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View Full Version : Kobe Bryant finishes 7th in #NBA rank (ESPN)



Bruno
10-17-2011, 05:33 PM
http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/22868/kobe-bryant-finishes-7th-in-nbarank


For the last few weeks, ESPN.com's hoops folk have rolled out the results of our #NBARank project in which every NBA player is placed in order from 500 to 1, based on the evaluations of 91 hoops experts (or 89, depending on what you think of Andy and me). For the most part, Lakers players formed the bread of an average player sandwich, with only one player -- Metta World Peace at 97 -- appearing between free agent Shannon Brown (181) and Lamar Odom at 44. But while there's a discussion to be had regarding Andrew Bynum at 30 or Pau Gasol at 11, the number most Lakers fans want to see is the one assigned to Kobe Bryant.

Wait no longer. He finished seventh.

Keeping in mind the rankings are meant to reflect current effectiveness as opposed to career achievement (Kobe is easily the most accomplished player in the league), are the results fair? More or less, yes.

Looking at the remaining players ahead of Kobe in no particular order, even factoring in his fourth-quarter failures in last year's Finals, LeBron James is, in my opinion, the best player in the league. He has led the league in win shares in each of the last three seasons and in PER in each of the last four. The question of James' buddy, Dwyane Wade, and Kobe and which is NBA's top shooting guard came up in a 5-on-5 panel on ESPN.com this past summer. I chose Wade then, and still would.

Mamba versus Dwight Howard isn't exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, but it's difficult to stridently complain about Bryant finishing behind a freakish athlete boasting his third straight NBA Defensive Player of the Year trophy. Howard's unquestioned status as the NBA's most dominant big man makes him at least one of the league's six best players, regardless of where you think Kobe ranks. And while I wouldn't have started the 2010-11 season saying Dirk Nowitzki is better than Bryant, given what he did through the season and playoffs, his elevated status is deserved.

If comparing wings to centers is tough, comparing wings to 1s isn't much easier. But a healthy Chris Paul is the best point guard in a point guard's league coming off a great playoff series against the Lakers.

My only real complaint would be putting Kevin Durant anywhere ahead of Kobe. OKC's star is the best scorer in the league and at 23 still oozes potential, but Kobe is a better distributor and defender, and at his position is a better rebounder. Perhaps Durant was given too much credit for future growth and Kobe knocked too much for his mileage. Still, the results hardly qualify as a crime against humanity.

It's all fun debate fodder, but getting bogged down in the numbers distracts from the more important issue: When it comes to measuring the Lakers' title hopes this season, what exactly does it mean that Kobe is, at least by one count, not a top-five guy?

Very little.

The important question isn't whether he's the best player in the game -- undoubtedly a point of pride among his biggest fans -- but whether Kobe is good enough to front a championship squad. He is. Those believing otherwise, and I'm not sure how many there actually are, are wrong. Obviously he needs help from the supporting cast, but the same holds true for each of the six guys ahead of him on the list. Durant doesn't win without Russell Westbrook, James Harden and support in the middle. Dirk, heroic as he was in the postseason, didn't do it alone. Howard doesn't have enough help.

The James/Wade combo proves a couple of points. First, pure talent isn't in and of itself an automatic path to victory. The parts have to work well together. Second, the best player in broad terms isn't always the best player from game to game and moment to moment. Nowitzki isn't the NBA's top talent overall but played better than anyone in the postseason. The gap between the players at the top of the rankings isn't nearly large enough to negate questions of team and timing.

Not even close.

Kobe Bryant is still an elite-level NBA player. There's no harm in debating exactly how elite relative to the competition. As it relates to the odds of winning hardware, the answers may create some distinction, but practically speaking, not much difference.

handle
10-17-2011, 05:42 PM
Kobe is #4, I'd say.... #7 is insulting. And gee, I can't IMAGINE who ESPN is going to say is #1, can you?

beliges
10-17-2011, 06:15 PM
Ehh whatever. I dont know if there was ever a guy in teh history of the league that can be placed in the top 7 in his 16th year in the league. Thats remarkable in and of itself.

lakers4sho
10-17-2011, 06:26 PM
I have Kobe at 3rd behind LeBron and Durant. I wouldn't mind Kobe placed anywhere in the top 5. But 7th? What a joke.

Avenged
10-17-2011, 06:37 PM
I don't think he's top 3 anymore. Not even 4.

I can probably make an argument for him as #5-#6 though.

7 seems a little low but I can live with it only because Rose and Deron are below him.

As for Dirk, many people value team success a lot, and us being Laker fans we're no different so I can understand him being ranked ahead of Kobe. Pau Gasol at #11 below Blake Griffin is a joke imo.

J4KOP99
10-17-2011, 06:53 PM
At the end of the day, who gives a ****? 5 titles and a serious chance for more... I'l take it.

magic0320
10-17-2011, 07:24 PM
kobe is still great player. With kobe having more time to rest for his knee during this lock out kobe is going to be healthest he can be in what 4 - 5 years. CAN'T WAIT!

The goods
10-17-2011, 07:49 PM
7th is crazy but with all the healing treatment and rest he's been getting I look for him to change that plus more motivation to fuel his fire,I don't care about his age kobe is a beast and lebron is the only person I can say is better than him at this point talent wise,everyone else is debatable

The goods
10-17-2011, 07:52 PM
but on a good note kobe is 33 messed up knee messed up shooting hand and his ankle and back if I'm not mistaking and he's still top 10 in a young mans game.
Where's everybody else from the 96 draft besides nash?

Chacarron
10-17-2011, 08:40 PM
I have Kobe at #6 behind Lebron, Dwight, Wade, Dirk and CP3. Durant can score period, nothing else. Kobe can do other things than scoring hence why he should be higher than Durant.

Also, Blake Griffin at #10 is laughable. That place belongs to Pau Gasol or Amare Stoudemire.

LakersMaster24
10-17-2011, 10:33 PM
I have Kobe at #6 behind Lebron, Dwight, Wade, Dirk and CP3. Durant can score period, nothing else. Kobe can do other things than scoring hence why he should be higher than Durant.

Also, Blake Griffin at #10 is laughable. That place belongs to Pau Gasol or Amare Stoudemire.

I agree with this post 100%.

ldawg
10-17-2011, 11:48 PM
i'll say 5 to 7 he neglect his injuries to long. This is Why i say La need to push for Howard. Howard top 10 Bynum top 30. Howard restore the run or rebuild with Bynum going ring less while he find his game and make a name for himself and fustrate Kobe and Pau talking about trust.

mekedubs
10-18-2011, 02:34 PM
but on a good note kobe is 33 messed up knee messed up shooting hand and his ankle and back if I'm not mistaking and he's still top 10 in a young mans game.
Where's everybody else from the 96 draft besides nash?

My thoughts exactly:clap::clap:
I want people to go back and look at the '95, '96, and '97 first round drafts and look and see where all of those stars rank other than Kobe... look at everyone in the league that's come along who was supposed to be "The next Jordan" and see where they are at in their careers today... Just a few examples: Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, Jerry Stackhouse, Grant Hill, Harold Minor(:facepalm:), etc.... I personally think that #7 is a little to low myself, but for Kobe to still be playing at this level at his age with that mileage is remarkable! I guess ESPN is ranking players on athleticism and popularity more than skill, because as good as some of these players are, skill wise, Kobe is still #1 in the league with his scoring, play making and most of all KILLER INSTINCT... Until some of these players get that "KI" in them, they'll never accomplish CLOSE to what Kobe has...

beliges
10-18-2011, 03:18 PM
As I said, I cant remember the last time in the history of this league that a player was a clear top 7 player in his 16th season in the NBA. Thats just sheer domination for over 14 years.

Avenged
10-18-2011, 03:20 PM
As I said, I cant remember the last time in the history of this league that a player was a clear top 7 player in his 16th season in the NBA. Thats just sheer domination for over 14 years.

You also have to keep in mind these are only 1 persons rankings. This doesn't mean he really is 7th best in the league. He may very well be 5th best or 4th etc..

LA_Raiders
10-18-2011, 03:53 PM
Kobe is #1.... BSPN...

Bruno
10-18-2011, 04:35 PM
How many players finished to five in regular season PER during their 15th season in the NBA? I wonder if anyone has ever done it.

beliges
10-18-2011, 04:39 PM
You also have to keep in mind these are only 1 persons rankings. This doesn't mean he really is 7th best in the league. He may very well be 5th best or 4th etc..

I most definitely put him in the #4 or #5 spot right now. He is the most skilled and talented player in the league, still at the moment. Nobody in the league has anything close to a complete package on offense as Kobe does. But, with that said, he is certainly getting old and his knees no longer give him the ability to carry a team on his back for long stretches. But again, he has to be the 1st player in NBA history that can claim a top 7 spot in the league in his 16th season. Bird and Magic never lasted that many seasons in the league. MJ was well above average with the Wizards during his 16th season, but nowhere near the top 10. Only argument one can make is Kareem, but then again, its difficult to compare a big man to a perimeter player. Its amazing how this guy has stayed on top for such a long time. Unprecedented really. Another reason why he is one of the 7 or 8 greatest players to ever play this game.

20R8ersfaN08
10-18-2011, 06:20 PM
BS list.....Kobe is top 2

Chacarron
10-18-2011, 07:22 PM
You also have to keep in mind these are only 1 persons rankings. This doesn't mean he really is 7th best in the league. He may very well be 5th best or 4th etc..

The rankings were made by a panel of 91 analysts listed here (http://espn.go.com/nba/notebook/_/id/6853955/nba-player-rankings-contributors).

kinnikuman24
10-18-2011, 08:01 PM
kobe should have been 4th at least. hes still better than dirk and cp3. Dirk plays no defense, and cp3 cant take over a game like kobe can.

kArSoN RyDaH
10-18-2011, 09:19 PM
Gasol would shouldn't be anywhere near the top 10.

numba1CHANGsta
10-19-2011, 12:04 AM
I dont think ESPN got the memo that this was a current ranking and not the all-time ranking lol

handle
10-19-2011, 04:45 PM
Lebron finishes #1 (shocker), Wade #3, Dirk # 5 - two spots ahead of Kobe. :eyebrow:

whitemamba33
10-19-2011, 10:13 PM
If it's based on last season, I can understand the ranking. I wasn't particularly impressed with his playoff performance.

But if Kobe is who I think he is, stuff like this only motivates him. If he thinks they are wrong, it's time to prove them they are wrong.

kArSoN RyDaH
10-20-2011, 01:00 AM
Guarenteed if any of those 91 "experts" had to win ONE game they would take Kobe over anyone in the league.

simsta
10-20-2011, 01:06 AM
This settles it for sure. No more debate at all!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXTRTvWDHtM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

mekedubs
10-20-2011, 09:21 AM
If it's based on last season, I can understand the ranking. I wasn't particularly impressed with his playoff performance.But if Kobe is who I think he is, stuff like this only motivates him. If he thinks they are wrong, it's time to prove them they are wrong.

Well if that's the case, Dirk should be #1, with Rose #2 (only because he was the MVP)... LeBron's playoff performance was terrible, especially the 4th quarter of the Maverick series. I really think that these rankings are solely based on popularity, athleticism, stats and skill with skill being the least.

But I agree whitemamba33, If we all know Kobe this just fuels his fire...
What was Kobe's words during the press conference after he won his 5th ring? "I got one more than Shaq... Y'all know me, I don't forget anything!"
'nuff said....

Chacarron
10-20-2011, 12:54 PM
Guarenteed if any of those 91 "experts" had to win ONE game they would take Kobe over anyone in the league.

Yup, pretty much with the exception of a few that just don't like Kobe.

Lakersfan2483
10-20-2011, 09:34 PM
I have him in the top 3 still, he wasn't healthy at all last year and it showed in the playoffs. I still believe he is an elite player.

whitemamba33
10-22-2011, 02:15 AM
Well if that's the case, Dirk should be #1, with Rose #2 (only because he was the MVP)... LeBron's playoff performance was terrible, especially the 4th quarter of the Maverick series. I really think that these rankings are solely based on popularity, athleticism, stats and skill with skill being the least.

But I agree whitemamba33, If we all know Kobe this just fuels his fire...
What was Kobe's words during the press conference after he won his 5th ring? "I got one more than Shaq... Y'all know me, I don't forget anything!"
'nuff said....

I never said the ranking should only be based on playoff performance. But looking at the season as a whole, he's not all of what he was. Last season was statistically better than the year before, but the last two seasons as a whole have been a decline. And while that's going on, other players in the league are getting better and better.

He's still a great player...an amazing player. There really isn't a better fit for THIS team.

GREATNESS ONE
10-22-2011, 05:15 PM
Personally, I don't think it matter what one so called "expert" has Kobe listed. The fact of the matter remains Kobe Bryant in his 15/16 year is still in the discussion of great players in the NBA currently. That feat in itself is quite Impressive, all in all the only numbers I and I'm sure Black Mamba are worried about is getting that elusive 6th ring.

Bruno
10-22-2011, 06:39 PM
Personally, I don't think it matter what one so called "expert" has Kobe listed. The fact of the matter remains Kobe Bryant in his 15/16 year is still in the discussion of great players in the NBA currently. That feat in itself is quite Impressive, all in all the only numbers I and I'm sure Black Mamba are worried about is getting that elusive 6th ring.

x2.

If Kobe and Fish land #6 they'll join MJ, KAJ, Scottie, and Horry (7) as the only player not affiliated with the 60's Celtics dynasty to win six or more NBA championships. Pretty elite territory for a MVP to be in.

LakersKB24
10-24-2011, 01:59 PM
Let them think Kobe's career is over. Everybody's been saying he's on the decline all season long, ignoring the fact that he was injured all year.
I don't have a problem with them ranking Kobe at #7, because I know he will come back next year and prove all the haters wrong! Kobe is not done yet, in fact I think he'll come back at least as good as ever, because he finally could rest and take care of his injuries.

Watch out NBA, the Black Mamba is about to strike again!!!

Bruno
10-25-2011, 06:34 PM
^I'm anxious to see how he looks after his first summer off since 2007 too. I wana see how long his arthritic knee holds up after ground-breaking treatment in Germany. I wana see if the lift in his knee is better, and if he can get his three point % back up a few percentage points. Hopefully his perimeter D gets back to 2008 forum as well.

If we get a season, I expect a great year from Kobe.

Avenged
10-25-2011, 06:44 PM
Well he's top 3 bound in SLAM's list.

Bruno
10-25-2011, 07:03 PM
Well he's top 3 bound in SLAM's list.

I saw. Based off last year alone, he shouldn't be.

From there you conclude that they're giving him a the life-time-achievement benefit of the doubt, or that they're expecting a bounce back year from Kobe. Regardless, his fans will maintain that he's been beat up and w/ rest is due for a good year, his detractors will argue that he got that based off reputation, not current incarnation. I still consider Kobe top 5, 6th at the lowest.