LeBron James Larry Bird 1 on 1
This has become one of the most polarising debates in all of basketball; Larry Bird or LeBron James? Both players are uniquely talented and have dominated the game in very different ways, which has just added fuel to the fire. Bird’s determination and skill, or LeBron’s athleticism? It’s a fascinating topic, as our panel discusses who they take:
Pick: Larry Bird. Larry Bird is a better shooter than Lebron James, Larry had a career high of 42.7% from 3 and a career average of 37.6%, lebron’s career high is 40.6% and a career average of 34%. Not to mention Lebron’s pathetic free throw shooting career HIGH of 78%…career average of 74.4, Larry’s career high is 93% and 86.6 clip for his average. Bird was a 2x member of the 50-40-90 club, Lebron has never even sniffed this accolade. Larry also grabbed a career high 11 boards a game and finished with a career average of 10, Lebron’s career high is 8 and has a career average of 7.2, Bird is going to be crashing boards all game gathering up Lebron’s misses. Basketball fans these days don’t put enough stock in winning especially Lebron fans this guy is 2-4 in the nba finals…he has won only 13 games in the finals and has lost 20. You can make whatever excuses you want, “he was young when he got swept by the spurs”, “bosh and wade didn’t provide him enough help”, “Kyrie and Love were injured”, excuses are for people who didn’t do what they set out to accomplish (MJ never needed them). Larry Bird is 3-2 in the finals and 16-15 when it comes to games. Bird is a winner he knows what it takes to get the victory, Lebron is a quitter he quit on the cavs and he quit on Miami. Bird’s physical and mental toughness along with that shooting touch will be enough to beat King James.
Pick: LeBron. Game of H-O-R-S-E, Bird,. On on one,LeBron, but not as runaway as you would think though. Bird could play off him, and if LeBron not hitting his jumpers then Bird could win .Two reasons I went with LeBron is because I think LeBron with his superior size and speed could bother Bird offensively, and two I think LeBron could hit enough jumpshots that Bird would have to play up on him which would doom Bird because his foot speed and tight shorts would constrict him in staying with LeBron. Bird with baggy shorts could win if Bird got hot . His jumpshots is as pure as they come ……but Bird wouldn’t wear baggy shorts and that would let LeBron win by two baskets .
Pick: LeBron. Bird /LeBron… Funny, just yesterday I was reading an interview with LeBron and he said he’s not into one on one basketball… “I’m a 5 man guy”. I would put Bird in this category as well. Both Bird and LeBron are masters of the game and see plays before they happen, and are three, four, five steps ahead of most everyone else on the court. As such it seems silly to speculate who would win in a one on one game because most likely, neither guy really gives a shit about that. I’d have to give it to LeBron because he’s faster, much more athletic, and is a better man to man defender. In a real game of basketball this would be an interesting matchup. Bird is every bit a student of the game LeBron is and maybe then some. Bird had deep shooting range which is always hard for any team to defend. Both guys are great passers and cagey team defenders. Someone asked Bird who he would choose (KOBE or LeBron) and he said “if Im picking someone to have fun playing with, it’s LeBron. If I just want to win, it’s Kobe.” LeBron would definitely be more fun to play with than KOBE but KOBE did whatever it takes to win. Sometimes LeBron gets psyched out and he himself has admitted this. Bird was clearly more mentally tough. He was practically a superhero in his prime with the Celtics. He came through again and again and again and again. LeBron comes through. He’s amazing. Like any superstar there are times when he doesn’t come through (Bird himself had bad games on big stages or even bad series on big stages) but LeBron has those meltdowns against Boston in the 2010 playoffs and against Dallas in the 2011 Finals. He melted down so badly in those instances Bill Simmons coined the term “LeBronDown”. One on one, I’ll take LeBron. Bird was a greater basketball warrior. They are the two greatest forwards in history and a case can be made for either as THE greatest forward.
Pick: Larry Bird. One thing that annoys me is this perception that Bird wasn’t athletic. Sure, his game wasn’t built around athleticism like Dr J, or Pippen, or even LeBron, but let’s get one thing straight; he wasn’t a Shawn Bradley out there either. He had quick feet, long arms, used his body extremely well, and maybe had the best hand-eye coordination that I’ve ever seen in the NBA. His will to win was incredible, and yeah, I get it, virtually everyone in the NBA has to have heart and determination. But we’ve also seen a lot of players that are mentally weak in critical moments. Bird thrived on them. Does LeBron have an athleticism advantage over Bird? No question. But can he use that to his advantage to shut him down? No. I can’t be more emphatic than that. The reason I’m so convinced is I saw how badly Bird tore up Dennis Rodman in the 87 playoffs. Rodman, in my opinion, is the most versatile defender the game has ever seen. This was when Rodman was coming into his own and locking down nearly anyone he was assigned to. Without looking it up, have a guess what Bird dropped on him during that 7 game series. Have you thought about it? Was it close to 27 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists per game? Go ahead, look it up. Hell, here’s the link for you. And this was after Bird won 3 straight league MVP awards (something Magic, Jordan, Kobe, Hakeem, Shaq, or LeBron, has ever done). Bird was relentless, and would do whatever it took to win. LeBron poses a true test to him, but Bird thrived in those pressure situations. And if you think Bird can’t get inside his head, just remember that Bird irritated Dr J so bad that he started swinging. Larry Legend, all day.