Ice Cube: I’d Take Kobe Bryant Over LeBron James ‘All Day’

Cube explains why the Black Mamba is actually better than King James.

Ice Cube was one of the many celebrities at the Staples Center Monday night for the feting of Kobe Bryant. The Lakers legend had both his number 8 and number 24 jerseys retired and his many fans in attendance were happy to praise him. 

Magic Johnson called him the “greatest to ever wear purple and gold,” which is of course not true. Magic himself is the greatest to ever wear purple and gold but it’s easy to understand why he said otherwise. He works for the Lakers and his job on Monday was to praise Kobe. Cube on the other hand, has no excuse for his outlandish gushing. 

Asked if he’d pick Kobe or LeBron to start a team, Cube said Kobe. “Just because of his tenacity–nobody has the killer instinct like Kobe,” Cube told TMZ Sports. “I don’t think we’ve seen that since Michael Jordan. That’s what you pay for when you go see basketball. You don’t pay to see friends play, you pay to see enemies play.”

Cube’s answer is really no surprise. He’s been a Kobe fan since day one, as he recently wrote on The Player’s Tribune

The first time I saw Kobe play, he started out on the damn bench. I wasn’t having none of that. I spent the first half yelling at Del Harris.

It was Kobe’s rookie year, early on, and Del wasn’t playing him too much. My wife, Kim, and I were in our usual seats, 10 rows back behind the bench, and I’m thinking, Nah, man. We didn’t pay good money to watch the young dude sit.

The world is celebrating Kobe today, so rather than use the rest of this post to prove that LeBron is the superior talent, we’ll celebrate the Black Mamba too. One way is by gawking at this collection of the top 10 plays from early in his career vs. the top 10 from later. 

And another is to watch these new Nike ads, which bring back the Kobe and LeBron puppets that they unveiled nearly a decade ago. They’re pretty fun.