Kobe vs LeBron 2013 Comparison

For the last decade “Kobe vs LeBron” has been a hot topic amongst NBA fans.  They are  two of the greatest NBA players to ever play and have both dominated the game in their respective ways.  This blog post is a presentation of the facts, which you cannot deny.

Some statistics and advanced metrics are flawed such as offensive and defensive rating because they are a representation of the team more than they are the individual.  With defensive rating you can be a poor defender on a good defensive team (such as Carlos Boozer) and have a higher defensive rating than someone who is a better defender on a poor defensive team.  Because of this I have chosen not to include such metrics.  As with most statistical data there are some flaws  and anomalies but for the most part they are an accurate representation of a player when put into proper context.  This blog post is written with the assumption that you know and understand the context in which these statistics are given.

I’ve provided a brief description of some of the meanings for certain advanced metrics, however please feel free to visit Basketball Reference, Google and/ or Wikipedia to gain a fuller understanding of the meaning of the respective terms.

Accolades 

MVP

Kobe: 1 – finished 2nd in MVP voting once and 3rd three times

LeBron:  4 – finished 2nd in MVP voting once and 3rd once

Championship Rings

Kobe: 5

LeBron:  2

Championship rings are a team accomplishment.  When a team such as the Lakers or Celtics win a championship every person on the roster is given a championship ring. However, only one person is given a finals MVP award.  Hence why a ring is a team accomplishment (because everyone gets one) and a finals MVP is an individual accomplishment (because only one person gets one).

There are 13 people in NBA history with 6 or more NBA Championship rings to their name. So if you are a ring counter and rank a player on an all time scale based on the number of rings someone has, then using your own logic Kobe should be placed, at highest, number 14 on an all time scale because he has 5 rings which is at least one less than thirteen others.

Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 17.14.32

Finals MVP

Kobe: 2

LeBron: 2

DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year)

Kobe: 0 – Finished 3rd in voting for defensive player of the year once

LeBron: 0 – Finished 2nd in voting for defensive player of the year twice

ROTY (Rookie of the Year)

Kobe: 0 – Made all rookie 2nd team

LeBron: 1 – Led his team in scoring and steals and made all rookie first team

Scoring Title

Kobe: 2 – Has led the league in total points scored four times

LeBron: 1 – Has never led the league in total points scored

MVP and Finals MVP in the same season

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 2

Season Totals:

Games Played:

Kobe: 1239

LeBron: 764

Minutes Played:

Kobe: 45,390

LeBron: 30,374

Seasons over 2000 points

Kobe: 8

LeBron: 8

Seasons over 2500 points

Kobe: 1

LeBron: 0

Seasons over 2750 points

Kobe: 1

LeBron: 0

Seasons over 50 blocks

Kobe: 4

LeBron: 10

Seasons over 75 blocks

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 3

Seasons over 80 blocks

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 2

Seasons over 100 steals

Kobe: 11

LeBron: 10

Seasons over 150 steals

Kobe: 2

LeBron: 1

Seasons over 300 assists

Kobe: 13

LeBron: 10

Seasons over 400 assists

Kobe: 5

LeBron: 9

Seasons over 500 assists

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 7

Seasons over 600 assists

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 1

Seasons over 400 rebounds

Kobe: 9

LeBron: 10

Seasons over 450 rebounds

Kobe: 2

LeBron: 8

Seasons over 500 rebounds

Kobe: 2

LeBron: 8

Seasons over 550 rebounds

Kobe: 1

LeBron: 5

Seasons over 600 rebounds

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 2

Seasons over 40% shooting

Kobe: 17

LeBron: 10

Seasons over 45% shooting

Kobe: 12

LeBron: 9

Seasons over 46% shooting

Kobe: 7

LeBron: 9

Seasons over 47% shooting

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 8

Seasons over 48% shooting

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 7

Seasons over 49% shooting

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 4

Seasons over 50% shooting

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 4

Seasons over 51% shooting

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 3

Seasons over 52% shooting

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 2

Seasons over 53% shooting

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 2

Seasons over 54% shooting

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 1

Seasons over 55% shooting

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 1

Seasons over 56% shooting

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 1

Seasons over 25% from 3

Kobe: 17

LeBron: 10

Seasons over 30% from 3

Kobe: 15

LeBron: 9

Seasons over 31% from 3

Kobe: 13

LeBron: 9

Seasons over 32% from 3

Kobe: 12

LeBron: 7

Seasons over 33% from 3

Kobe: 8

LeBron: 7

Seasons over 34% from 3

Kobe: 7

LeBron: 4

Seasons over 35% from 3

Kobe: 4

LeBron: 3

Seasons over 36% from 3

Kobe: 3

LeBron: 2

Seasons over 37% from 3

Kobe: 2

LeBron: 1

Seasons over 38% from 3

Kobe: 1

LeBron: 1

Seasons over 39% from 3

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 1

Seasons over 40% from 3

Kobe: 0

LeBron: 1

Regular Season (per game):

Points per game:

Kobe: 25.5

LeBron: 27.6

Rebounds per game

Kobe: 5.3

LeBron: 7.3

Assists per game:

Kobe: 4.8

LeBron: 6.9

Steals per game:

Kobe: 1.5

LeBron: 1.7

Blocks per game:

Kobe: 0.5

LeBron: 0.8

FG%

Kobe: .454

LeBron: .490

FT%

Kobe: .838

LeBron: .747

3PT%

Kobe: .336

LeBron: .337

Turnovers per game:

Kobe: 3.0

LeBron: 3.3

Regular Season (advanced metrics):

PER: (Player Efficiency Rating) – A measure of per minute production

Kobe: 23.4 (19th all time) – Finished third in the league once, fifth four times and sixth twice

LeBron: 27.6 (2nd all time) – Finished first in the league six times and second once.

WS/48 (Win Shares per 48 minutes) – An estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player per 48 mins – league average is approximately .100

Kobe: .183 (29th all time) – Finished fourth once, seventh once and 8th in the league four times

LeBron: .241 (6th all time) – Finished first five times, fifth once and sixth once.

Win Shares (Total all time) – An estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player

Kobe: 173.33 (14th all time) – Finished fourth in the league three times and fifth once

LeBron: 152.6 (20th all time) – Finished first five times, second three times and fourth once

Offensive Win Shares (Total all time) – An estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player due to his offence

Kobe: 123.84 (9th) – Finished second in the league once and third in the league once

LeBron: 104.8 (5th) – Finished first four times, second in the league once and third in the league twice

Defensive Win Shares (Total all time) – An estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player due to his defence

Kobe: 49.5 (46th) – Finished tenth in the league once.

LeBron: 47.8 (51st) – Finished second in the NBA twice and third twice.

Leaders (Reg Season):

(How many times has each player led the league in…)

PER:

Kobe: 0 – finished 3rd once and 5th four times

LeBron: 6 – finished 2nd once

Offensive Win Shares

Kobe: 0 – finished 2nd once, 3rd once and 4th once

LeBron: 4 – finished 2nd once and 3rd twice

Win Shares:

Kobe: 0 – finished 4th three times and 5th once

LeBron: 5 – finished 2nd three times and 4th once

Win Shares Per 48 Minutes

Kobe: 0 – finished 4th once, 6th once, 7th once and 8th four times

LeBron: 5 – finished 5th once

Post Season (per game):

 Games Played

Kobe: 220 (200 starts)

LeBron: 138 (138 starts)

Minutes Played

Kobe: 8641

LeBron: 5954

Points per game:

Kobe: 25.6

LeBron: 28.1

Rebounds per game:

Kobe: 5.1

LeBron: 7.0

Assists per game:

Kobe: 4.7

LeBron: 6.7

Steals per game:

Kobe: 1.4

LeBron: 1.7

Blocks per game:

Kobe: 0.7

LeBron: 0.9

FG%

Kobe: .448%

LeBron: .472%

FT%

Kobe: .816%

LeBron: .749%

3PT%

Kobe: .331%

LeBron: .322%

Turnovers per game:

Kobe: 2.9

LeBron: 3.5

Post Season (advanced metrics)

(rating then followed by all time ranking)

 PER: (Player Efficiency Rating)

Kobe: 22.40 (22nd all time)

LeBron: 27.26 (3rd all time)

WS/48 (Win Shares per 48 minutes)

Kobe: .1570 (46th)

LeBron: .2382 (3rd)

Win Shares (Total all time)

Kobe: 28.26 (8th)

LeBron: 29.54 (7th)

Offensive Win Shares (Total all time)

Kobe: 20.97 (5th)

LeBron: 19.53 (7th)

Leaders (Post Season)

(How many times has each player led the league in…)

PER:

Kobe: 0 – finished 3rd twice, 4th twice

LeBron: 2 – finished 3nd twice and 5th once

Offensive Win Shares

Kobe: 0 – finished 2nd five times

LeBron: 4 – finished 4th once

Win Shares:

Kobe: 1 – finished 2nd four times and 5th once

LeBron: 5

Win Shares Per 48 Minutes

Kobe: 0 – finished 2nd once and 4th once

LeBron: 2 – finished 2nd once and 3rd once

Clutch:

 Last 24 seconds regular season, a shot to tie or take the lead

Kobe: 46 for 155 (29.7%)

LeBron: 27 for 90 (30.0%)

Last 24 seconds post season, a shot to tie or take the lead

Kobe: 7 for 28 (25%)

LeBron: 7 for 17  (41.2%)

Last 5mins and OT in the regular season, a shot to tie or take the lead

Kobe (since 2001 season): 233 for 555 (41.9%)

LeBron (since 04 season): 160 for 378 (42.3%)

Last 5mins and OT post season, a shot to tie or take the lead

Kobe (since 01 season): 30 for 88 (34.09%)

LeBron: (since 06 season): 36 for 74 (48.6%)

NBA Finals Averages

Kobe – 37 games: 25.3ppg, 41.2% FG, 5.7rpg, 5.05apg, 1.76spg, 0.9bpg, 31.3%3pt, 84.7% FT

LeBron  – 22 games: 23.2ppg, 43.8 FG%, 9.0rpg, 7.0apg, 1.72spg, 0.59bpg, 26.5 3PT %, 72.7% FT 

Kobe’s NBA Finals Performances

2000 NBA Finals – 15.6ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.2apg, 1.0spg, 1.4bpg, 36.7% FG, 20.0% 3pt FG, 90.9% FT% – W (win)

2001 NBA Finals – 24.6ppg, 7.8rpg, 5.8apg, 1.4spg, 1.4bpg, 41.5% FG, 33.3% FT% – W

2002 NBA Finals – 26.8ppg, 5.8rpg, 5.3apg, 1.5spg, 0.8bpg, 51.4% FG, 54.5% 3PT, 80.6% FT – 

2004 NBA Finals – 22.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.4apg, 1.8spg, 0.6bpg, 38.1% FG, 17.4% 3PT, 92.0% FT – L

2008 NBA Finals – 25.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 5.0apg, 2.7spg, 0.2bpg, 40.5% FG, 32.1% 3PT, 79.6% FT – L

2009 NBA Finals – 32.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 7.4apg, 1.4spg, 1.4bpg, 43.0% FG, 36.0 3PT%, 84.1% FT – W – Finals MVP

2010 NBA Finals – 28.6ppg, 8.0rpg, 3.9apg, 2.1spg, 0.7bpg, 40.5% FG, 31.9 3PT%, 88.3% FT – W – Finals MVP

LeBron’s NBA Finals Performances

2007 NBA Final: – 22ppg, 7.0rpg, 6.8apg, 1.0spg, 0.5bpg, 35.6% FG, 20.0% 3PT, 69.0% FT – L

2011 NBA Final: 17.8ppg, 7.2rpg, 6.8apg, 1.7spg, 0.5bpg, 47.8% FG, 32.1% 3PT, 60.0% FT – L

2012 NBA Final: 28.6ppg, 10.2rpg, 7.4apg, 1.6spg, 0.4bpg, 47.2% FG, 18.8% 3PT, 82.6% FT – W – Finals MVP

2013 NBA Final: 25.3ppg, 10.9rpg, 7.0apg, 2.3spg, 0.9bpg, 44.7% FG, 35.3% 3PT, 79.5% FT – W – Finals MVP

You can follow me on twitter: @SwishNBA

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18 thoughts on “Kobe vs LeBron 2013 Comparison

      1. I especially took notice of the fact that you helped debunk this very ESPN/Skip Bayless manufactured notion that Kobe is so overwhelmingly “clutch”. Has he hit some big shots? Sure but if you shoot that often you will make some of those shots & the makes are what fans remember, but the numbers don’t exactly scream GREAT clutch player

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  1. Great article Swish. LeBron had been the better player for the longest. People get blinded by how many rings(team achievement) a player has and use that to say Player A > Player B. As of today Bron has the better career.

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  2. FOR THOSE WHO CRITIZE THE KING [LeBron]

    LeBron Took The Cleveland Cavaliers To The NBA Finals in Just His 3rd Season (21 Years Old). Kobe Made His 1st NBA Finals Appearance in 2000 His 4th Season (22 Years Old)

    Cavs Starting 5 in 2007 LeBron James, Drew Gooden, Zyndrunas (Big Z), Sasha Pavlovic, Daniel Gibson

    Lakers Starting 5 in 2000 Derek Fisher , Kobe Bryant , Rick Fox , Robert Horry , Shaquile O’Neal

    Lakers Had The Big 3 – Kobe , Horry , O’Neal .

    Cavs- LeBron James in His 3rd Season , Not Fully Developed At His Best Playing With No All Stars .

    Kobe Was Not At His Full Potential But Shaq Was At His Prime Which Is Why He Was Named Finals MVP in All 3 Years.

    People Criticize LeBron James For Needing To Join a Team Full Of All-Stars ?

    Jordan – Pippen – Grant (All-Stars)

    Billups – Wallace – Hamilton (All-Stars)

    Parker – Ginobli – Duncan (All-Stars)

    Pierce – Allen – Garnett (All-Stars)

    Kobe – Bynum – Gasol (All-Stars)

    So Why Do People Criticize LeBron? Because They Can’t Accept The Fact That He Left Cleveland After Giving it His All For 7 Years There . He Led Them To An NBA Finals Appearance , Twice The Best Record in The NBA (Back To Back) . Best Home Record . 2 Eastern Conference Finals Appearances. By Himself (Star-Player Wise)

    Kobe By Himself (Star-Player Wise) 2005-2006 Lakers Starting 5

    Smush Parker , Kobe Bryant , Luke Walton , Lamar Odom , Kwame Browm

    Record (45-37) 8th Seed Lost in 1st Round To The Phoenix Suns

    Lakers 2006-2007 Starting 5

    Jordan Farmar , Kobe Bryant , Vladimir Radmonivic , Kwame Brown , Andrew Bynum

    Record (42-40) 7th Seed Lost In 1st Round To The Phoenix Suns . That Same Year While Kobe Was Getting Eliminated , LeBron Was Leading His Team into The NBA Finals. Also Kobe Was 28 Years Old At This Time (Same Age LeBron Got His 1st Ring)

    Kobe At Age 28 – Losses in 1st Round (Back To Back Years)

    LeBron At Age 28 – Season MVP (3rd) , NBA Champion , Finals MVP Olympic Gold Medal . Not To Mention The Only Two Players in History To Accomplish All That in 1 Year Was Jordan And LeBron.

    LeBron Got His 1st Finals MVP At Age 28

    Kobe Got His 1st Finals MVP At Age 31

    LeBron Chokes ?

    FG% Since 2000 In Game Winning Shot Attempts

    Kobe Bryant – (31-103) – 30% LeBron James- (21-68)- 31%

    * Kobe Has More Attempts Because He’s Been in The Leauge Longer.

    Kobe Has Been in The Leauge For 17 Years.

    LeBron Has Been in The Leauge For 10 Years.

    Season MVP’s Kobe – 1 (2008) LeBron – 4 (2009,2010,2012,2013)

    Career Triple Doubles Kobe- 19 LeBron- 36

    Career PPG Kobe- 25.5 PPG LeBron- 27.6 PPG

    Career APG Kobe- 4.8 APG LeBron- 6.9 APG

    Career RPG Kobe- 5.3 RPG LeBron- 7.3 RPG

    NBA Draft Selections Kobe – 14th Overall (Charlotte Hornets) LeBrona 1st Overall ( Cleveland Cavaliers )

    Kobe is 34 Years Old Right Now He Has 5 Rings ( 2 Finals MVP)

    LeBron is 28 Years Old Right Now He Has 2 Rings ( 2 Finals MVP)

    They Are 6 Years Apart . Jordan Got His 1st Ring At The Same Age As LeBron . He Has More Than Kobe. Yes, Jordan did go to college.

    LeBron is The 1st Player Ever in Team USA History To Record A Triple-Double .

    Not To Mention That LeBron James Has Beaten Kobe Bryant Twice On Christmas Day In Kobe’s Home Court Staples Center In Blowouts.

    •2009- Cavaliers 102 – Lakers 87 (LeBron 26 Pts , 9 Ast , 4 Reb) •2010- Heat 96 – Lakers 80 (LeBron 27 Pts , 11 Reb , 10 Ast)

    Lebron James shot a career high 40% from the three point line this season. Kobe has never shot 40% from deep in a single season in his NBA career.

    AGE TO AGE COMPARISON AT AGE 28

    Kobe 3 rings, 0 Finals MVP, 0 MVP
    Lebron 1 ring, 1 Finals MVP, 3 MVP

    REGULAR SEASON

    Points: Kobe 19,296 – Lebron 20,804
    Steals: Kobe 1,170 – Lebron 1,306
    Blocks: Kobe 467 – Lebron 638
    Assists: Kobe 3,561 – Lebron 5,227
    Rebounds: Kobe 4,073 – Lebron 5,481
    3Pt Made: Kobe 936 – Lebron 1,005
    FG%: Kobe 45% – Lebron 49%
    Games Played: Kobe 784 – Lebron 755

    PLAYOFFS

    Points: Kobe 3,053 – Lebron 3,275
    Steals: Kobe 174 – Lebron 195
    Blocks: Kobe 94 – Lebron 109
    Assists: Kobe 586 – Lebron 772
    Rebounds: Kobe 647 – Lebron 998
    3Pt Made: Kobe 145 – Lebron 159
    FG%: Kobe 44% – Lebron 47%
    Games Played: Kobe 131 – Lebron 115

    At this point is LeBron is no doubt better than Kobe? And He Aint Even Done. He’s Barely Getting Started. Kobe’s Career Is Whining Down Already. Even if LeBron Doesnt Get More Rings Than Kobe is he Still The Better Player? You Do Not Determine A Players Greatness On Rings Or Else Bill Russell Would Be The Best. He Has 11 Rings. Robert Horry Has 7. Does That Mean He’s Better ? No. Hell, that means Luke Walton is better than John Stockton and Karl Malone. You mean to tell me, Dominique Jones is better than Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, and Allen Iverson? You don’t even know who Jones is do you?

    -Read this well

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    1. yeahh kobe did get eliminated 2 in the first round in the WEST,, EAST TEAMS ARE TRASHHHH,,, IF KOBE WAS TO BE IN THE EAST HE WOULD OF MADE THE CHAMPIONSHIP EVERYTIMEEE

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  3. I don’t think you can decide who is the better player based on rings or even MPW awards. Both of them are influneced by teammates. Yes, even the MVP, cause it’s hard to be the MVP if you’re playing in a losing team and in order to be a winning team several guys have to be able to play good basketball. But indeed out of the two, the rings are for sure the wrong measure in determining who is better.

    Now about the debate of who is batter KB or LJ, some say that KB, other say that LJ. I might sound like an idiot but i think that both of the groups are right.

    I’m an idiot i know … I’m basing my decision on what i see on the floor and not the numbers. What i mean by that is that we need to pay attention to an aspect of the game that sometimes is overlooked. Each basketball player has different level of plays. You have the average game and you have the zone.

    Based on this comparison i think that in the zone Kobe is one level above everybody else. Especially on offense he is able sometime to play at a different level than any other guy (Lebron included) – this is mainly due to the fact that he has a wider range of wapons: jumpshot, dribbling, body control and most importantly post moves, footwork and the ability to adapt to what defense throws on him. That’s how you get to several games of 60 points in 3 quarters, 81 in one game or 30 in one quarter.

    However, the zone is a state which doesn’t happen that often and doesn’t last. That’s why its called “zone”.

    All the other time you need to get around on you average game. And here is where LJ is far superior (and he has the numbers to back it up) – wapons for a better average game (speed, power, size, and superior generosity in sharing the ball for LJ vs Kobe).

    This makes LJ the guy you want to have on your team on a day by day basis, because he can maintain an average level of play far above everybody else while Kobe can reach from time to time a level of play that only he can reach.

    So in order to decide which of the two is the better basketball player we need to determine what means the better player? Is it the guy who night in and night out comes in and plays and overshadows everybody or is it the guy who when you’re watching you think to yourself: this is probably as good as it gets in terms of things that you can do on a basketball court.

    Off record – that’s why MJ was and still is the best player in the history cause he had both the “average” and the moments in the same time.

    Sorry for any mistakes, enghlish is not my first language.

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