Both have marched into every arena in the country and showcased endlessly what makes them both great and divisive.
They score on a whim with very few defense having enough to stop it. Even when everything around them crumbles apart, their scoring cleans up the mess. But they’ve also battled endless perceptions on whether their high-volume scoring comes at the expense of team play.
So how do Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony compare? Well, it’s obvious to look at Bryant’s five NBA championships to Anthony’s zero. But former Nuggets coach Geroge Karl, who once coached Anthony, sees a clear differnece on what led to such disparity.
“Kobe has an ability to lift a team on his shoulders on a yearly basis, [on] the playoff basis,” Karl told ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd. “Melo has done it over three months or four months. He will be the best player in basketball for six weeks. Kobe has been the best player in basketball for all year and been the best player in basketball in a playoff series, in a championship, winning a championship ring.”
“There’s a little difference there,” Karl continued. “There is a different stage of regular season and playoffs. [But] Kobe at times has selfish basketball play and has a tough ego and attitude to handle.”
That created some tension early on his career with former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who once called Bryant “uncoachable” partly because his quest to score sometimes contradicted his tenets of the triangle offense. But Jackson and Bryant eventually found more common ground. Jackson gave Bryant more freedom to break away from the triangle offense when the team needed an offensive lift. Bryant bought more into the team concepts as he both matured and had more talented teammates around him.
With Jackson reportedly to accept a front office job with the New York Knicks, how would Anthony fare under his leadership?
“To me, when you ask me that question, I don’t think Melo is a Phil Jackson type of player,” Karl said. “That would be my answer to that.”