Kobe Bryant Won More Rings Than LeBron James, But He Struggled Against The King In The Regular Season

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are two of the best players in NBA history. The two legends have combined to win nine titles, six Finals MVPs, five regular-season MVPs and seven All-Star Game MVPs.

NBA, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant
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Bryant won five championships during his legendary run with the Los Angeles Lakers. Meanwhile, LeBron has won four rings with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Lakers.

Bryant and LeBron never faced each other in the NBA Finals, but they had several battles in the regular season. LeBron and Bryant were close friends, so they always went at each other on the court.

LeBron, though, came out on top more than Bryant.

Bryant was only 6-16 versus LeBron during his Hall of Fame career. The Lakers icon averaged 24.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 22 games against The King, who put up 28.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game versus The Black Mamba.

Bryant’s best game against LeBron came on March 19, 2006. Bryant put up 38 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. However, LeBron and the Cavaliers defeated the Lakers, 96-95. LeBron finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

March 10, 2016, is probably a date LeBron will never forget. That’s the last time he faced Bryant. Even though the Cavaliers destroyed the Lakers by 12 points at the Staples Center, Bryant went toe to toe with LeBron.

The Cavaliers defeated the Lakers by a final score of 120-108. Cleveland was much more talented than Los Angeles, so no one was surprised by the outcome. Fans paid more attention to the LeBron-Kobe matchup anyway.

Bryant scored 26 points while shooting 11-of-16 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in 32 minutes. Meanwhile, LeBron finished with 24 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Both superstars never took playing against one another for granted, which is why they savored their final matchup.

“I wish I could play against him every single night,” LeBron said. “Just that competitive juice, that feeling of just going against one of the greatest, you can never take that for granted.”

Added Bryant: “It was just fun. I enjoy the physicality of it. Playing against him is fun because of his size. It’s always fun to bump with him and to have that physicality, backing him down and driving and bumping. That’s fun.”

Bryant and LeBron will always be linked since they went straight to the NBA from high school and lived up to the insane expectations placed on their shoulders. LeBron passed Bryant on the NBA’s all-time scoring list during the 2019-20 season to move into third place. Bryant’s last post on Twitter is a congratulatory tweet toward LeBron.

Unfortunately, the two stars never met again since Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020.

Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, five-time champion, four-time All-Star Game MVP, two-time Finals MVP, two-time scoring champion, 15-time All-NBA Team member, 12-time All-Defensive Team member and the 2007-08 MVP.

Bryant spent his entire career with the Lakers. He averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.5 blocks in 1,346 regular-season games with Los Angeles. 

The Lakers retired both of Bryant’s numbers (8 and 24) after he retired in 2016 and unveiled a Bryant statue outside of Crypto.com Arena on March 2, 2024. Bryant’s statue is of his 81-point game during the Lakers-Toronto Raptors game on January 22, 2006.

LeBron became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer last season. He has career averages of 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.7 blocks with the Cavaliers, Heat and Lakers.

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