I'm all with Kobe, as I have family in California and watched the Lakers in the finals in 2001-03 years before I ever watched a Raptors
For me, and for a lot of people I think, Kobe IS
For everyone who didn't see him win a chip or be a perennial contender (as the remainder of his career is likely to be, at this point at least) I think there won't be the same level of appreciation and admiration until LeBron goes. And even then he'll always be the greatest competitor I've ever seen. For instance, there's no way there would have been that kind of lollygagging in the All-Star game had Kobe been playing.
I just don't think I'll ever see a player single-handedly take over games so dominantly, so consistently, so often and in such a clutch manner. (Our game in LA last year is about as great an example as you can get) If LeBron is the embodiment of the post-modern era of basketball in that his best quality is that he makes others better, that he's unselfish, that he's analytic, than Kobe will be the last and greatest embodiment of the 90s mentality: gritty, cocky, determined, cutthroat and cold-blooded. A true champion.