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Larry Bird says he’d play with LeBron for fun, Kobe to win

Feb 8, 2012, 4:03 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Larry Bird is better at basketball than you. Probably still, but certainly at his peak.

But he thinks like a lot of you out there.

During his podcast with Bill “sports guy” Simmons at Grantland, Bird said this about the two biggest names in the NBA today (transcribed by ESPNLosAngeles.com).

“If you want to have fun, like I did with Bill Walton, play with LeBron. It would have probably been more fun to play with LeBron, but if you want to win and win and win, it’s Kobe. Not that LeBron’s not a winner, just that (Kobe’s) mindset is to go into every practice, every game, to get better,” Bird said.

Bird, about as competitive a guy who ever laced them up, said he would choose Kobe if he had to choose.

I think this kind of sums up the consensus now — it’s not that LeBron isn’t an amazing player, it’s his commitment to winning that is questioned. By everyone. Kobe’s is not, only his shot selection is questioned (including by Bird in the same podcast).

What I still wonder is how the perception of LeBron changes if the Heat win two of the next three titles?

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