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LeBron James Says Tim Duncan, Not Kobe, Is Generation’s Best Player Reviewed by Momizat on . With the NBA Finals set to start tonight, a lot of people have taken this time to reflect on the storied, Hall of Fame career of the San Antonio Spurs' Tim Dunc With the NBA Finals set to start tonight, a lot of people have taken this time to reflect on the storied, Hall of Fame career of the San Antonio Spurs' Tim Dunc Rating:
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LeBron James Says Tim Duncan, Not Kobe, Is Generation’s Best Player

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Kobe-DuncanWith the NBA Finals set to start tonight, a lot of people have taken this time to reflect on the storied, Hall of Fame career of the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan. Already widely considered the greatest power forward of all-time, a fifth championship ring could catapult Duncan even higher on the list of greatest players of all-time amongst other greats like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and of course Kobe Bryant.

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There has always been an argument over the greatest player of this generation, Kobe Bryant or Tim Duncan? Well, according to LeBron James the debate is already finished and he favors The Big Fundamental, as he told Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk:

Probably one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball,” he said of Duncan. “If I just look at the last 15 years, he’s probably been the most consistent, most dominant player that we’ve had as far as 15 years all together. He’s won four titles, multiple All Stars, MVP, and so on and so on.

There is no denying the consistency of Duncan as he averaged at least 18 points and 10 rebounds in all of his first 12 seasons in the league.  But to call him more dominant over the last 15 years than Kobe Bryant, who has five championship rings over that time span, not to mention 10 All-NBA First Team selections to Duncan’s nine and nine All-NBA First Team All-Defense selections to Duncan’s eight.

Duncan does hold an edge on Kobe with two MVPs and three Finals MVPs compared to Kobe’s one and two respectively. With a fifth ring Duncan can have a very strong argument as the best player of this generation, but until that fifth ring is won, it’s very difficult to put Duncan ahead of Kobe as far as best and most dominant player of the last 15 years.

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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

Number of Entries : 699
  • Rigged4fun

    How long has Lebron been in the league? Because he has been crowned the best in the NBA he thinks he is now an authority.

    • Moss

      He was stating his opinion when asked the question…
      On that basis he has more authority on the topic than you since he is the best in the NBA

      • Eddie Lazaro

        NOPE, NOT YET! You can call him the King, but the “Throne” does not belong to him.

        • Moss

          No, he’s undeniably the best player in the league…

    • Paytc

      He could never be the best, while the best is still playing.

      Lebron is without a doubt a superstar.And it is typical for the media to crown players too soon.It’s easy to get caught up in the hype.Not to mention they need to eventually pass the torch.

      It is a fact that know one( to include Kobe) is playing better than Lebron.Kobe and Lebron are both playing exceptionally well.Lebron is not playing any better than Kobe.They play different positions, and different styles.They both have game! But as long as Kobe is playing at a high level(which he has been)and has been doing it that way longer,Lebron will only be playing catch up to the games best player.The great Kareem, can relate to what I’m talking about.

      Of course,that is just my opinion.But I’m sure true historians of the game understand my point.

  • Barry Bunes

    LeBron will not be the Player of his era, It will be the guy with the most rings. The reason that Lebron will not match Kobe or Michael is that even if he is more physically gifted then either of them, he is bigger and stronger, but not smarter

  • LAKERS4LIFE

    his punk ass only said that because MJ said he would take KOBE over LABRON any day I could only imagine what kind of records kobe would of broke if he got into a garbage franchise like the CAVS and was the number one option at 18 yrs old but also would not have won as many titles either. in my opinion that bullshit rape case hurt kobe’s chances of multiple MVP period !

  • Sammy

    The NBA is so competitive these days and it is hard to determine true best; additionally, players are great and showcase their talents in many different ways. I think that Kobe Bryant has paid his dew to the league similarly Tim. But the defining difference is that Kobe has the savage killer instinct no NBA player in the history of the sport has been able to amast. Acolade is the hallmark of Kobe’s greatness. Stats, he puts them up almost every game. To rank Duncan to the Kobe Bryant is to throw oil on water. It just doesn’t stay. As I have indicated early Tim is a remarkable humble and talented player and is great in his many respects. That cannot be denied, but to indicate he is the better player of his time is simply ludicrous.

  • kevin

    Lebron is displaying petty jealousy of Kobe by making that comment. Tim Duncan is one of the great players of all time but is by no means as accomplished as Kobe Bryant. Kobe scoring, driving to the basket, game-winning shots and legendary drive to win has resulted in five titles with no asterixs! Kobe is often compared to Michael Jordan and Tim Duncan will never enter the conversation. The difference in paychecks between Kobe and Tim Duncan also speaks volumes about the value differential between these two great players. To me it is insulting to Kobe to compare him with anybody but Jordan.

    • princesspr

      A true insult!

    • Moss

      How can you be so disrespectful to the great Tim Duncan! He’s just a more modest player is all, he doesn’t need his name up in lights all the time like Kobe.

      • Eddie Lazaro

        He Can’t!

    • Jerry Newcomb

      Lebron just does not have the drive Kobe has. He has the God given body and tools, but he lacks that drive Kobe and Micheal have!

    • Paytc

      Bingo!
      You hit it right on the head.
      Great point!

    • Thomas Priday

      The pay differences? Seriously? Lebron gets less than Kobe, but it’s obvious who is better at the moment between those two.

      And of course Kobe’s a better scorer. He’s a shooting guard. Why do people use game-winning shots as a test of greatness? Duncan plays PF/C. What do you expect him to do, throw up 3-pointers every time the team’s down?

      Just because people don’t put Duncan next to Kobe, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be. Kobe makes headlines. That’s the only reason he’s compared to Michael.

      I’ll take the two time MVP Tim Duncan; the man who was never carried to the title, and who is one of the greatest, most underrated leaders in sporting history, over the greedy Kobe Bryant.

      Oh, and just look at their stats; you’ll see Duncan wins.

  • Joseph Apohen

    Duncan is a great player but in no way he could be mentioned in the same breath as the player of his generaation other than Kobe. Even if Tim equals Kobe’s number of rings his greatness still does equates Kobe’s who is the most exciting, most driven player the league has ever known. Lebron’s statement shows me of his jealousy for Kobe. Kobe has more moves and clutch shots than Lebron. Kobe would not have allowed the Spurs to win game 1 of the Finals wthout demanding for the ball to will his team to victory. Lebron has great shot accuracy and driving to the basket is almost difficult to stop because no one would take a charge against someone that huge. Lebron’s shots cannot compare to Kobe’s for thrills and excitement. Show me someone who would limp to the free throw line to sink two shots with a ruptured achilles.

    • Paytc

      Lebron knows Kobe will go into the NBA history after his retirement having a far more productive and memorable career than both himself(Lebron),and Duncan.That is why he thinks it’s smart to put down the guy he fears the most.I think it would be a better statement to say Duncan is ahead of Lebron when each player retires.Lebron had to seek a player of D.Wade’s championship caliber to team up with to win a championship.Both Kobe and Duncan played their entire careers on one team to this point.And both of those superstars won championships with whatever their teams had to work with respectively.

      That is the trouble with today’s youth.There is no respect for your elders.From young rappers like Nelly, to young players like Dwight Howard ,and Lebron James.I don’t think I have heard of a time when Kobe said Magic, Oscar Robinson,or Allen Iverson were better than Jordan?Have some respect for great players, and stick to working hard so your game speaks volumes and you won’t have to.I don’t care what your profession is…. we all should show a level of respect for those who paved the way.Otherwise your making yourselves sound and look like a buster.

      • Joseph Apohen

        Could not agree more.

      • Paytc

        Oh and just for the record…..

        I believe Lebron made that conclusion in response to MJ praising Kobe over Lebron.

        So instead of accepting what was an obvious fact,Lebron took a low road.He should have taken the high road, and let his body of work move closer to Kobe’s so in time, that would speak volumes for him.

    • Thomas Priday

      Since when excitement equaled greatness? That’s like saying Kareem isn’t one of the greatest (he’s the second greatest ,if you didn’t know) because he wasn’t exiting.

      Just look at Tim’s numbers. Individually and winning wise, Duncan has the edge; I’ll take a 28 PER over a 27 PER, if you even know what that means. I’ll take Duncan 80+ win shares over Kobe 70, if you know what that means. I’ll take two MVPs over one as well.

  • jj

    is the part where he says Duncan is better than Kobe in another part of this interview? because it isn’t shown in this quote

  • Mando271

    King Nothing is just jealous of Kobe. I think he’s realizing it’s gonna be tough to just get ring #2, and the only way he’s catching Kobe is to join the Lakers after he opts out of his contract.

    • RogerHarries

      LMAO. SAY WHAT? how is that crow buffet? King “nothing” has as many Finals MVPs and FOUR times as many MVPs as Kobe Sidekick Cryant.

      • Eddie Lazaro

        Sure, ASS Kissing stereo type “CHEATING EXPERTS” of sportswriters and broadcaster which half of them never played the game. that will get him the win.

  • Fred Elliott Sr.

    81 POINTS IN A GAME ! SECOND HIGHEST TOTAL IN THE HISTORY OF THE NBA ! SAY WHAT ?

    • RogerHarries

      LOL Typical dumb laker fan/kobetard.

      • Donovan Webb

        What are you doing on this site then. Troll!

      • Eddie Lazaro

        Typical hypocrite IN DENIAL.

    • tk007e

      By your logic, the Iowa high school kid who scored 100 points is better than Kobe? YES is your answer!

      • Eddie Lazaro

        Not NBA!

        • Thomas Priday

          Wilt?

  • Luis

    is lebron just trying to get Laker fans away from rooting for the Spurs????? You can’t say Duncan is better. He’s REALLY GOOD but I just can’t put Duncan over Kobe. Kobe is just better and everyone SHOULD know that.

  • doy

    LeBron has insecurities with Kobe. That is why he joined in Miami Heat because he cannot have his first championship title from his own team, the Cavs. Only quitters, like LeBron James could not accept the fact that Kobe is better among the NBA players nowadays.

    • Jerry Newcomb

      Lebron left a team and blamed his teammates. But it was Lebron that chocked each time the Cavs. lost in the playoffs!

    • Jinggle

      Kobe was never mentioned in the article. Lebron was merely voicing his opinion, which we are all entitled to.

      I mean should you guys even be affected if, in his opinion, red M&Ms are sweeter than the green ones?

  • RogerHarries

    LeBron is just stating the obvious. An inefficient ball hog cannot be the best player of any generation let alone one with the great big fundamental.

    • Eddie Lazaro

      Sure, KOBE HATER that is why his ass got Punked with Duncan, Melo, Wade and the others in 2004 Olympics by lowly Lithuania and Argentina, when their best can only take BRONZE! Eat that Mr. Fundamentals my ass. They invited Kobe to join them in 2008.. Remember. “NO MORE EXCUSES NOW!” and then WHAT HAPPENED? They did not just come back with a sure “GOLD” but they came back with better learning on how to apply Work Ethics, Dedication and Intensity first hand, side by side for “FREE” from KOBE! There is no obvious statements that will come from Lebron or Duncan. And while they maybe Greats by standards, they are Not Even on the Same Book, and Much Less on the Same Page.

      • Paytc

        Wow!
        That was a textbook reply!
        That is another reason Lebron, and everyone else in the NBA who are considered good, need to pay homage to the great players who came before them.Players like Kobe,MJ,Dr.J.,Kareem,Oscar Robinson,Magic,Elgin Baylor,Jerry West,George Gervin,Larry Bird,Connie Hawkins,Akeem the dream,Shaq,Russel,Chamberline,Frasier,and many others who helped build the NBA.

        Kobe was already in that select group before Lebron got out of high school.
        They should not just pay homage,but it would be nice if the ones you mentioned above also paid Kobe a check for lifting them to gold status, and teaching them what it takes to be great.

        • Eddie Lazaro

          I hate to say this but morons who never looked at the facts, let alone the knowledge of history are bringing this ambiguous idea that they can just crown somebody and say whatever they wants to say, thinking everyone will like it are as ignoramus as the are. I never hate Lebron then, even when he left the Cavs for Miami, because he left a job to find another thinking of a better future for him and his family and I can not blame anyone for doing so. But the way he did it is like a slap on the face of the all people who he spend his life with for so many years, Months, days and hours, probably longer than his time with his family. To top it of and adding fuel to the fire, is when he arrogantly started counting the number of championships to 8 (until intentionally interrupted) that he promised to bring to the Heat and Miami. Great player do not do that. That’s when I said to my self, this guy can play, but he so Dumb, he does not know anything about basketball.

  • tk007e

    Sorry Lakers fans….Tim Duncan is just a better player than Kobe.

    • Donovan Webb

      Explain!

      • Jinggle

        Tim Duncan “is” now resting after the NBA Finals
        Kobe just had his Achilles repaired and “is” currently rehabilitating

        If you have them play now Tim “is” going to be the better player.

        Before Kobe’s injury, it could’ve been debatable, but we’re talking about the present here…

        I hope you’re happy with my explanation for tk008e’s statement

        • Donovan Webb

          We don’t know how Kobe’s gonna play next season. This is Kobe we’re talking about. He’s come back and play through a devastating injury before (2000).

          • Joseph Apohen

            When you have a Ferrari, it does not matter what model year it might be. It is still a Ferrari.

    • Jerry Newcomb

      Actually he is not! They play two different positions. I never saw Tim score 81 points. I never saw Tim score 61 points in 3 quarters. Two completely different players. It is not even fair to compare them. Only a FOOL would even try!

      • Thomas Priday

        Well, you did, partially, compare them, by asserting Kobe scored 81 points. He’s a goddamn SG; what are you expecting a PF to do?

    • Joseph Apohen

      Mister excitement better than Kobe? On what basis? What have you been watching?!

    • Eddie Lazaro

      Sure, SPURS team with him, just CHOKED HIS LAST CHAMPIONSHIPS RUN against MIAMI. Either you are having a severe dementia or just want’s to TROLL.

  • vdogg

    duncan has been great, but come on. kobe has clearly had the better career. more rings, more points, more playoff points. more all first team NBA selections. more first team all defensive selections. more head-to-head wins in the postseason. yes, tim’s spurs have never missed the playoffs and kobe’s lakers missed them once. but what good is success in the regular season if you choke it away in the playoffs? kobe’s lakers have never been the top seed in the conference and lost in the opening round to an eighth-seeded team… tim’s spurs have.

    • Thomas Priday

      Duncan: more MVPS, more Finals MVPs, more rebounds, more blocks, better win shares, better FG %, better PER, a better leader, was never carried to a title.

      Kobe plays in a position where he needs to score more points. He’s a fucking shooting guard. Did you read that: a shooting guard. Of course he’ll have scored more.

      Idiot.

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