Longtime LeBron James confidant makes piercing connection between LBJ and Lakers icon Kobe Bryant
LeBron James and Kobe Bryant will forever be intertwined in NBA and Lakers history. Both are larger-than-life generational players who crossed paths in an era when they were both being excitedly crowned as the next Michael Jordan.
Many fans continue to debate who’s the better player than LeBron and Kobe. Some believe it’s LBJ because of his all-around skills and unique combination of speed and strength. Some say it’s KB because of his almost-maniacal competitiveness and deadly scoring ability.
But for one guy who has had the privilege to coach both LeBron and Kobe, he also sees a lot of similarities between the two legends. Lakers assistant tactician Phil Handy recently told Lakers Daily one of the main things that make LeBron and Kobe identical is their mental approach to the game.
“The way they study their opponents. The way that they break down their own games. The way that they take care of their bodies off the floor. Just the time spent in terms of wanting to be at the top and wanting to compete, they’re exactly the same in that regard.”
Handy handled Kobe as a player development coach with the Lakers from 2011 to 2013. He then coached LeBron as a deputy with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2013 to 2018 before reuniting with the Purple and Gold this past season.
The beloved 49-year-old mentor also said both LeBron and Kobe embrace being the alpha dogs with the Lakers, the way they carry their spirit and moxie.
“There’s no lack of confidence from either one of those dudes, on anything they can’t do on the floor.”
Handy, however, acknowledged that having seen the two with the Lakers, The King and the Black Mamba have opposite personalities, with LeBron being more outgoing and jovial, while Kobe is a notorious introvert.