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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

LeBron vs. Kobe 

Clarion Content fave Bill Simmons was on New York sports talk show host and boxing guru Max Kellerman's radio program the other day. Kellerman is apparently a Simmons fan, too, one who respects the breadth and depth of his knowledge. Kellerman had several prepared questions for Simmons, one of which was why do more people like Kobe over LeBron. Kellerman knew that Simmons preferred LeBron as the better player. Unfortunately Simmons came up short in his response for what the Clarion Content also believes is true, LeBron is the better player. Simmons answer for why more folks pick Kobe over LeBron than vice versa was that people are stupid. The Clarion Content does not believe that is true.

There is however a rational explanation based on their style of play why more people favor Kobe than LeBron. It is the Clarion Content's contention that more people side with Kobe because they find his game easier to relate to. Simmons argued that LeBron is just as happy scoring twenty-five points and getting twenty assists as he is scoring fifty-five points and getting five assists provided his team wins. The Clarion Content agrees.

But, Kobe is no less competitive, he wants his team to win. However, he is less altruistic. When his team wins it is because he scores points, not because he hands out assists. That is not his way, his way is the I will take it into my own hands dominant, hands-on alpha dog. LeBron too is the alpha dog amongst his pack, but he is more of an Aragorn, able to lead while letting others succeed. He doesn't have to win the battle alone. Kobe is far less capable of that.

As are, truth be, told most folks. It is far easier for most people to relate to succeeding ala Kobe, though achieving one's own personal heights. It is far rarer for the average person to emulate LeBron's style. It is indicative of different qualities, leadership qualities, the citizen who can gratify in the success of his fellow man insofar as it elevates him, too. LeBron's unselfish leadership while highly admired is harder for the average person to relate to. Kobe leads because he is excellent, better than his teammates. LeBron is not only excellent, more talented/better, but he is liked, nay, adored, by teammates who aren't quite as talented because he makes them better, a rare, willing to be self-sacrificing, leader.

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