Recently, I spoke with NBA journalist Michael Tillery and former Sixer’s forward Randy Holcomb. During our discussions, which has a higher basketball IQ between NBA greats Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
“It’s interesting because I think they are two different robots. Two different models that are just as effective, I would watch Kobe [Bryant] when he would come to Philadephia, and there was a writer named E. James Beale. He said to me. I wonder if Kobe sees the floor as a grid. So, after the game, we went into the locker room and asked him the very question, and he confirmed it,” said Tillery.
“So, Kobe has this mind that was seeing the floor, separately than even basketball. So, a lot of people walk with a basketball they use the basketball court. They shoot at the rim, they look at the lines, but they are not looking at in boxes like Kobe did. To be where he could be in certain places on the floor to score. He did this thing where it was this elbow jumper maybe eight to ten feet from the basket. He would incessantly before he moved out, other spots. So, that’s where that grid started from for him.”
While Holcomb believed that their basketball IQs were the same.
“Okay, I’m going to give you two answers; it is a tough question to answer that question. I think the IQs for the game are actually the same. I had a chance to talk to Kobe, and there is a misconception about Kobe that you saw. God rest his soul. When he stepped off the court, the person was like this genius and very soft and very humbled individual. When he spoke about the game of basketball,” said Holcomb on Clubhouse.
“So, his IQ when you listen to him, he knew everything that was going on the floor. After I talked to him I was like, f*** this dude likes the subtleties. Understanding the footwork that he was doing and why he did certain things. He had a reason why he was doing when he stepped off the floor or his workout and what he was looking for. The problem with Kobe was the application was not always there on the floor. The same way it is LeBron on the floor. Like, Kobe was inherently selfish and that was detrimental to that team.”
On Monday afternoon, the same question was presented to former NBA veteran Jared Jeffries in Courtside With Dukes on Clubhouse.
” I think I have to say LeBron. What LeBron does and the way he breaks the game down. I think Kobe maximized his talent more than anyone I have ever seen in basketball. Kobe was able to do this through injuries changing his game up, his work ethic and drive were masterful, but LeBron’s basketball IQ, even though they got swept with the first team, took to the finals in 2007,” said Jeffries.
“I don’t care what anybody says about the era in the east. I do not know anybody else who took a team to the finals without another Hall of Famer. That is amazing! Then the one year , Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were out in the finals to six games against Golden State. So, you gotta look at how he has broken the game down and how he calculates and gets through even the way he has. It is impressive.”
Jeffries played 10 seasons in the NBA for four different teams, the Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, and Portland Trail Blazers.