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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