Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball created controversy after he picked Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James over Kobe Bryant, who led the Lakers to five titles in his 20-year stint with the team. In an interview with Bleacher Report, the No. 2 overall pick was asked about Michael Jordan’s statement that Bryant is better than James in terms of championship rings. The rookie then contradicted Jordan by claiming James is better, saying he idolized the Cavaliers superstar growing up.

Ball said Jordan has a point when he said Bryant was better because of his five championship rings compared to James’ three.

“My favorite player was LeBron growing up, but he does have a point — championships do mean a lot,” said Ball. As a Laker, Ball said he wanted to pick Bryant but he added that James has been his idol, so he picked the Cavaliers superstar as the better player.

Jordan, who won six championships with the Chicago Bulls, made his choice when asked during his Flight School camp in Santa Barbara, California, picking Bryant over LeBron based on the number of their championship rings. Bryant won NBA titles from 2000 to 2002 and 2009 and 2010. James, for his part, won two titles with the Miami Heat and one with the Cavaliers.

Bryant finished his 20-year stint with the Lakers averaging 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists while James has career averages of 27.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists.

When it comes to All-Star appearances, Bryant had 18 while James has 13 but the Cavaliers star has the edge in the number of MVP trophies with four compared to Bryant’s one.

Markelle Fultz: Kobe better than LeBron

In an interview on Sirius XM NBA Radio, Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz picked Bryant over LeBron, saying the retired Lakers superstar is the next best thing after Jordan.

Aside from the number of championship rings, Fultz stressed that Kobe’s accomplishments during his career were unbelievable. The 76ers traded up to No. 1 to acquire Fultz while the Lakers picked Ball as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Ball, James could become teammates in 2018

It is safe to assume that Lonzo Ball's latest statement could be a way to entice LeBron James to join the Lakers in 2018.

Rumors are swirling that James could opt out of his deal with the Cavaliers and join the Lakers after this season. Earlier, LaVar Ball, father of Lonzo, said James and his son can win more titles if they join forces with the Lakers. It was also reported that Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder will also join James with the Lakers when his contract expires after this season.