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LeBron James says he'd beat Kobe Bryant one-on-one

November 14, 2011 |  7:00 am

LeBron James didn't hesitate one bit when asked recently if he would beat Kobe Bryant one-on-one.

"I'm not going to not take myself against anybody," James said recently at the London School of Basketball for a Nike promotion. "I always feel no matter who I'm going against that I’m going to come out victorious."

Too bad we'll never see it, for reasons that go beyond the NBA's refusal to host such an event. As with his fourth-quarter performances, James doesn't want the spotlight on him.

"We won’t see it. Nobody will ever see it," he said. "So you all can stop asking that question."

But the question won't go away. It was only a few weeks ago that The Times' Melissa Rohlin asked a host of NBA players their pick between the Black Mamba and King James. Bryant had also boasted last year at the London School of Basketball that he'd take that matchup. "I'd win," he said. "That's what I do. One-on-one — that's easy for me."

But after a 15-year career, can Bryant really match up with James? I view James as a better player than Bryant right now. I'd still prefer Bryant on my team, however. No one can match his work ethic and playoff composure, qualities that rub off on his teammates. But one-on-one, James' bulkier frame and superior athleticism would prove more important than Bryant's efficient footwork and killer instinct. 

Should the NBA lockout persist, perhaps both stars would consider the challenge. It'd sure beat mulling over labor contract proposals.  


Kobe Bryant says he would beat LeBron James in one-on-one

Kevin Durant: Kobe Bryant would beat LeBron James in one-on-one

— Mark Medina

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