Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Better overall player?

Kobe Bryant
57
90%
Larry Bird
6
9%
 
Total votes : 63

Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby The Original 81 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:51 am

My boss at my internship is a Celtics fan and we've been going back and forth on whether or not Kobe or Bird is the better player. I'm siding with Kobe and he's with bird, obviously. But truthfully I don't think I can really answer the question considering I never saw Bird play.

Now I'm not arguing whether or not Kobe is higher than Bird on the all-time list. I think based on accomplishments he is by default. But who is the better player when comparing them at their peak level of play? I've made a solid argument and I'd like to hear your thoughts, especially those who have seen both play.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby TIME on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:06 am

Closer than some Lakers fans will admit, but gotta go with Kobe.

Bird also would have had a better career resume than he ended with if his back didn't betray him. He had a perfect game for the older years since it was not really dependent on athleticism.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby John3:16 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:20 am

As a Laker fan in the 80s, I feared Larry Bird. I have no shame in saying that. He was that good. But let's be honest here. What was Bird better then Kobe at? Rebounding? He should be. He was a lot taller and bigger.

Shooting? no.
Passing? No.
Clutch shooting? No, but it's close.
Winning? no.
Defense? HELL NO!

Now, I'd have Bird in my starting 5 and Kobe wouldn't be, but that's only because a certain #23 plays the same position as Kobe. But if we're ranking players irregardless of position, Kobe trumps Bird every time.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:23 am

I'll have to disagree with Time it isn't that close. Plain and simple Kobe has the better all around game at every level than Bird. That in't saying that Larry Legend wasn't a bad, bad man but Kobe really can do and has done everything that Bird could do. Bird was clutch as hell though and as fearless as any player I have seen but this is really a no contest.
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby Texas Lakers Fan on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:25 am

Kobe and it's not close IMO. As John3:16 mentioned Kobe is better at everything aside from rebounding. Better all around scorer, just as good a playmaker, even more clutch, much better defender, and he's got more rings.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby Punk-101 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:28 am

What are Larry's rebounding numbers adjusted for pace in today's game? 80's game was up and down with a ton of shots and rebounds to be had.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby therealdeal on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:29 am

Definitely feared Bird. I think Kobe was the better passer, but Bird was the more willing one. Bird was a better rebounder but he was a SF so that's understandable.

At their peaks I think Bird was the better pure shooter, but Kobe was by far the better scorer.

Kobe over Bird for sure, but that's no insult to Bird.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby 432J on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:31 am

kobe

bird was the better shooter without a doubt but in terms of scoring and all around play, kobe wins. bird is an all time great though, the greatest shooter of all time in my opinion
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby trodgers on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:33 am

Bird was a pretty amazing player, clearly one of the top 50. Don't know that a handful of players were better at his position. But Kobe's the best or second best SG ever, and he's better than Bird was.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:34 am

432J wrote:kobe

bird was the better shooter without a doubt but in terms of scoring and all around play, kobe wins. bird is an all time great though, the greatest shooter of all time in my opinion


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For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby Texas Lakers Fan on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:36 am

puffyusaf#2 wrote:
432J wrote:kobe

bird was the better shooter without a doubt but in terms of scoring and all around play, kobe wins. bird is an all time great though, the greatest shooter of all time in my opinion


Reggie Miller and Ray Allen say hello

So does Steve Nash.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:39 am

KeepBynum wrote:
puffyusaf#2 wrote:
432J wrote:kobe

bird was the better shooter without a doubt but in terms of scoring and all around play, kobe wins. bird is an all time great though, the greatest shooter of all time in my opinion


Reggie Miller and Ray Allen say hello

So does Steve Nash.


Nash is exceptionally underrated as a shooter.
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby pound4pound1 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:40 am

one has to take into account the durability of both...Kobe has been playing at a high level longer than Bird did



Bird was also feared by this Lakers fan...even knowing that we had Coop wasn't enough to ease my worries when we played the green turds
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby Murdock on Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:15 am

therealdeal wrote:Definitely feared Bird. I think Kobe was the better passer, but Bird was the more willing one. Bird was a better rebounder but he was a SF so that's understandable.

At their peaks I think Bird was the better pure shooter, but Kobe was by far the better scorer.

Kobe over Bird for sure, but that's no insult to Bird.

nice sum up ...
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby purp n gold on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:05 am

I love these kinds of debates!

I chose Kobe for one reason - Bill Simmons, who is probably the biggest Larry Bird fan on the planet, wrote about how Bird could not handle young-uber-athletic defenders at the 3, like Scottie Pippen or Dennis Rodman on the Pistons.

Now I'm paraphrasing at this point (I'll dig up the excerpts later)... but he also suggested that Bird was a beneficiary in that era - dominating when SF's didn't play serious defense. By the time defenders like Pippen came around Bird wasn't as effective.

To me, that sounds like the league caught up to Bird. The league caught up to Kobe sometime around 2002 or 3. Dude has seen double and triple teams every night since, and he's dominated for more than a decade now.

But Bird also suffered a bad back injury around the time uber-athletic defenders started coming into the league. That same back injury eventually retired him. So we don't know what % of injury or competition took a larger effect on Bird's game later in his career.



---But that is the only way I can say Kobe is clearly better than Bird. On all other accounts I think It's very hard to say. I'll throw two more wrinkles in here- competition & health.

It seems like perimeter & individual defense in the 80's wasn't as good as it is now in 2012. But on the flip side, driving into the lane in the 80's was a punishment, especially playing against teams like the Pistons or Celtics. We've all seen that classic clip of Rambis getting clotheslined by McHale. That was a regular 2-shot foul! :man10:

And Kobe has far more medical technology at his disposal than Bird. Not just the platelet-rich treatment on his knees, but all the other stuff like nutrition/diet and physical therapy. All of this stuff has helped Kobe greatly.

Considering his back injury - if Bird played in this era, he would probably be much, much better.

If Kobe played in the 80's - would he be that much better?
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby therealdeal on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:24 am

Bird in this era would be blown away by the athleticism. You admitted that yourself in your own post. He wojld still be a very, very good player but he'd be handicapped by his lack of athleticism.

Kobe would fit fine in the 80s.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby Finwë on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:27 am

Kobe. It's never "not close" when talking about top 6 guys in the history of the game.
Bird was of course the purer shooter. Kobe is a much better scorer.
Kobe's the better defender. Clutchness might be close to a tie, they both hit countless big shots. Bird was also notorious for making clutch plays that didn't necessarily involve scoring (like that famous steal and assist agains Detroit).
Bird was a better team player IMO, but Kobe's basketball skills are superior. People like to say "Bird had more of an all-around game" because he averaged more rebounds and assists. IMO that doesn't necessarily = all around. All around can be about skills. Is a guy who is among the best post players ever (best guard post player IMO), that has insane range, that was among the best athetes in the L for years, that mastered the mid-range shot like few ever did (...) not an all around player? Or is it about stats?
Kobe's basketball talent > Bird's. Clealry.

EDIT:
It's tough for me to compare eras because there are so many variables (maybe a player with Bird's work ethic would find a way to adapt his game to a more physical era? We can't just place his exact game on this era and speculate about how he'd fit, like nothing about it would change, like he wouldn't adapt / develop other stuff) to take into account. It's very difficult. I rather compare how both players performed in their respective eras.
Last edited by Finwë on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby borri on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:28 am

John3:16 wrote:As a Laker fan in the 80s, I feared Larry Bird. I have no shame in saying that. He was that good. But let's be honest here. What was Bird better then Kobe at? Rebounding? He should be. He was a lot taller and bigger.

Shooting? no.
Passing? No.
Clutch shooting? No, but it's close.
Winning? no.
Defense? HELL NO!

Now, I'd have Bird in my starting 5 and Kobe wouldn't be, but that's only because a certain #23 plays the same position as Kobe. But if we're ranking players irregardless of position, Kobe trumps Bird every time.


Everything except shooting. Bird is probably the best shooter the NBA has ever seen. Kobe not so much.

Kobe is the better scorer. Clearly though, he is not the better shooter.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby JoelMyersScrotalSack on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:41 am

John3:16 wrote:As a Laker fan in the 80s, I feared Larry Bird. I have no shame in saying that. He was that good. But let's be honest here. What was Bird better then Kobe at? Rebounding? He should be. He was a lot taller and bigger.

Shooting? no.
Passing? No.
Clutch shooting? No, but it's close.
Winning? no.
Defense? HELL NO!

Now, I'd have Bird in my starting 5 and Kobe wouldn't be, but that's only because a certain #23 plays the same position as Kobe. But if we're ranking players irregardless of position, Kobe trumps Bird every time.


You think Kobe is a better shooter and passer than Bird? Seriously?

Pointless to even ask this question here, try posting it on a Celtics forum and see the response you get.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby purp n gold on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:44 am

therealdeal wrote:Bird in this era would be blown away by the athleticism. You admitted that yourself in your own post.


Not necessarily. Yes, the athleticism brings Bird to a big disadvantage. I believe Simmons when he says that. But if Bird was completely healthy from 87-89, who knows if he could handle Pippen and Rodman... I think that has more room for contention. That's why I think Bird combined with today's medical technology would be better than he was then.

In terms of basketball -Bird would be an elite shooter, passer and even post player in today's league. At worst an above-average rebounder too. He'd do this all with Nash level IQ... without getting punished in the lane. I think he'd have more than enough to compensate for the lack of athleticism.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby purp n gold on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:46 am

JoelMyersScrotalSack wrote:
John3:16 wrote:As a Laker fan in the 80s, I feared Larry Bird. I have no shame in saying that. He was that good. But let's be honest here. What was Bird better then Kobe at? Rebounding? He should be. He was a lot taller and bigger.

Shooting? no.
Passing? No.
Clutch shooting? No, but it's close.
Winning? no.
Defense? HELL NO!

Now, I'd have Bird in my starting 5 and Kobe wouldn't be, but that's only because a certain #23 plays the same position as Kobe. But if we're ranking players irregardless of position, Kobe trumps Bird every time.


You think Kobe is a better shooter and passer than Bird? Seriously?

Pointless to even ask this question here, try posting it on a Celtics forum and see the response you get.


I don't care to post at a Celtics forum, but Bird was a MUCH better passer is just as clutch as Kobe. Shooting might be even as well. Lakers always, but as basketball fans we need to come back to Earth.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby LakRfAn on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:54 am

JoelMyersScrotalSack wrote:
John3:16 wrote:As a Laker fan in the 80s, I feared Larry Bird. I have no shame in saying that. He was that good. But let's be honest here. What was Bird better then Kobe at? Rebounding? He should be. He was a lot taller and bigger.

Shooting? no.
Passing? No.
Clutch shooting? No, but it's close.
Winning? no.
Defense? HELL NO!

Now, I'd have Bird in my starting 5 and Kobe wouldn't be, but that's only because a certain #23 plays the same position as Kobe. But if we're ranking players irregardless of position, Kobe trumps Bird every time.


You think Kobe is a better shooter and passer than Bird? Seriously?

Pointless to even ask this question here, try posting it on a Celtics forum and see the response you get.


Yep Bird was a FAR better passer and obviously the better shooter
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby Lakeshow24 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:00 pm

purp n gold wrote:
therealdeal wrote:Bird in this era would be blown away by the athleticism. You admitted that yourself in your own post.


Not necessarily. Yes, the athleticism brings Bird to a big disadvantage. I believe Simmons when he says that. But if Bird was completely healthy from 87-89, who knows if he could handle Pippen and Rodman... I think that has more room for contention. That's why I think Bird combined with today's medical technology would be better than he was then.

In terms of basketball -Bird would be an elite shooter, passer and even post player in today's league. At worst an above-average rebounder too. He'd do this all with Nash level IQ... without getting punished in the lane. I think he'd have more than enough to compensate for the lack of athleticism.


I agree. I believe Bird was incredible then and would still be incredible today. He's be right up there in the top 5 players of today's NBA. No doubt about it. Athleticism isn't necessary when you're a dead eye shooter and have incredible basketball IQ.

Kobe's still a better player. But Bird would have been dominant even amongst all of today's athletes.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby Whatthef? on Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:02 pm

Bird by a long shot. Look at the career stats:
shooting % 3pt% steals/gm rebounds/gm assists/gm
Bird .496 .376 1.7 10 6
Kobe .453 .337 1.5 5 5

Kobe is a great athlete and a better scorer, he has played with lesser teammates on the whole but Bird was a much better passer and shooter and did more to elevate the games of those he played with.
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Re: Kobe Bryant or Larry Bird?

Postby Forklift on Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:04 pm

I've never seen Bird play, but Kobe in his prime was unreal. Scoring wise i think he was completely unstoppable. I mean do you guys remember Kobe's prime that year when he was shooting in the gym 1000 made shots a day? Kobe was able to hit anything anywhere with 2 or 3 defenders on him. Teams would try to Zone him out and would fail. I think Kobe at that time could have scored 40+ points at will and 50+ points every other game if he really wanted to. He had that 65 point game vs Dallas without even breaking a sweat and in that same season he had that 81 point game. Kobe has 5 60+ point games in his career i don't even think Jordan was capable of doing that. I don't know if Larry Bird got doubled or not, but if you gave Kobe, even the Kobe right now a 1 on 1 situation he would completely destroy his defender. Even though i was too young to even appreciate MJ, but i'm soo glad that i was able to watch every single Laker game when Kobe was at his prime. Too bad we had such a bad team it didn't even matter Bynum was an average C, LO was so inconsistent. Smush and Akins as our P and trading away the only pretty good player (Caron) for a offensive liability (Kwame)... and Luke... he just sat there all day :bang: :bang:
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