As two of the greatest basketball players ever, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are more often compared to each other than any other pair in the league.
Today, and for the best 10+ years, LeBron James has ruled with an iron first, carrying out his will on the court time and time again. Between his game, his fame, and the magnitude of his brand, the guy is always under the spotlight and relishes the attention.
Kobe Bryant, meanwhile, was a very different type of player. His insane work ethic and ‘mamba mentality’ often came together to carry his team to wins. The way he played, and competed, made him world-renowned, and fans always flooded the arena to see him play.
But which of the two really brought out the best in the fans? If you ask Kevin Love, who played with LeBron James during his run in Cleveland, the answer is Kobe. In an appearance on the Gary Vee show, Love explained why:
“100% Kobe. No disrespect to Bron cause he brings them out too… there’s that energy in the gym and you get everybody’s best game. Your whole mindset shifts too when you’re on a team like that. I mean, we were a superteam. We were a team that was expected to have the potential to win a title. But it didn’t matter if it was a Tuesday in Minnesota, Kobe’s bringing them out. There’s a buzz in the city when Kobe is there. It’s a home game for them.”
LeBron James is obviously a box office attraction. His high-flying dunks and amazing plays make for a visually stunning experience. His IQ and charisma, both on the court and in front of the cameras, make James a must-see event.
But Kobe was just a different animal. He brought his all every time he stepped foot on the court, and he never took a day off. Not only did his game bring out the best in everyone, but it also brought out the best in the fans, who showed up in droves to witness him doing his thing.
You can’t blame Kevin Love for acknowledging that, especially since he grew up as a huge Kobe fan.