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Breaking Down Why LeBron Is Already Better Than Kobe and Jordan

On the dawn of the great Michael Jordan's 50th birthday, the constant bantering yet again has graced the covers of our favorite sports websites.

Michael Jordan. Kobe Bryant. LeBron James.

The three are constantly compared to one another with fans, media and NBA legends alike arguing which superstar is the greatest.

It is time for the argument to end. The average ignorant fan would point to the ring count and be too blinded by the real facts. Stop. LeBron James is a better NBA player than Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.

Yes, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have six and five rings, respectively. Michael Jordan won his first ring at age 28. Kobe Bryant won his first in his fourth season at age 22 playing second fiddle to Shaquille O'Neal. That season, the 1999-2000 season, Shaq put up 38 points and 16.7 rebounds a game in the finals against Indiana. Kobe averaged 15.6 points on 36.7 percent shooting that series.

LeBron is simply held to a higher standard than Jordan or Kobe ever have been. Anytime Kobe or Jordan fail, the blame is placed elsewhere. If LeBron fails, he is victimized to the point where his jersey gets burned on national television.

If the Heat were in 10th place in the East right now like the Lakers are, the amount of criticism LeBron would receive could not even be fathomed. Kobe, on the other hand, remains scrap free. The Lakers' demise has been placed on Mike Brown, Dwight Howard and injuries.

In his fourth season, he dragged a team comprised of such superstars like Drew Gooden, Daniel Gibson, Eric Snow and Sasha Pavlovic to the Finals. LeBron averaged 25-8-8 in the postseason. To put all the burden of not winning on him is absurd.

No player has ever won a title by himself. Basketball is a team sport despite the prominence of such superstars. Michael Jordan never would have won without Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman or Steve Kerr. Kobe has had the pleasure of playing with Shaq, Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Ron Artest in his career. Just the same, LeBron would not have won without Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh.

The three are different players. LeBron's scoring numbers have been slightly less than Kobe and Jordan's, although LeBron has taken far fewer shots. His assists and rebounds have been better than both of them. Comparing Kobe to Jordan has always been a more direct comparison, as their skill-sets are very similar. LeBron is unlike anything this league has ever seen.

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