While he tried to be diplomatic about it, Lakers coach Mike Brown said what we’ve all thought for a while:
Kobe Bryant is far more intense than LeBron James.
Here is the quote, via Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register:
“There’s just a different feel to the two guys,” Brown said….
“LeBron is a guy who is still learning and still growing, and the reality of it is that being down there with Dwyane Wade has helped him,” Brown said. “They’re different personalities. LeBron, he’s a guy who likes to laugh and joke. He knows obviously there’s a time to be serious, but he’s youthful.
“Kobe is not as much. Kobe’s more serious-minded and so on and so forth. But Kobe knows how to have fun in his own way, too.”
Kobe has a great sense of humor. Just ask him. He’ll glare at you for even daring to suggest he’s not funny.
I’m pretty stunned Brown — who has coached both men in the NBA — even treaded into these waters and didn’t dodge the question. That said, it feels more like a confirmation than a revelation.
Kobe certainly is older and more mature, a guy who compartmentalizes his life pretty well. But he is by disposition also just more intense. He’s harder. LeBron may becoming more that way, but he didn’t come hardwired like Kobe, who showed up at 18 to Lakers practices and started challenging every guy on the team to games of one-on-one to push himself and prove his dominance. LeBron, from his high school days, wants winning to be a joyful team experience where he is friends with the guys on and off the court. Kobe just wants to win, he doesn’t care how it happens.
So yes, different feel to the two guys. Well played, Brown.