Kobe or LeBron? Brady or Manning? The debate usually lies within superstars of the same sport. Today, we are going to mix it up. With LeBron’s Cavaliers on the rise and Brady fresh off a Super Bowl XLIX win, lets focus the debate on Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning. Both of these superstars are on their way out. Bryant and Manning have left a huge footprint in their given sports but with only a couple years left (at most) who is most likely to take home a championship before they retire?
Manning has a strong supporting cast. His defense is one of the best in the NFL, headlined by Von Miller, Demarcus Ware, and Aqib Talib. Manning also has weapons at his disposal, assuming the Broncos can keep Julius Thomas. The Broncos have loaded up the past couple years, trying to help Manning go out on top with a Super Bowl victory, just like their General Manager, John Elway was able to do just over 15 years ago.
Kobe Bryant’s situation is different. Kobe Bryant has not been able to finish a complete season in 3 years. The 2015-2016 will be his 20th season. The Los Angeles Lakers are currently 13-40 and one of the worst teams in the NBA. The Lakers dismal record should allow the team a top 5 lottery pick in this years draft. Granted, if the Lakers start winning, this pick could quickly be handed over to the Phoenix Suns, thanks to the Steve Nash deal several years back. Also, the Lakers are projected to have $30 million in cap space this offseason, which will give the team the ability to pursue a top-notch free agent.
With all of this being said, Bryant has the best chance at winning a championship before he retires. Why? Because the Lakers without a doubt should add two superstars this offseason, one through the draft and one through free agency. Also, the top teams in the West are unproven. Memphis and Golden State do not have championship experience. The Mavericks, Spurs, and Thunder are the three teams in the West that do have championship experience but who knows where all three of their rosters are going. It also seems that the only competition in the East is whatever team has LeBron James.
On the other hand, in order for Manning to get another championship he would have to get through Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco, and Ben Roethlisberger all of whom have Super Bowl rings. Also, the new coaching staff Manning would have to adapt to is not an easy transition for any athlete.
In the end, I’m taking Kobe Bryant with a squad featuring Julius Randle, Nick Young, Jordan Hill, a top 5 pick, and a premier free agent.