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View Poll Results: Who is better? Harden or Kobe

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  • Kobe

    24 82.76%
  • Harden

    5 17.24%
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  1. #1
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    Who is better? Kobe or Harden?

    Since someone responded to me with an interesting answer I wanted to see what everyone thought on the matter.

    The question is simple: who is better? Kobe or Harden?

  2. #2
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    Kobe, with a doubt. Harden has impressive efficiency stats, but part of that is due to the era he plays in (analytics), versus what Kobe played in. Furthermore, come playoffs, Kobe excels, Harden folds.


    This is pretty easily Kobe.

    If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love.

  3. #3
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    I think the answer kind of depends on how you view the question.

    If you view the question as "Who is the greater all-time player?" then Kobe is 100% the correct answer. His prime was insanely long, he had so many years of strong postseason performances, and his five rings certainly don't hurt. If Harden retires right now, Kobe is ahead of him in any all-time conversation, and it's not close.

    If you view the question as "Who was the more dominant player at his peak?" then I think the answer has a little more of a gray area. The "Kobe vs. Wade" debate is very similar in that regard. Peak Wade was simply better than peak Kobe, but Kobe's prime was longer and generally stronger overall. The same argument can be made for Harden. In fact, I'd argue that, statistically, peak Harden is more statistically dominant than peak Wade OR peak Kobe.

    All that being said, as much as I love Harden, he just doesn't have a leg to stand on in this argument right now because of his postseason resume. If the guy could just get over the hump and play in 1-2 Finals series and maybe add a ring, I think the debate would get way more interesting. But his poor playoff performance is a killer in these conversations, and a lot of that negativity is warranted.
    Last edited by mightybosstone; 10-10-2019 at 04:26 PM.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightybosstone View Post
    I think the answer kind of depends on how you view the question.

    If you view the question as "Who is the greater all-time player?" then Kobe is 100% the correct answer. His prime was insanely long, he had so many years of strong postseason performances, and his three rings certainly don't hurt. If Harden retires right now, Kobe is ahead of him in any all-time conversation, and it's not close.

    If you view the question as "Who was the more dominant player at his peak?" then I think the answer has a little more of a gray area. The "Kobe vs. Wade" debate is very similar in that regard. Peak Wade was simply better than peak Kobe, but Kobe's prime was longer and generally stronger overall. The same argument can be made for Harden. In fact, I'd argue that, statistically, peak Harden is more statistically dominant than peak Wade OR peak Kobe.

    All that being said, as much as I love Harden, he just doesn't have a leg to stand on in this argument right now because of his postseason resume. If the guy could just get over the hump and play in 1-2 Finals series and maybe add a ring, I think the debate would get way more interesting. But his poor playoff performance is a killer in these conversations, and a lot of that negativity is warranted.
    The intent of the question is who is better, not who is greater. Who do you think the better player is, or in a vacuum, who would you rather want to draft for your team.

    I will say Harden is moving up the SG rankings in that he is now firmly in the Top 5 along with MJ, Kobe, Wade, and West. AI and Drexler no longer have a legitimate claim as being better IMO.

    But another poster said Harden was better in another thread and I wanted to see how many agreed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by valade16 View Post
    The intent of the question is who is better, not who is greater. Who do you think the better player is, or in a vacuum, who would you rather want to draft for your team.

    I will say Harden is moving up the SG rankings in that he is now firmly in the Top 5 along with MJ, Kobe, Wade, and West. AI and Drexler no longer have a legitimate claim as being better IMO.

    But another poster said Harden was better in another thread and I wanted to see how many agreed.
    with both players at their peak? Harden. Harden's past two seasons individually have been better than any of Kobe's best individual seasons.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightybosstone View Post
    I think the answer kind of depends on how you view the question.
    Of course.

    If you view the question as "is Harden better than Kobe?" then the answer is no.
    If you view the question as "is Kobe better than Harden?" then the answer is yes.

    How is this even a question?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post
    Of course.

    If you view the question as "is Harden better than Kobe?" then the answer is no.
    If you view the question as "is Kobe better than Harden?" then the answer is yes.

    How is this even a question?
    Because statistics show that Harden's last three seasons have been superior to any of Kobe's best. Question isn't that crazy...MBS answered the question perfectly.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AIMelo=KillaDUO View Post
    Because statistics show that Harden's last three seasons have been superior to any of Kobe's best. Question isn't that crazy...MBS answered the question perfectly.
    You mean regular season correct? How does Harden's playoff numbers stack up to Kobe?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by valade16 View Post
    You mean regular season correct? How does Harden's playoff numbers stack up to Kobe?
    I draw the comparison in its entirety. I think skill for skill Harden is better. numbers, harden is better, if we take the playoffs only, than yes Kobe gets the edge. I'm positive if we were to punch the numbers from playoffs and regular season, Harden still edges Kobe statistically.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by valade16 View Post
    You mean regular season correct? How does Harden's playoff numbers stack up to Kobe?
    So I was curious about their actual playoff numbers on paper, and they're shockingly even. You could even argue that Harden's are a little better. Here are their career postseason advanced numbers without their names attached:

    Player A: 22.3 PER, 57.9% TS%, .169 WS/48, 6.4 BPM
    Player B: 22.4 PER, 54.1% TS%, .157 WS/48, 4.4 BPM


    Does it matter who's who here? They're damn close. If you look at their basic stats, Kobe has an edge in scoring and Harden has an edge in assists, but Harden also has a little over half the postseason games played that Kobe has, and 43 of Harden's postseason games came as a 6th man playing for the Thunder.

    I realize numbers without context are often pointless, but I also think context without the numbers do a disservice to athletes at times. The narrative of Harden as a playoff choker are generally accurate and well-deserved, as his production drops considerably from the regular season to the playoffs and he's had some pretty epic no-shows in big moments in the playoffs.

    That being said, that narrative fails to recognize something pretty important: Even at Harden's lesser postseason level, he's basically on par statistically with a top 10-15 all-time player who's generally seen as one of the better postseason performers of the last 25 years.

    (Again, though, I'm still not taking Harden in this debate. But I'm pointing out that Kobe and Harden's postseason narratives are a bit overblown.)


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightybosstone View Post
    I think the answer kind of depends on how you view the question.

    If you view the question as "Who is the greater all-time player?" then Kobe is 100% the correct answer. His prime was insanely long, he had so many years of strong postseason performances, and his five rings certainly don't hurt. If Harden retires right now, Kobe is ahead of him in any all-time conversation, and it's not close.

    If you view the question as "Who was the more dominant player at his peak?" then I think the answer has a little more of a gray area. The "Kobe vs. Wade" debate is very similar in that regard. Peak Wade was simply better than peak Kobe, but Kobe's prime was longer and generally stronger overall. The same argument can be made for Harden. In fact, I'd argue that, statistically, peak Harden is more statistically dominant than peak Wade OR peak Kobe.

    All that being said, as much as I love Harden, he just doesn't have a leg to stand on in this argument right now because of his postseason resume. If the guy could just get over the hump and play in 1-2 Finals series and maybe add a ring, I think the debate would get way more interesting. But his poor playoff performance is a killer in these conversations, and a lot of that negativity is warranted.
    eh, except Harden has been a laughingstock defensively, and disappears in the playoffs. That matters man, no matter how many years his PER, and TS% look fantastic in the regular season. Now, Harden is not AS bad as his rep on defense, but Kobe was a legit stud on that end for many years, especially the Laker years when he was the best 2nd banana ever.

    You nailed it with the Malone comparison to be honest.

    If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye15 View Post
    eh, except Harden has been a laughingstock defensively, and disappears in the playoffs. That matters man, no matter how many years his PER, and TS% look fantastic in the regular season. Now, Harden is not AS bad as his rep on defense, but Kobe was a legit stud on that end for many years, especially the Laker years when he was the best 2nd banana ever.
    OK, but I addressed the postseason part in the post you just quoted. I'm not denying Harden's playoff disappearing act (although, I do think it's a drastically overstated argument). But I also think Kobe's postseason dominance gets overblown, as does his edge on the defensive end of the floor.

    Again, I'm not picking Harden here. But I think if the postseason piece of this conversation didn't exist and we just looked at their games in a vacuum, you could make a case that Harden is the better overall peak basketball player.

    You nailed it with the Malone comparison to be honest.
    Yeah, I know. It's a horrifying thought...


  13. #13
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    I just had a disgusting, terrifying thought that's honestly eerily accurate: "James Harden is the Karl Malone of shooting guards." If Harden doesn't turn around the narrative of his postseason failures, that's probably who he becomes in future all-time conversations after he retires.


  14. #14
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    I stand by my statement. Iíd rather build around Harden and Shaq than Kobe and Shaq. Itís close but Iíd take Harden. Better playmaker and more willing playmaker than Kobe.
    Last edited by IKnowHoops; 10-10-2019 at 03:48 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by IKnowHoops View Post
    I stand by my statement. Iíd rather build around Harden and Shaq than Kobe and Shaq. Itís close but Iíd take Harden. Better playmaker and more willing playmaker than Kobe.

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