Player comparisons are always fun, and one of the more heated debates in recent years has pitted Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant against current Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James. Both players can stake claim to being the greatest of their respective generation, as well as one of the best to ever lace up the high tops.
Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball made waves recently when he picked James over Bryant, but Philadelphia 76ers rookie Markelle Fultz went a different direction with the question. Ball and Fultz have a natural rivalry thanks to Fultz being selected first overall and Ball going second, as well as them both playing the point guard position.
They have vastly different styles of play, with Ball being a pass-first wizard and Fultz acting as a silky-smooth scorer. In a recent interview on Sirius XM NBA Radio, Fultz surprisingly stated that he prefers Bryant over James:
“I think Kobe’s better but that’s no knock on LeBron. But Kobe’s, I mean, the next thing after Jordan, really. Championships do have a role to play with it, but when you just look at the work that Kobe has done, it’s unbelievable.”
While it will be difficult to ever definitively proclaim one player to be better than the other, it’s always interesting to see which one players prefer.
It was a bit of a shock to hear Ball, a longtime Lakers fan and now key building block for the franchise, choose James as his favorite, but there could be method to the madness since Los Angeles intends to pursue James in free agency next summer.
The Fultz vs. Ball rivalry will be an exciting one to watch play out over the next few years, especially as the 76ers and Lakers look to rebuild their franchises and return to the top of the NBA mountain.