Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James: 5 Days of Black Mamba Birthday Comparisons

Editor's note: Kobe Bryant turns 35 on Friday, August 23. To commemorate the Los Angeles Lakers legend's big day, we're seeing how his career stacks up next to five NBA luminaries, be they current Hall of Famers or legends in the making. Check out Parts 1 and 2 here.

Today, in the third of our five-part series, we're pitting Bryant's career against LeBron James' already-incredible body of work. We'll be looking at how the two match up in four major categories: career accomplishments, career statistics, off-the-court influence and impact on the game.  

As James' Cleveland Cavaliers rose to power in the late 2000s, Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers returned to relevance by acquiring Pau Gasol. Over those next few seasons, the league appeared destined for a Kobe-LeBron NBA Finals matchup at some point.

However, the Boston Celtics thwarted those plans by proving to be as much of a roadblock to LeBron as the Detroit Pistons once were for Michael Jordan. The Celtics KO'ed the Cavs in the 2008 and 2010 playoffs, both times in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Amazingly, every Finals series since 2007 has featured either Kobe or LeBron. But somehow, as of 2013, the two haven't clashed on the league's grandest stage.

Luckily for NBA fans, there's still time for it to happen. Bryant may be in the twilight of his career, but it's no secret that he has his sights set on winning a sixth ring before hanging it up for good.

No matter what happens, both players will go down as two of the greatest to ever play the game. Comparing them is only natural, even if their on-court rivalry remains largely dormant.


Career Accomplishments

Ten years into his NBA career, LeBron James has already accomplished far more than most players ever will.

Only five players in NBA history—James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael...

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