Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have been the most dominant players of the past 20 years, so chances are that if you started watching basketball since 2000, you either think of one of them as your favorite player.
Obviously, as it happens in basketball and all sports, fans are constantly engaged in debates on which player was better than the other, and that's why we always wanted to watch Kobe and LeBron go at each other in the NBA Finals.
James and Bryant were never rivals per sé. They met twice a year and once during the All-Star Game, but fans always tried to antagonize them either way, constantly picking sides as if you couldn't admire both of them.
That's why LeBron's fans won't like what former All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire has to say about this debate, as he recently claimed that Kobe was actually harder to guard than LeBron:
“Kobe has a different intellect with the game. Well, he talked whenever you talked to him, he was all business and it was, like, strategic. LeBron was probably harder to play against because he was also more explosive. Actually, I take that back, Kobe’s harder to guard because Kobe, there was no weaknesses," Stoudemire said in an interview, according to Essentially Sports.
We can all agree that both Kobe and LeBron are unstoppable forces of nature and that getting a stop vs. either of them is a Herculean task. Then again, most players felt quite intimidated by Kobe's nature and presence, something that doesn't always happen with James.
At the end of the day, there isn't a truly objective way of saying one player was better than the other because both of them accomplished so much throughout their careers, and we should just embrace their difference and applaud what makes them unique rather than trying to put one on top of the other.