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Which superstar has had the better career: Kobe Bryant or Tim Duncan?

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Is Kobe better all-time player than Duncan? (1:21)

Mike & Mike discuss whether Kobe Bryant should be considered a greater all-time player than Tim Duncan. (1:21)

Their games are vastly different, their public personas even more so. But Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan share some uncanny similarities.

Both own five championship rings.

Both have led an iconic NBA franchise for nearly two decades.

Both need three hands to tally their All-NBA first-, second- and third-team honors.

Duncan and Bryant are, quite simply, the greatest players of their generation -- the era that followed on the heels of Michael Jordan's heyday. They are the Spurs' yin, the Lakers' yang, of NBA excellence.

As Bryant nears the end of his 20-year career and Duncan finds himself just four months from his 40th birthday, we have the opportunity to look back and marvel -- and to compare and contrast two of the greatest players ever.

Which superstar is greater? It's a long-standing debate among NBA aficionados, and both players inspire legions of passionate supporters. So let's analyze the work of these two legends in an attempt to help resolve the debate.

Our tools today are real plus-minus and other metrics that help us make an apples-to-apples comparison between one of the greatest backcourt players and one of the greatest frontcourt players ever.