The Time Kobe Bryant OWNED LeBron James (Ft. NBA, Michael Jordan, Lakers, Defense)
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are some of the best basketball players ever, but there was a time where Kobe absolutely dominated LeBron. #NBA #Kobe #Lakers
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This isn’t a video saying that Kobe is better than LeBron, I’ma let you in comments talk that out and I’ma read all the arguments. These two are great players with some pretty impressive battles, LeBron’s gotten the better of Kobe and Kobe’s gotten the better of Bron, but there was a time in specific where the two were still in their primes in which Kobe owned LeBron. And to the 91% that watch my videos that still aren’t subscribed, Ben Simmons just made a three, so at this point, I’m shooting my shot and asking you to please subscribe.
The year is 2013. LeBron is on the Miami Heat, he just won his first championship in 2012, a dominant finals run. The 2012-13 season is perhaps LeBron’s physical prime. Many say that this is his best season. He was simultaneously one of the best offensive players and best defensive players, 1st team All-NBA 1st team All-Defense, had 5 player of the month awards, the MVP. He averaged 26.8 points per game, 7.3 assists, 8 rebounds on 56% shooting from the field and 40% from 3. It was one of the most dominant seasons in NBA history and so there were more and more comparisons between LeBron, Kobe, and Jordan.
This is also the same year that the Lakers had the super team *ahem super team. Dwight Howard was on the Lakers dealing with a nasty shoulder, Steve Nash was doing his best at the age of 38. Pau Gasol was dealing with multiple injuries. And then there was Kobe Bryant. Yeah Kobe Bryant was 34 years old at this point, he’s won 5 championships including the ship in 2010, just averaged 27.9 points the season before, finishing 4th in MVP voting. And the 2012-2013 season was no different. Kobe would go on to average 27.3 points, 6 assists, and 5.6 rebounds and finish 5th in MVP voting.
On February 14, 2013, Michael Jordan picked Kobe over LeBron in an NBA TV saying that it would be a tough choice, but 5 beats one every time. This was right before the 2013 All-Star Game on February 17th. So that weekend was filled with a lot more direct comparisons between Kobe and LeBron. LeBron said that it didn’t matter to him and that he’s trying to make his own name.
And here comes the All-Star game, East vs West, LeBron vs Kobe , the two leading vote getters. The stage was set. Now these were the days the All-Star games actually had some defense with the last 6-7 minutes of the game was played seriously. This was a game of bragging rights and pride was on the line.
The first 3 and a half quarters kinda goes along. LeBron James is doing his thing, dunking ferociously, but he wasn’t imposing himself on the game. Kobe was more of a background player too, moving the ball around, and getting other players involved.
The intensity is different now, all the players are playing defense, there are plays being ran, a lot of off-ball movement. Down the stretch, LeBron brought up the ball almost every time and matched up with him is Kobe Bryant who is hounding LeBron. There were plays LeBron didn’t look to score and he just gave up the ball without really doing anything to the defense. Kobe isos on Bosh, gets by him and takes the layup pushing the West’s lead to 8. It’s LeBron’s turn to answer now and so he’s bringing the ball up. Kobe immediately gets to defending him, shuts him down, and then gives him a stare. That block leads to an easy bucket for Durant and the West are up by 10. The next possession, LeBron doesn’t even to look to shoot or create an opportunity for someone else, he just passes and gets out of the way. With one minute left and the East down 6, LeBron has the ball again, Kobe hounds him and he turns it over which leads to an easy bucket. Kobe picks him up the full length of the court and blocks LeBron. Eventually, Kobe fouls LeBron and starts talking a bit with LeBron walking away. This was more of a heated rivalry. Kobe showed that he could stop LeBron even when so many thought he was untouchable and in the midst of Jordan’s comments, this was Kobe’s way of saying I’m better.
And he didn’t. LeBron’s last bucket was with 6 minutes left in the 3rd. Kobe finished the game with 9 points and 8 assists, but his lockdown defense directly led to points for the West in crunch time. This would be the season that Kobe would tear his Achilles while keeping his promise that the Lakers would make the playoffs and LeBron would win his second ring. It really was the last time we gotta to see a healthy Kobe before his Achilles tear go at it with LeBron and simply put, Kobe dominated him, but what do you think? I’m gonna ask the question, who do you like more, Kobe or LeBron?