Kobe Bryant was one of the fiercest competitors in the NBA and he didn’t hesitate to speak his mind out when he was asked about his quality compared to other players. He was a competitor before anything else and Bryant wasn’t afraid to say he was better than the rest of the players in the NBA.
A couple of years ago, he was asked who would win a 1-on-1 game between him and LeBron James and Kobe made it clear that Bron didn’t stand a chance against him since Kobe’s style of play was based on one-on-one games.
“Not even close,” Kobe said while reporters laughed. “If we go one-on-one, that’s easy. Playing one-one-one is what I grew up playing, it’s like my thing. LeBron is more like Magic Johnson, he’s passing the players around him. I’m a one-on-one player, so… I’ll beat him in my sleep.”
Kobe straight says he would beat LeBron 1 on 1 and then says “Not even Close”
LeBron is a 5 on 5 player. No chance against Kobe 1v1 pic.twitter.com/8rBufAej7Q
— A1Hoopz (@A1Hoopz) November 25, 2020
Well, Kobe was right with his remarks. His game was oriented to one-on-one duels and he always showed that during his days in the NBA. He became one of the greatest scorers of all time using that tactic and that helped him win five championships. LeBron has always been known for being a facilitator, a pass-first guy and Kobe would have had the edge in a pickup game between the two legends.
Kobe and LeBron had the same mentality, they were fierce competitors and were willing to do anything to win. However, Kobe was always trying to get the points instead of facilitating things for his teammates. Bryant had 26 50+ point games during his career, while James recorded 13, half of Kobe’s numbers. Although LeBron can score a lot of points when he really focuses on scoring, it’s not crazy to say that Kobe would’ve won this hypothetical duel.
They had plenty of duels in the league while Kobe was still active. We never got to see them clashing in the Finals nor we could see Kobe taking on James in a one-on-one game. Well, according to Kobe, he would’ve won that dream match.