Kobe Superteam vs. LeBron Superteam: Who would win a 7 game streak?

The debate of a lifetime is who was better between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. In 2009, the Orlando Magic robbed us of the opportunity to see the final game we all wanted in Lakers vs. Cavaliers. Instead, we wondered who would be the true champion in a battle between two of the greatest of all time.

It got us thinking about what would happen if the two teams teamed up with some of their former teammates to form an exhibition match. Bryant won three championships with stud center Shaquille O’Neal and two with Pau Gasol, while LeBron made nine NBA Finals appearances with his crew.

If a seven-game series and a ring were on the table, who would win between the All-Kobe and All-LeBron teams? Let’s take a look at the teammates and what would likely happen if that were to happen.

Point guard: Derek Fisher vs. Kyrie Irving

Derek Fisher vs. Kyrie Irving

Derek Fisher may never have made an All-Star appearance, but he was as reliable as a starting point guard can be. Fisher won five championships with Bryant. That’s real chemistry there. Fisher was a solid defender, game director and shot 37% from three points for his career. You could do much worse when you think of a man to lead the offense.

As for Irving, he is one of the best ball handlers we have ever seen. He possesses a devastating basic move that is almost impossible to monitor. He has also developed a three-point shot that has hovered near 40% in recent years. Although his defense is suspect, his attack is off the charts. Irving won a title with LeBron in Cleveland in 2016, where he made three straight finals. There isn’t a large sample size in comparison between the two as both players have only played two games against each other.

Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant vs. Dwyane Wade

Kobe Bryant vs. Dwyane Wade

We saw a lot of that in the 2000s. Bryant has never met Wade in the NBA Finals, nor the playoffs since Bryant played his entire career with the Lakers in the Western Conference. Bryant won an MVP while Wade entered his best seasons. This also included two goalscoring titles where he averaged up to 35.4 points per game in one season.

Wade also won a goalscoring title while Bryant was in the league, so that would be a real back-and-forth. In 20 games against Wade, Bryant averaged 26.1 points, 4.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds. In those same games, Wade averaged 24.3 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.6 rebounds. Bryant is the better defender, but in this game he doesn’t appear much.

Small Forward: Lamar Odom vs. LeBron James

Lamar Odom vs. LeBron James

Getting Odom to defend LeBron would be a daunting task. Odom was a sixth man of the year at best, so in this scenario he would have to play the opening minutes against the second best player of all time. Odom was a useful player who averaged about 13 points and eight rebounds for his career. Odom would need help defensively.

As for LeBron, we’ve seen him score 50 points on some of the top defensemen. He would easily have the best offensive advantage in this series. If LeBron can average a triple-double in the NBA Finals against Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, then why wouldn’t we expect less here? In 22 games against Odom, LeBron averaged 26.5 points, 7.2 assists and 7.0 rebounds. In those same games, Odom averaged just 13.9 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Power winger: Pau Gasol vs. Chris Bosh

Pau Gasol vs. Chris Bosh

Gasol was the perfect fit alongside Bryant when he came to Los Angeles. He immediately made an offensive and defensive impact and helped the Lakers win back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. He was a player who could give you around 18 points and 10 rebounds every night. Not to mention we saw Gasol take on Bosh, where he was the best rebounder, passer and defender.

Bosh was the leading scorer of the two, but Gasol had more success. In 20 games against Bosh, Gasol averaged 19.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists. In those same games, Bosh averaged 18.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. It’s a narrow margin for victory, but Gasol has had the upper hand every time.

Center: Shaquille O’Neal vs. Anthony Davis

Shaquille O'Neal vs. Anthony Davis

It’s hard to understand. The two players never faced each other and even if they did, Davis was entering the league for the first time, while Shaq was nearing retirement. It wouldn’t have been a real match between Shaq and AD. All we can do is go back to history. The facts are that Shaq has a huge side advantage, converts at a high rate in the paint (8th best all-time) and can block shots when needed.

Davis is a borderline Defensive Player of the Year candidate, can score around 20 points and grab 10 rebounds with ease, and has developed an outside shot. It would be “old school versus new school” in the centers element. Shaq holds the advantage with one MVP and three Finals MVPs to his name, while Davis has just one NBA Finals appearance with LeBron.

All-Kobe Team Advantages

The obvious advantage of painting is obvious. Gasol and Shaq seem like a better combination than Gasol and Davis according to stats. On paper, Gasol and Shaq should control the boards, which could allow the team to push the ball in transition. Bryant is one of the best one-on-one ballplayers in the history of the sport, so this would give him plenty of money-making chances.

Another plus is having this match upside down with Bryant and his two former greats. These two have won five championships combined with Bryant, so he has chemistry. It’s worked against teams in the past, so it would probably work again here.

All-LeBron Team Perks

The pair of LeBron and Davis were one of the best transitioning duos when the team won the Finals in 2020. Even with LeBron being older, he led the league in assists and many of those buckets were in Davis . Now imagine having Irving, Wade, LeBron and Davis as potential combinations. Wade and LeBron are potentially a top 5 duo to ever play together. This ball movement would be sharp and difficult to defend.

Another obvious matchup issue is LeBron and Odom. Doubling LeBron’s production over Odom must be a real concern. It would likely force Bryant to change, but LeBron did just as well against Bryant. In 22 games, LeBron averaged 28.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.3 assists when he played it.

Who wins a series of 7 games?

This series would easily be a real back and forth as one game would go one way and the other another. In a series that could easily be a draw, All-LeBron would win Game 1. The All-Kobe team wouldn’t make any adjustments and try to let Odom contain LeBron, but he would score 35 points to lead the team to an easy 110-89 win. After bolstering a few elements on defense, a rotation of Bryant, Odom and Gasol would keep LeBron quieter in Game 2, as Bryant and Shaq combined for 70 points to lead All-Kobe to a 101-96 victory.

All-Kobe would win his second straight game with his Twin Towers in the paint. Gasol’s ability to play outside the arc would pull Bosh from below to set up one-on-one matchups between Shaq and Davis. Shaq would use his size to intimidate the “smaller” center and score 25 points and pull out 19 rebounds, narrowly missing out on a 20-20 game.

In Game 4, All-LeBron would pull Davis out of center to try and stop Shaq from leaving the position. This would allow for plenty of pick-and-roll scenarios with guards and Bosh and Davis. Free throws would be the name of the game as All-Kobe would only go 18 of 37 to the line. This included Shaq missing eight free throws himself. Irving, Wade and Bosh would go 25 of 31 to win a tight 100-94 game.

All-LeBron would win Game 5 with another outstanding performance from LeBron. LeBron would come out of a tough shooting slump in Games 3 and 4 to score 37 points, grab 12 rebounds and dished out 10 assists for his first triple-double of the series. LeBron would focus on one-on-one matchups with Bryant and Odom and decimate them with his explosive power. However, a 112-101 win would be followed by a 121-109 loss with 40 points from Bryant because you know he wasn’t going to let this streak end in six games.

In the end, the duo of Bryant and Shaq return to their old-school three-round days and reunite with a performance that shocks the world. Shaq records a 30-point, 20-rebound night as he completely dominates Davis and anyone trying to guard him. Bryant has one of his best shooting nights and scores 50 points, including the game’s last 10 points. LeBron tries to tie it with 36 points, but the old-school Lakers return to dominance. Despite potentially having five Hall of Famers over LeBron, Bryant is doing what he does best and that’s winning.

Series Result: Team All-Kobe defeated. All-Lebron Team 4-3

Series MVP: Kobe Bryant


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