And there, Charles, is where you find the difference between Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. Kobe isn’t better because he has rings—it’s because he understands what it takes to be a champion. Remember when the Heat had their little tear where they beat up on the Lakers and some sub-500 teams? Dwyane Wade said (and I’m paraphrasing here) the “Heat were where they needed to be to win a championship, it’s just about staying there.” Just two months later, how preposterous does that sound?
Kobe Bryant isn’t better because he wants it more than Dwyane Wade. Kobe Bryant is better than Dwyane Wade because Kobe simply refuses to accept anything less than what he can be on the basketball court. It’s what Kobe’s drive has brought him that makes truly great. It’s why he took a broke jump shot (which was worse than Wade’s) and turned it into a reliable stroke, while Wade just keeps jacking dumb, contested threes. It’s why he’s wrung every last ounce of potential out of his wiry frame.
Watch Dwyane Wade when LeBron is working without the ball. He’s just standing there in the corner, like a wrestler on a tag-team waiting to be tagged into the game. Then go watch Kobe Bryant—he’s a coach on the floor—yelling out commands, positioning his troops, and making hand gestures. His hours of film training and studying the game have led Tex Winter (you’ll probably need to Google him, Charles) saying he’d never met any player with such a deep understanding of the game.
This isn’t even touching the defensive end, where Dwyane Wade isn’t even allowed to stand in Kobe’s shadow.
Wade can run, jump, and shoot much like Kobe can. If you think the game of basketball and a player’s contributions can all be boiled down into simple statistics and those statistics give you the entire picture, then yes, you might believe Dwyane Wade out-performed Kobe Bryant in the playoffs. You might also think he’s had a better career.
Those of us who watch basketball and appreciate it for the art it is truly know: Kobe Bryant is superior to Dwyane Wade.
(Except PER. Dwyane Wade will always have the PER chart over Kobe’s head and I’m sure it will be the biggest regret of Kobe’s Hall of Fame career).
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