Maui Sports

West picks LeBron over Kobe

May 19, 2009, 10:36 AM HST
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By Fred Guzman
MauiNow.com

Kobe or LeBron?  The debate continues to rage over whom is the best player in the NBA.

Jerry West, a Hall of Fame player who as a GM was responsible for engineering a deal that brought Kobe Bryant to LA, weighed in on the question.  His response may surprise some – particularly those who are ardent fans of the Lakers.

“I look at Cleveland [and] say to myself, ‘How many games could they win without LeBron James?’ West said. “That’s how great he is.  He has a chance to be arguably the greatest player ever to play the game.”

West considers Michael Jordan the NBA’s all-time greatest player because he was the league’s top defensive player and its best offensive player, further noting that James is developing into that type of performer.

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“If you look at basketball today, it’s not always the big guys that win for you, it’s the intermediate-size guys,” West said. “[He] can play four positions if you ask him to do so, and his ability to get everyone involved in the game is just remarkable for someone his age. I don’t know if there’s a better athlete I’ve ever seen play professional basketball.”

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“If I had to have somebody make a last-second shot, it would be Kobe Bryant,” said West.  “But even though it’s hard for me to be objective, because I brought Kobe to Los Angeles, I do think LeBron has surpassed Kobe as a player.”

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