Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at 1:15 pm  |  56 responses

Larry Bird: Kobe Better Teammate for Winning, LeBron More Fun to Play With

Larry Legend added his two cents in the never-ending (and nauseating) LeBron vs Kobe debate, and tells ESPN that he’d prefer to play with Bryant for winning purposes, and James if it was just for the fun of the game. From the OC Register: “… If he could choose any current player that he would like to play with it would be Bryant. … ‘Probably Kobe, because of the fact that … well, of course he wouldn’t have been shooting as much as he does now … but his desire to win, his dedication, to always get better, uh, and he’s just, he’s just tough,’ Bird said. ‘He’s just a tough cat.’ But, for pure fun, Bird said he would choose LeBron James. ‘If you want to have fun, like I did with Bill Walton, play with LeBron. It would have probably been more fun to play with LeBron, but if you want to win and win and win, it’s Kobe. Not that LeBron’s not a winner, just that (Kobe’s) mindset is to go into every practice, every game, to get better,’ Bird said.”

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  • Jeremy

    This is true.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    So basically, he would play with Kobe in the Playoffs, and play with LeBron in the All-Star game.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow


  • http://www.twitter.com_dfrance dfrance21

    Idk, I think that with Bron’s overall skill, and Larry’s clutch closing ability, they’d form a pretty damn good AND competitive duo.

  • JoeMaMa

    Reactions will go this way: People will take pot shots at both players, and then at those taking pot shots. Some idiots will actually say something dumb about Bird. There will be some Bill Walton jokes. Random stats will be thrown into the picture. Am I missing anything?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Double J

    @joemama you forgot the inevitable kobe/jordan debate as well

  • Lloyd

    Haha love the beginning of Bird’s answer. “well, of course he wouldn’t have been shooting as much as he does now …”. Bird knows he’s still top dog on a team that also had Kobe on it!

  • AD

    WHEN LBJ wins the finals MVP this year what will the haters talk about?

  • http://nba.com GP23

    ^ That he couldn’t do it without Wade..

  • AD

    @gp23 true but every champion had somebody so ……

  • Paul H

    Groundhog day. Yawn.

  • OTB

    @AD – That he needs 4 more champiomships.

  • robb

    Larry on MJ: he’s God disguised as Michael Jordan. Larry on Kobe: he’s MJ disguised as Kobe Bryant.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/310203019/miami-heat-vs-orlando-magic Jukai

    LOL I mean, I agree in a vacuum but I think Lebron/Bird would have been a helluva more effective duo than Kobe/Bird.
    Lebron and Bird would be kicking back and fourth to each other all day. Bird would be kicking to Kobe and then watching him shoot over four people.

  • 23

    i agree kobe goes in every practice and game to get better. but i would also say lebron does the same thing. weve seen him get better every year. he has not had one season where he comes in weaker than the previous season. hes a much improved shooter, ball handler, passer and post player than he was 5 years ago. heck his post play improved dramatically over this summer

  • 23

    and im trying to think, has lebron ever said one negative comment about any of his teammates to the media? not that i can think of. thats another good reason to play with lebron, he always has your back.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    I love these Kobe/LBJ/MJ/Hedo Turkoglu posts. I’ll check back later once our resident stat guys bring in all their obscure stats why which duo is better. And in case you didn’t know, Hedo is the egg mcmuffin of small forwards all time.

  • http://yahoo.com LakerNation

    RIGHT ON Larry Bird…..right on man!

  • http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-05-05/sports/1991125101_1_basketball-referees-professional-hockey-puck nbk

    How many of the Lakers fans actually saw the interview?

  • SDC

    Bird also said in the interview that LeBron is by far the best player in the league, but I guess that’s not within the interest of the main stream media so they don’t even mentioned that part…

  • T-Money

    this is going to sound crazy but i think lebron’s work ethic is undervalued because his physical talents are so great. he came in the league with no jumper, no post game and no defense. eight years later, he can guard any position on the floor, his midrange jumper is money and he is now going to work on the block. that doesn’t happen magically. when he was with the cavs, he would travel all summer long with chris jent to make sure he got his reps even if he was overseas promoting stuff. yeah, he smiles a lot on the court but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t put in work.

  • Goodie Mob

    @nbk He said Lebron is the greatest Talent and would be fun to play with but if you wanna WIN you pick Kobe……I actually watched it this morning on First Take

    don’t come on here with the little half ass comments proving once again that You a in the closet Kobe Fan

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @nbk I saw it.

  • http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-05-05/sports/1991125101_1_basketball-referees-professional-hockey-puck nbk

    How many illogical* Lakers fans – Phantom, you probably saw it and nodded along. because you’re a smart kid. lol

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    T-Money, are you sure about that? I thought Bron came out of the womb 6-8. 265 with blazing speed, unworldly hops, unreal court vision, great ballhandling ability with a great mid-range shot, ever improving post game and high basketball IQ. Wow, I guess I was wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Yeah I basically agreed with what he said, because I understand why he says it, hopefully, if Bird and Kobe were to be on the same team, Kobe wouldn’t have been so selfish, ehh….I don’t know. I doubt he’d be AS selfish, because if there is one basketball player I’d trust as a teammate…it’s Larry Bird.

  • LA Huey

    LeBron’s a very skilled and willing passer but I wouldn’t classify his court vision as “unreal”. I’d reserve that sort of designation for guys that routinely make plays that couldn’t see coming or possible (as a viewer). Nash, Chris Paul, Kidd, Magic, Stockton, and (dare I say) Rubio have that kind of ability.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    Lmaoooo @ nick… and I think Bird and Lebron would be actually be a really effective duo even if some of their skills overlap. Larry would stretch the floor for a driving lebron and could take the last shot for him. Plus neither is a a defensive sieve. They could take turns running the point. I’d watch that.

  • http://www.twitter.com_dfrance dfrance21

    ^That’s the thing, sometimes Kobe is just selfish on his own, not because he needs to be. Bynum has been straight horsing cats on the block all season and there are still times, a lot of times, that Kobe will just look him off and shoot a contested jumper. I think if Kobe came in and played with Bird, after Bird became an all star and built his rep he’d defer, but if they were playing in the same era and were equally as great, he’d look Bird off too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @Huey me neither.

  • LaKid

    T-Money – since when is Bron’s midrange game money? Musta missed something there.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    and cosign Jtaylor and T-money. Lebron probably worked out constantly to maximize his potential to be the way he is athletically…. his work ethic is severely underrated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    No doubt Lebron has a good work ethic, I sincerely doubt anyone can average his type of number and not have good work ethic.

  • robb

    Every basketball fan should know Lebron works very hard, saying he doesn’t is just pure ignorance, the thing is Kobe is nuts, the way he prepares physically and mentally for his games is obsessive, nobody does that, nobody is that sick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom


  • LA Huey

    Bird and Kobe playing together would be fun to watch purely for the game within a game they have against each other. Kobe won’t ride shotgun for anybody because he wants to be Batman. Bird would refuse sidekick status for the simple fact it would make things more competitive.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Well, isn’t the game about having fun? Magic Johnson says it is.

  • LA Huey

    robb, Ray Allen would like a word with you…

  • bike

    I think what Bird is implying is Kobe does have that killer, competitive instinct that shows when he plays whereas LeBron has yet to really demonstrate a cold-blooded demeanor when a game is on the line. And I’ll bet LeBron, if you got to know him, would be a lot of fun to play with.
    Kobe, on the other hand, would be downright scary to play with.

  • robb

    I don’t know man, Ray is a great player and the way he practices is legendary, but Kobe’s training regimen is a full day activity, the 666 workout, the way he studies tape (from his house to the arena, at home, on the airplane), plus how he practices different shots, moves etc. The guy like I said is sick, I don’t know if that’s even counterproductive.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    All of that, and he’s STILL not as good as jeffrey.
    OR The King.
    Probably why he’s p!ssed all the time.
    “Been playin’ my ass off my whole damned life, and I STILL ain’t as good as Jordan. THEN The King just shows up… and HE’S better than me.”

  • LA Huey

    robb, I agree. Shuttlesworth is OCD. Kobe is demented. I would not want to play or work with a Kobe-like personality.

  • http://www.t-mac.com/tmac/index unf*ckwitable

    True enough i guess, If you care about rings most(most nba players would i think) then Kobe is your man. LBJ still got plenty of time left though.

  • hushabomb

    Imagine Bird playing with Flash and Bosh then. That would definently be awesome to see. Cos DWade has produced over and over again and I’d like to see Bosh and Bird rebound and run.

    And if Bird liked to play with Kobe to win and LeBron for fun, then imagine if Bird and Magic were on the same NBA team. You’d have fun cos you’re winning all time.

  • Maniac

    Lol people are really really stupid

  • robb

    LA Huey me neither, and I’m a fan :s

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Shout to Philo…keep riling the masses. Someone will bite soon enough.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Kobe is 33 years old, against a prime Lebron. Lebron is the better player because of age more than skill. Bird kept it real, Kobe plays to win and kill. Bron plays to have fun and play with friends. If Lebron ever could get any of Kobe drive to be the best ever, Lebron would be a different player and never would have made the PUNK MOVE. BOOK IT!!

  • aman
  • Maniac

    Once again, people are really really stupid lol

  • BBaller

    @Aman “Lebron is better than Michael and Kobe”?Are you 17?I’m not even going to waste my time and finish this sent…

  • BBaller

    Always refer to Michael Jordan with a capital M and J, show respect son

  • flipnoyce


  • JP7

    If Kobe’s teammate smashed his moms, that dude wouldn’t still be in the league, dude wouldn’t be among the living, actually nobody’s dumb enough to do that to Kobe, that’s the major difference between him and Lebron. Oh yeah and Kobe duznt do booty dances, use a headband to hide his outrageous harline, do a 2 hour nationally televised team switching gong show, disappear in the clutch, defer to lesser beings or bite his nails on the bench.

  • marc

    I’m a kobe fan and I totally agree with Bird. I been saying Lebron is the best player but I rather have kobe on my team to win rings. I also don’t get why people say Lebron doesn’t have the clutch gene. I think he has it in him. Just look at the times in Cleveland against the Pistons and the time against a good Wizards team. He made the right play at the right time.

  • KidCongo

    Next up: who does the queen of England prefer : Kobe or LBJ? Stay tuned.