Did you watch LeBron's first 7 years? He played with scrubs his first go around with Cleveland. The lack of parity in the Eastern Conference was balanced with LeBron's lack of help at least in his first 7 years. Not to mention the Eastern Conference wields the best defenses, Kobe will throw up bricks against the Pistons/ Celtics defense as shown by history. Put prime Kobe on the Cavaliers from 03' - 10' & he doesn't get to the Finals once. Kobe always had the superior supporting casts compared to LeBron, ring counting doesn't take that into account.
05' - 10' Lamar Odom >> anyone from the 03' - 10' Cavaliers excluding LeBron.
LeBron played one year with 'prime' Wade in 2011. But..
00' - 04' Shaq >>> 11- 14' Wade + Bosh.
I can show you the numbers if you like.
Dwight, Nash, Payton, Artest/ World Peace, Malone, Jones, Bynum > Irving, Allen and Love. Kobe can't even mesh his play style with Steve Nash lol, LeBron adjusted to both Irving and Wade.
You don't think the triangle offense benefited Kobe?
Phil >> Blatt, Brown, Spo, Lue.
You don't think post players cater to Kobe's skill set?
I'd take a LeBron layup over a Kobe jumpshot, skill has no part in the equation if the former is more effective regardless. Besides I think LeBron ends up having a better post game as he ages.
Can't take physicality out of the equation when determining who is the better player.
You also can't take mentality out of the equation when deterrmining who is better. Who can come up big and who can get it done.
I can't ignore those 4 losses LeBron has had in the Finals compared to Kobe's two.
When it counted, Kobe came through. LeBron, for the most part didn't, he'd be 1-5 in the Finals right now if Ray Allen hadn't saved him with the most clutch shot ever in NBA Finals history.
Dwight was having back problems and causing BS and Drama and was basically a cancer in the locker room. Nash, Payton, and Malone were old and plagued with injuries, and when Kobe had Dwight and Nash, he also had this excuse of a coach named Mike D'Antoni who was hell bent on doing things his way with a run and gun offense with guys who were well into their 30s, and this once again goes into my oh-so wonderful view towards Jim Buss as an owner. Not many people understand how much team management is taken into account, Kobe basically had to make the most of a hopeless situation from 2013-onward whereas LeBron was fortunate enough to have Pat Riley. And while Erik Spoelstra is the coach, we all know it's Pat who really runs the show in Miami, he's the one in charge and the one running things from top to bottom. Spo is his guy, he's Pat's mouthpiece.
And the Eastern Conference wields the best defenses? HA.
Besides the Pistons and Celtics there isn't another team in the Eastern Conference at that time who were known for playing defense the way the Western Conference teams like the Spurs, Lakers, and Warriors did/do.
And while Shaq was more helpful than Wade and Bosh were. The teams as a whole tipped the scales in LeBron's favor.
Kobe's help: 1st run:
b) Derek Fisher
c) Robert Horry
d) Rick Fox
e) Brain Shaw
d) World Peace
c) Ray Allen
d) Rashard Lewis
e) Mario Chalmers
Bolded = All Stars Italic - Multiple All Stars
LeBron had a stronger supporting cast that benefited him in his championship runs with Miami than Kobe did in his 5 runs with the Lakers.
And as for the mediocre years from 2005-2008:
LeBron had the better overall team then too.
Yeah, Kobe had Lamar, but after Lamar he had Kwame Brown and Smush Parker, 2 of the worst players to ever pick up a basketball, ESPECIALLY Kwame and others.
LeBron at least had guys who were decent, while not at the same level as a Lamar Odom at the time, they could still play some ball.
I watched the Lakers very closely during those 2 titles in 2009 and 2010. And what you may have forgotten is that Bynum, not only wasn't at that level yet, he was also injured for most of it, he was never 100% come playoff time and was so limited in what he could do that it forced Odom and Gasol to carry a larger chunk of the load. In fact, he played that serious vs. Boston with a torn meniscus and could barely run up and down the floor!
And in that 2010 run, Kobe had to deal with:
-A Broken Finger on his shooting hand.
-A Bad Right Knee that he had drained multiple times.
-A Sprained Ankle
The two that are bolded, he had during the Finals against the Celtics.
He had to deal with all of that, and he STILL WON!
It isn't just about skillset, ability, efficiency, and support, that's just one half of the equation.
The other half is heart, grit, will, determination, and the never say die attitude. The absolute willingness to put your body on the line because you wanted to win so bad, by any means necessary. The Assassin's Mentality. The "Stone Cold" Killer that will rip your heart from your chest, stomp on it, and laugh at you while he does so.
And in that area:
I don't care if LeBron has more rebounds, assists, efficiency, etc.
What good are all those stats and that high efficiency rating if you don't have what it takes to finish the job?
THAT'S why Kobe is better. That's why Kobe will ALWAYS be better.