Hardest working player in the NBA Heat vs. Lakers Kobe is the greatest Kobe practices after game Kobe publicity stunt Kobe shootaround after Heat Game Kobe vs. Jordan Kobe vs. Lebron Kobe works harder than Lebron LeBron vs. Kobe The difference between good and great the difference between LeBron and Kobe Who's better - Kobe or LeBron
Some would argue “wanting it more” is a false construct – that either every guy on a basketball court wants to win just as badly as his competitors or, alternately, that talent – in the end – prevails over all else anyway.
Maybe these people are right. Maybe when push comes to shove, “winners” – your Jordans and Magics and Robert Horrys – just possess superior athletic traits, exhibit one specifically heightened skill, or play with a group of similarly gifted talents who collectively display more physical aptitude than their opponents.
But LeBron James is a more talented player than Kobe Bryant and probably, too, every other human being that’s ever hoisted a 15-foot turnaround. He can jump higher, run faster, find a cutting forward with more precision than any. And for his adonis-like exploits, superior athleticism and nightly highlight reels, he has to show two trophies that say he’s the league’s best player and as many meaningful team awards as you, me, Maury Povich and Charles Barkley combined.
Kobe, on the other hand, has only one of the former and five of the latter – a skewed ratio most certainly speaking to the paramount abilities of his teammates, but also to a borderline-maniacal work ethic giving rise to stories of legend.
One such goes like this: Bryant, a 32-year-old five-time champion, misses all three of his shot attempts in the last 67 seconds of a 6-point defeat in Miami. He turns the ball over with 41 seconds left, hits the showers, and then takes to the court. Again. At 10:47. And spends the next 90-some minutes working his body into a frothing sweat with jumpers, post drills, free-throws and three-pointers.
Kobe heads to the showers – for a second time – as a crowd of 100 now-trespassing spectators clear the first rows in the first hour of the early morning. Flight for Dallas leaves today.
Now cynics have decried this act of oneness either a publicity stunt or a transparent attempt to sharpen a complacent champion’s will. To this, pundits pile on by “coming to the defense” of the event staff Kobe kept up passed its bedtime.
Never mind that event staffs work events as these PRECISELY to watch one of the ten greatest ballplayers of all-time create in real-time a million-hit YouTube sensation. These naysaying assertions, on their face, are clearly insane.
Kobe said he needed to tweak his game. He said it’s his job to work out the kinks. He is a champion. He is also, in his vows, correct. There seems to be a correlation between the two.
While LeBron celebrated on South Beach a break in his five-game losing streak, Kobe was honing an already perfected craft. During LeBron’s prep for “The Decision”, Kobe developed a seventh post move. And in the time it took LeBron to map out the parade route, Kobe changed his diet, shaved his head and added 20 pounds to the benchpress.
So there’s a difference between LeBron and Kobe. One is the kind of guy who runs harder in the final lap, rises before the sun, defies age with compulsion, makes a scene to make a point, doesn’t cry in the locker room, doesn’t Tweet, doesn’t celebrate prematurely, doesn’t rest on his laurels, doesn’t take his talents to South Beach or for granted.
The other is LeBron James.