We all know that Kobe Bryant can hit even the toughest and most clutch shot with tight defense on him and we also know that LeBron can jam flying right over you or past you. Also, Carmelo might be the most efficient shooter in the league right now and Durant is a dominant player that hits threes like layups and has all the potential to become an even better player because he's only 24 years old. But who is a better player from all the above? Can we really call a player better or worse than the other? The answer might be, we may can. Let's break down some facts about them.
First of all, a really important factor that could support such a comparison is that all of them play the 2-3 position. It's a big mistake in basketball when somebody tries to compare between a center and a point guard for example. Additionally, apart from Kobe, the rest of the crew is almost at the same stage of their career. In fact, Melo and LBJ were both selected in the 2003 draft class and Durant joined the league 4 years later. However, Kobe might not suit for this comparison age-wise, because he's already been in the league almost 10 years more.
But keep in mind that basketball is not an individual sport and player comparisons in team sports are not so appropriate. Just imagine Durant playing for a really bad team. Could he come up with 50 points every night? Easily. Also, image LeBron played for the Lakers instead of Kobe and with their losing record and also other stars demanding the ball, he instantly becomes less effective. It's clear that a player's performance is inextricably connected to his team's success.
So if we are trying to find out who is playing better right now, the answer might be a bit easier. We could say for example that Carmelo might be the best star shooter in the league, LeBron might be the most complete player and Durant the best combo guard-forward that can plays like a 6-10" point guard with 3-point shooting expertise. Plus of course, Kobe, despite the slump of his team is probably the most clutch player; he can hit the most important shot of a game even after being off during 4 quarters. To mark a player is better than another might be controversial. It would be wiser to search for player's attributes separately.
On the other hand if we wanted to judge which player might be better for his career, then Kobe has a big advantage. At least for the moment, it will be hard for all other three to achieve what he's won throughout his career.
So who's the best player in the NBA? That's a question with as many answers as the people want to answer it.
By Chris Michaels
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