will happen is not known, but its extremely doubtful that LeBron will end up being as accomplished as Kobe is now overall. But he has a chance to match him, for seven years from now is a long time indeed.
 
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