Shaq Would Take Kobe Bryant Over LeBron James

at 12:02 pm | By

Shaq Wants Kobe Over LeBron

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal after the 2000 Finals

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

While we have had plenty LeBron vs. Jordan talk in recent days, what about comparing LeBron James to the other greatest player of his era: Kobe Bryant?

Kobe’s longtime teammate and current NBA on TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal gave his take yesterday:

“I played with both of them, and Kobe has that killer instinct. I would probably have to go with Kobe. That’s not a knock against LeBron, but I know Kobe, played with him longer, and I’ve seen what he can do.”

While Shaq can say it is no a knock against James, that is certainly what will be interpreted. Kobe got his nickname ‘Black Mamba’ for his ruthless attitude and success when it came to closing out games. This another attribute that is often accredited to Michael Jordan, especially in comparison with LeBron James.

James’s biggest criticism, especially early on in his career, was that he is too passive, often willing too defer to lesser players in big situations. While it’s easy to point at this trait as a fault for James when his teams struggle, it’s the same willingness and ability to defer and involve his teammates that has made James the great player he is, perhaps making a comparison with Magic Johnson more apt than one with Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan.

While Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal enjoyed great success when they played together in Los Angeles, they have had an acrimonious relationship since.

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