Jan 9, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) drives to the basket against San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (right) during the first half at the AT

Kobe vs Tim: By The Numbers

Tim Duncan and the Spurs could not get past the Heat and win a 5th championship. But their presence there alone was enough to spark a debate over whose legacy was greater: the Big Fundamental or Kobe Bean Bryant.

I look at Duncan with a great sense of reverence. How could you not? But I can’t help but be biased in this debate – Kobe has been too a integral part of my basketball viewing and thus, by an almost sad, obsessive extension, my life.

So perhaps it is best to remove myself from the discussion.

Here it goes, Duncan and Bryant; by the numbers:


Kobe: 1

Duncan: 1


Kobe: 34

Duncan: 37

Years in the league:

Kobe: 16

Duncan: 15

Years in college:

Kobe: 0

Duncan: 4


Kobe: 25.3

Duncan: 20.2


Kobe: 4.8

Duncan:  3.1


Kobe: 5.3

Duncan: 11.2

Blocks per Game:

Kobe: 0.5

Duncan: 2.2


Kobe: 45%

Duncan: 51%


Kobe: 84%

Duncan: 69%


Kobe: 34%

Duncan: Who cares? (18%)


Kobe: 23.4

Duncan: 24.7

True Shooting %:

Kobe: 55%

Duncan: 55%

Effective Field Goal %

Kobe: 48%

Duncan: 50%

Win Shares per 48:

Kobe: 0.183

Duncan: 0.213

Career High Points:

Kobe: 81

Duncan: 53

First Team All Defense:

Kobe: 8

Duncan: 8

First Team All NBA:

Kobe: 11

Duncan: 10

All Star Appearances:

Kobe: 15

Duncan: 14

Scoring Titles:

Kobe: 2

Duncan: 0


Kobe: 1

Duncan: 2

Finals Appearances:

Kobe: 7

Duncan: 5

Finals MVPs:

Kobe: 2

Duncan: 3


Kobe: 5

Duncan: 4

Good luck parsing those numbers to find the more accomplished player.  Who do you think the more accomplished? What numbers did we miss? Let us know who you think will leave with the greatest legacy and why.

Numbers courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com, ESPN and NBA.com



Tags: Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Tim Duncan

  • stucktrader

    Why not break it down by how many times each team beat the other to get to the finals? With Kobe and Duncan on the roster…

    1999 Spurs beat LA (4-0) in the semi…
    2001 LA beat Spurs (4-0) in WCF
    2002 LA beat Spurs (4-0) in semi
    2003 Spurs beat LA (4-2) in semi
    2004 LA beat Spurs (4-2) in semi
    2008 LA beat Spurs (4-1) WCF
    2013 Spurs beat LA (4-0) round 1(however, Kobe didnt play)

    So in the end… Head to head… The Lakers with Kobe Beat the Spurs with Duncan 4-3…

    I think Finals MVP counts more than regular season for sure…

    But when you look at the head to head… Kobe wins…
    It could of course change next year…

    Why people compare the legacy of a player before his career ends… i’ll never know. It seems more the media and talking heads making it an issue…

    I think Magic is the best Laker ever… not the most talented…
    but best winner… Kobe will probably go down as the hardest working Laker of all time. If he does get 7 rings (i really dont think it will happen, although i wish it could…) then Kobe becomes the best Laker ever. That would likely mean 3rd all time scoring… and appear in 9 Finals… that would be amazing. It is too bad Shaq (because of his poor shape) and Kobe(immaturity) didnt work out like Kareem and Magic… They would have been the greatest 1-2 punch of all time.