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Monday, March 5th, 2012 at 10:25 am  |  200 responses

Kobe Bryant Doesn’t Think He’s Ever Had a Rival in the NBA


According to Kobe, those who were once considered rivals faded away, and the current crop of stars is too young and haven’t won enough rings to truly measure up. From ESPN: “Despite Bryant’s acknowledging that it’s not just another game, he wouldn’t characterize his relationship with LeBron James as a rivalry. ‘Not for me,’ Bryant said. ‘I get up for everybody just the same, to be honest. It’s hard for me to turn my meter up any higher than it normally is.’ OK, Bryant was asked, how about Dwyane Wade? [...] ‘He’s too young,’ Bryant said. ‘He’s too young. When I came into the league, he was in elementary school.’ Bryant is three years older than Wade, but was already a seven-year veteran when Wade was drafted in 2003. Bryant said it is ‘a little late in the game’ for him to develop a rivalry with any current NBA player, so instead he is chasing names in the record books rather than in box scores from the 2011-12 season. ‘At this point my rivals, in terms of what I have left to accomplish in my career, (left the game) when Magic (Johnson) and Michael (Jordan) retired in ’98,’ Bryant said, referring to the second of Jordan’s three retirements that came after he won his sixth and final championship with the Chicago Bulls. ‘That’s it. In terms of what I’m looking to accomplish, that’s about it.’ [...] ‘What I have left to accomplish, those players retired a long time ago,’ Bryant said. The San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan won four championships to Bryant’s five throughout their shared careers, but Bryant said while the Spurs might have qualified as a team rival to his Lakers, Duncan’s individual rivalry came against Shaquille O’Neal as a fellow big man. ‘He was never in my position,’ Bryant said. ‘He was more Shaq’s rival than mine. As a team, the Spurs were always a team that we had to go through. So from that standpoint, yes, but in terms of personally, no. I’ve outgrown them all, from A.I. (Allen Iverson) when I first came in to (Tracy) McGrady to Vince Carter and so forth and so on.’”

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  • Ken

    So true. Throughout his career, you could say T-Mac, AI, and Vince Carter were his regular season rivals. However, he didn’t consistently face any guard in the playoffs, so I’m not too sure about any other rival other than Phoenix or San Antonio

  • Paul H

    Sometimes I forget just how damn good T-mac was at one point….32/7/5…If he had the “clutch” gene, a bit more luck (Grant Hill) and was not so damn injury prone….

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Y’all keep letting Kobe sell you this dream.
    That boy brodied his way to the Lakers as opposed to the crappy Nets. And just so happened to link up with the best center in the league to jumpstart his career.
    Iverson was the man for he and Kobe’s first ten years in the League and he never had the benefit of hooping with Shaq. Anybody who says anything different is a liar.

  • omphalos

    Another classic example of a SLAMonline headline which blatantly lies about the content of the interview, getting pretty tired of the hyperbole and misrepresentation of facts with a lot of these “stories”.

  • Jer Dawg

    There have been some great players that have challenged Bryant, but not for long stretches of time. I think the one sleeper that was never brought up was Ray Allen. They have gone at each other in West Coast for years. Without having been given a great surrounding team it probably isn’t considered an individual rivalry. But they have gone at each other for many years and those Laker vs. Celtic finals games I would like to consider rivalry games between those two perennial all stars.

  • Joe

    He’s right:

    “I’ve outgrown them all, from A.I. (Allen Iverson) when I first came in to (Tracy) McGrady to Vince Carter and so forth and so on.”

  • jags

    @ Allenp. does shaquille signed 1st with lakers before bryant was drafted and traded to the lakers?

  • Drig

    Allen………come on now. AI was awesome as hell back in the day as well but he wasn’t no Kobe. And last time I checked, AI’s strengths and Shaq’s don’t seem to complement each other very well do they?? Ray-Ray’s probably the only guy who can gripe about Kobe kickstarting his career with Shaq.

    BTW, last time I checked, it was West who effed up the Nets franchise and told them not to draft Kobe. Kobe did that to the Hornets ONLY after he knew about LA willing to give up Divac for him, who was a solid C at that point in time.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    You know what I always find to be odd? How Kobe is considered by most a top 10 player (i think he’s right there), and many in the conversation as a top 5 player (i think that is absurd), when he was only the best player in the NBA for about a 4 or 5 year stretch. Not that that really means anything, I just think it’s unique how he is viewed.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    If A. Deion Hardaway stays healthy, there IS no Kobe Bryant…

  • Bt

    ^^^ only a four or 5 year stretch??? Who can claim they were clearly the best in the league for longer? Jordan yes, magic and bird was always back and forth, same with Russell and wilt, shaq only had from 99-03 before timmy d took the mantle in 03. Kareem maybe? Lebron nope, same with wade. Hakeem only had 2 years.

    The point is 4 or 5 years as the best in the league Is a pretty solid effort

  • http://www.Dimemag.com showtime

    @ allen & NBk speaks the truth.. Jordan was still the best when came in the league, & then he retired and A.I. was balLIn by himself( in was on another planet)98-2k2, Then T-mac was ballin that next year for about 1 year lol.. but then their was Kobe but then LBJ started coming to his own. No knock on kobe because he probably top 10 in history but wasn’t just dominating for decade at a time like Some Kob-fanatic like to believe.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Shaq & Tim Duncan were clearly the 2 best players in the league from 99-04. Kobe was the best player from 04-07/08 depending on how you felt about LeBron. What i’m saying doesn’t really mean anything, like I said, i just found it to be odd for a player people talk about like he is some dominant force to have such a short stretch as such.

  • el_larsen@hotmail.fr

    cosign allen. AI was the man,and he leaded a strange philly team to the finals and he won game 1 all alone
    kobe is so egomaniac that he had rival in his own team(SHAQ),and made the lakers lose in 2004 to my pistons.diesel was unstoppable but kobe kept throwing brick when he struggled on tayshaun prince defense.thanks kobe!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Bt, well considering Kobe’s “prime” came at the tail-end of Shaq and Duncan’s & before LeBron’s and people consider Kobe a “better player” then all 3 of them All Time, it is weird that he really was never better then them at the height of their abilities. Kobe at his very best, was never better then Duncan or Shaq. At this point he was better then LeBron that’s certain, but for how much longer can you say that Kobe at his best was better then LeBron at his?
    .
    The reason I find this to be odd is because I wouldn’t be able to have that conversation about any other top 10 player when comparing it to “lesser guys” except maybe Oscar Robertson. I personally don’t think Kobe is better then Duncan or Shaq, but many people do, and what I explained earlier is always ignored.
    .
    if you disagree that’s fine, it’s just a unique situation imo

  • http://www.slamonline.com Double J

    Kobe has always been a dominant and game changing force. Check the record books… check those rings… he doesn’t have to have been the quote-on-quote “best at the time” to deserve the credit he’s garnered. Top 10 player all time. What are people going to say about Lebron when he retires? “Ya, he was the best in the league for ten years but he never won more than “insert # of choice” rings”

  • Rainman

    @ Showtime: Im as big a Jordan fan as anyone, but to say Jordan was the best player in the league from when he first came into the league, when he first stepped foot on an NBA basketball floor?…is just incorrect and not the truth. I can see what writers mean by fans overrating Jordan severely

  • LA Huey

    Philo, what do you mean? Shaq’s departure was influenced by Penny’s emergence. Deion’s injuries didn’t come until after he had to carry the load by himself.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    @LA Huey:
    What I am basically saying is, Penny was better.
    In his prime.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    He had no rivals because T-mac and Iverson never really played on the same caliber teams he played on, and Kobe was the best player from 05′ to 08′.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Double J if that was a reply to me, then you should try and read the words you are replying too.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    I’m no rivalry theorist but OJ Mayo is Kobe’s toughest rival.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jordan was the best player in the NBA from 89 to 98. With the hiatus when he left that had Hakeem as the top dog. How can that even be questionable? Before that in Jordan’s career (84-88) the league was Magic, Bird, and Isiah’s – no question about it.

  • LA Huey

    Philo
    I’m a Penny fan so I’ll sign off on that.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Gotta side with nbk on this. Kobe is my dude through and through but Shaq and TD were just dominant forces. Shaq was the best player of those titles period. But back on topic Kobe is right his nemesis were always teams like the Spurs and Suns.

  • ClydeSays

    As much as I hate the Lakers, no one’s been as consistently good as Kobe in this generation. Iverson came close in terms of being so good for so long, but only 1 Finals appearance doesn’t match up. Pierce is closest since he was the primary scorer for the C’s & met Kobe in 2 Finals, but P2 had bad teams for most of his career. Wade is next, but never met Kobe in the playoffs. Same with LBJ. TMac & VC had their moments, but were up and down from year to year. To me a true rival is someone in your Division who you play 4 times a year, have try & get past every year in the playoffs. There aren’t many of those rivalries around. LBJ/Pierce maybe…

  • OTB

    I will concede that Shaq/Duncan owned the league 99-2003, but if you check Kobe’s numbers starting in the 2000-2001 season, he has been an elite, elite player, to the point where he was already heralded as the best perimeter player in the league (with AI, TMac and Ray Allen). His career is unique in that (and he’s said this himself) he STARTED as a sidekick and went on to win championships on his own as the superstar. Pippen didn’t do that, Worthy or any of those guys didn’t do that, etc. Kobe has been an elite player since 2000-2001 and has seen rivals come and go. AI disappeared, Vince, TMac….Ray is the only one that I’d say is on his level from the 90s player. Crazy that he was 7 years deep when Lebron/Wade showed up.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen Iverson was the best wing player in the league from 99-01 ish, then it was McGrady and Bryant. There was really no putting Bryant over McGrady in those days just because he was Shaq’s teammate. What McGrady was doing on that talentless Magic team was simply remarkable.

  • http://slamonline.com KJ

    Its pretty interesting that Kobe never had an equal like the Jordans and the Hakeems of this world. The only guy I can think of that was consistently a superstar (unlike McGrady and Iverson) during Kobe’s prime is Jason Kidd (they met in the finals) but the two never seemed like a rivalry cause of their opposite playing styles.

  • OTB

    @nbk – Kobe averaged 30, 7, 6 WITH Shaq in 2002-2003. His totals would have been higher (at least on the scoring front) had Shaq not been on the team. In fact, when Shaq sat out 13 games, Kobe had a 9 game 40+ streak. 9 games! I’m still pissed he had to waste the 2003-2004 season of his prime recovering from a sexual assault case…he was coming off his best season when that happened.

  • robb

    I think longevity is the deciding factor. Kobe’s been consistently great over the years, so comparing him with A.I. or McGrady is just stupid. If Kobe is still relevant today is because he’s taken care of his body and he’s worked hard to keep learning and improving. That work ethic plus his success sets him appart from any other player of his generation. Ray Allen deserves recognition, because he works hard too, but don’t talk about Tmac or Iverson, those two were lazy mf*ckers. If you wanna be great you gotta work hard. No shortcuts. Kobe’s an all time great, tmac, vc and even Iverson are bums. Yes they were talented, special and exciting, but at the end if the day they are just a bunch of underachievers, and let’s be clear, I’m not even talking about championships here.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Please tell me the logic behind saying Kobe’s numbers would have been higher without Shaq? How does that work? Shaq is being double teamed, EVERY TIME HE TOUCHES THE BALL, leaving Kobe, a top 3 wing player at the time, to go one on one WHENEVER he wants. If anything, Kobe’s numbers were inflated by Shaq. Not the other way around.

  • OTB

    Quite honestly, Bryant doesn’t get enough for just how good of a scorer he was in his prime. Almost each season of his prime, he’s had scoring feats that no one (at least in this generation) has come close to. 9+ 40 points games in 2002-2003; 35 ppg + 62 in 3 quarters + 81 points in 2005-2006, 3 straight 60+ point games in 2006-2007, etc. I still find the 60+ point streak the most unbelievable feat. Some elite players hit 50 or 60 one or two games in their entire career.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    And a stretch of games is totally different then 82 of them.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    How did Iverson stop being the best when he was dropping 33 and 7 and 30 and 7 as late as 2004?
    His team just got crappy, he was straight.
    Like I said, Kobe has created a false reality because he’s been around the longest. He is recreating himself as he prepares to leave the game. Talking about it’s always been about rings and chasing legends.
    Man, if you believe that ridiculousness, you are freaking stupid. Point blank.

  • OTB

    @nbk – There’s two things. 1. Kobe’s Shaq-less years have proven that in his prime he could score at will regardless if Shaq was replaced by Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown. 2. Kobe averaged 40 a game when Shaq was out for 9 games in 2003. It’s a small sample size, but no Shaq meant MORE shots for Kobe, and more scoring. His ASSISTS may have been inflated due to Shaq (he did a lot of drive and dishes), but his rebounding and scoring numbers have stayed pretty consistent with or without Shaq.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    in 02-03 Kobe shot 23.5 shots a game. You can’t try and say Shaq was taking shots away. That’s the second highest total of his career (before this season).

  • OTB

    @nbk – For example – Kobe with Shaq in 2001: 28, 6, 5. Kobe without Shaq in 2004-2005: 27, 6, 6. That’s just one season. Kobe has been Kobe for a long time (2000-2001 is when I started considering him elite).

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    OTB, so you are saying Kobe didn’t improve after 2003?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen, imo, Kobe and McGrady overtook Iverson simply because of defense.

  • OTB

    AllenP – Reading what you said, I decided to look up his stats. Holy crap was he an inefficient shooter. His prime shooting % = 42, 39, 41, 38. Wow. His average shooting night in 2001 was 10/25. He won MVP!

  • bdogg

    if you look at strictly playoffs i would have to say nash..he guarded jay kidd in the 02 finals..ai in 2001 finals..AI would make the most sense but i would hardly call it a true rivalry. i think it has always been mj’s ghost! i do not count mj on the wizards..he was long past his prime and kb lit him up for 55 in 2003! he did light up tmac when they played head to head. i think he got up for those games but never said it publicly!

  • http://dsjfkl.com Jukai

    Wow I don’t like Kobe but… some of you are really dulling Kobe down…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    OTB there is more too it then Iverson’s shooting numbers. He was playing next to Eric Snow & Aaron McKie. It’s safe to say Iverson was shooting every tough shot in every situation for at least 5 year stretch.

  • OTB

    He’s improved every year since he’s been in the league, but I wouldn’t credit his numbers being inflated to Shaq. I mean, he jumped from 22 ppg to 28 ppg between the 99-00 season to the 2000-2001 season. As someone who watched both seasons, you could clearly see how much better of a player he had become in the off season. The more I think about it, the more remarkable it is that he’s posting almost the same numbers that he was posting at age 22.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    So either, Shaq helped Kobe inflate his numbers or he hasn’t gotten any better. I think the answer is pretty damn obvious.

  • OTB

    @nbk – Good point. That would explain why his FG% jumped to 45% when he went to Denver.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I wasn’t trying to be rude by saying pretty damn obvious. I just think Shaq’s impact on Kobe (and everyone he played with) is severly underrated. Shaq to me is quite obviously one of the 6 most impactful/greatest/dominant (whatever you want to call it) players to ever play. It doesn’t degrade how great Kobe has been throughout his career, it just pays Shaq the respect he deserves for making his teammates more effective.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I can see Kobe on the defense argument, possibly. Although, when he started really beasting out offensively, he stopped playing lockdown defense and he was never an “elite” defender in my opinion. But he definitely was better than Iverson.
    McGrady had great defensive talent, but almost never used it.
    And Iverson shot 46 percent from the field his first year in the League. His percentage dropped during some of his prime years because they had him playing the two in Larry Brown’s unimaginative offense and basically asked him to create a quality look off the bounce every singe offensive possession without any other type of movement.
    Every year he played the point, his percentage was around 45 percent.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Sorry, I shouldn’t have said “every” year. I meant many of the years. When he played point and got his natural matchup, he tended to get better shots.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    And Allen Iverson was consistently great until he was traded to Detroit. Look at his numbers. He has never had a year where he wasn’t great until his final two years. Considering that Kobe’s first two or three years were FAR from great, despite the All-Star nod, y’all need to fall back.
    Iverson came out the freaking gate dominating. DOMINATING. He was doing stuff Kobe didn’t do until his prime when he was only a rookie. (I”m talking about that streak of 40+ games that tied Wilt’s record.)
    Y’all really, really don’t remember Iverson, and that’s what Kobe is banking on here. Iverson and Ray Allen were very serious players in their primes.
    Kobe has longevity on his side, but don’t let him fool you about what his place was in the League pecking order.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Are you referring to me? Where am I overrating Kobe and underrating Iverson? I never thought the gap between them was huge, I just thought Kobe was clearly the better all around player by say 03, because he could score 30 without being a liability on the other end.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Since the 2000-2001 season, Kobe has only shot fewer than 20 shots once in his career. ONCE.
    To put that in perspective, last year when everybody was KILLING Derrick Rose for taking all the shots for his team, he only averaged 19.7 shots per game. So, as a so called “chucker” Rose was still taking fewer shots than Kobe regularly took despite all this talk of Shaq “robbing” him of shots.
    The real culprit is Kobe’s inability to shoot a really high percentage from the field or from three.
    But to put that statistic in context even more, Tim Duncan has NEVER averaged 20 shots per game. EVER. Shaq has only averaged 20 shots per game ONCE in his career. So, all those years where Shaq was “stealing” shots, Kobe was still taking more shots than him!
    Kobe has sold you all a false bill of goods. He had CLEAR rivals during his career. Now, no wing player since Jordan can compare to his team and personal success. But, he has had plenty of rivals. That was a boldface lie.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Not you NBK.
    I’m talking about people who believe that somehow Kobe was “held back” by Shaq.
    BS
    The only reason Kobe’s legacy is what it is, is because of Shaq. They made each other win. Both of them helped the other one. Just like Jordan and Pippen.
    Kobe was never held back by Shaq. He was held back by himself and nothing else. And he has always gotten number one option shots. Just go to basketball reference people and look at his shot attempts for his career.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    OTB
    The big jump you referenced was the result of four more shots per game and two more free throws.
    That will cause a six point increase in most people’s games to be honest.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Alright cool, I was gonna say, everyone else thinks I underrate Kobe and now I got you thinking I overrate him. I was thinking “damn there is just no way for my view on Kobe to be accepted” haha.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    You guys are weird. What are you arguing? Allen Iverson > Kobe in what 2001? 2002? Kobe has been as good or better than every guard and wing in the game since early 2k. Iverson was never “better” than Kobe after 2000. It’s debatable, but don’t let some of these guys make you think that Iverson was a more prolific player than Kobe after 2000. Kobe is stupid if he thinks no one ever challenged him in a given season, but over the last decade he has proved that his play is greater than the other guards/wings of the same era.

  • OTB

    In terms of AI dominating out of the gate: he was expected to, he was the #1 draft pick. He was given the keys to a franchise. Kobe came in at 17/18 and wasn’t really all that developed, plus was buried on the bench under Del Harris due to Van Exel and Jones (rightly so, but I’m just making a point). He truly emerged after PJ’s arrival (and really ARRIVED in 2000-2001) but its not really a fair comparison to say Kobe didn’t dominate while AI did. AI was a better player than Kobe until 2001. After that, I’d argue otherwise. AI had every chance to lead his team to more than one Finals berth. The East was unbelievably weak in 2002. He led the Sixers to a 43-39 record and a first round exit despite having almost the same roster as the previous year when they made the Finals…in fact, I believe they added Toni Kukoc that year to the team. Could AI have had better teammates surrounding him? Sure. But its not like he didn’t have a chance to take the East. I mean, the Nets won the East in 2002 with Kerry Kittles as the starting guard and Van Horn at SF. I’d take Dikembe, Kukoc, and McKie over those two any day.

  • Tom

    Allenp, thank you for keeping things real on here. Kobe, to his credit has outlasted almost everyone from that ’96 draft, but to say he has no equal is just wrong. I think Iverson was clearly Kobe equal or maybe even superior if you consider his size and the fact that he put up very similar #’s. If Kobe and Iverson switched roles between 99-’03, AI on the phil jackson lakers and Kobe on the larry brown 76′ers I don’t think the results would have been much different for either. They had very similar mentalities during the games. I’d say Manu is a legitimate equal, he has won multiple times on almost every level. And has never been dominated by Kobe in their one-on-one matchups

  • OTB

    One guy that definetly DOES NOT get credit is Manu. Completely agree.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Really, after 2000?
    Based on what?
    Kobe is the best wing of his generation and he and Duncan are neck and neck as far as best player.
    But, he said he had no rivals. That implies that no one was on his level. Which is total and complete hogwash. Iverson was on a level ABOVE Kobe and Kobe had to catch up.
    Hell, even when Kobe was at his most prolific as far as a scorer, he still only averaged TWO more points than Iverson did he year before! And he needed two more shots to get those points, shot a worse field goal percentage despite better talent, and averaged fewer assists! And Iverson did that 33, 7, 4 and 2 year the year AFTER he went for 30,8, 4 and 2.4.
    Get your freaking mind right. When Kobe was killing it as a scorer, he was NOT killing it as a defender in any shape or form. And when he was killing it as a scorer he was having similar team success to Allen Iverson despite better overall talent on his team, and not putting up the same caliber of numbers.
    Just look at the numbers from 2003-2006, which every fan agrees was Kobe’s apex. Just look at Iverson’s numbers for every year when he actually played point guard as opposed to be the two guard.
    Man, I don’t know what y’all are looking at.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Kobe was on the Lakers. Iverson was on the Nuggets. People tend to value what they actually witnessed over what they merely heard about. What is the psychological phrase for it?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I love Manu….. but… what? He is a top 10 player ever? Top 50? Top 100? Has he ever had a season as good as Kobe? He holds a candle to Kobe? No.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Where does this Kobe did not play great defense come from? Anyone know? I mean obviously he is not the 10 time 1st team defender his resume says he is, but he has always, always, been a 2 way player. He isn’t asked to be the defensive stopper that it sounds like some people act like he should have been, but dude will get down and play hard D anytime the occasion calls for it. Kobe is a much greater defender than T-Mac, Vince, AI. Who else are we comparing him to?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Kobe did not play great defense. He was a very good team defender, but he was never “great” – he was never even a top 5 defender in any one season. He just got credit like he was.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Are you people serious?
    I’m being completely serious right now. How many of you were teenagers are older when During the late nineties and early 2000s?
    Because some of this stuff is ridiculous.
    Kittles got drafted BEFORE Kobe. He had epic battles with Iverson at Villanova. Same with Ray Allen.
    Iverson and Mutombo were hurt that year they lost in the first round after the Finals run. And they lost to a Celtics team that was on it’s way to the Eastern Conference Finals. And, Larry Brown was on his way out in Philly and had basically quit on the team.
    Jason Kidd was freaking awesome. But a roster with Van Horn, Kittles, Jefferson and Kenyon Martin (The number one freaking pick since we’re discussing draft position now) was better than what Iverson ever had before he got to Denver.
    Go back, breakdown the rosters. Check out scoring averages and games played. Look at what Iverson had to work with top to bottom and then consider the type of offense Larry Brown played.
    I watched this era. I’ve crunched the stats. Y’all are just off base.
    And Manu, as great as he is, can’t stay healthy. If you can’t stay healthy, you get what you get.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It doesn’t say much when you’re a better defender than VC, AI and T-Mac.

  • http://dsjfkl.com Jukai

    Hey, top shooting guards, go!
    Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, Clyde Drexler, Dwyane Wade, Allen Iverson, George Gervin, Ray Allen, Sam Jones, Reggie Miller, Pete Maravich, Manu Ginobili, Joe Dumars, Sidney Moncrief, Mitch Richmond, Hal Greer, David Thompson, Earl Monroe, Bill Sharmon… meant to make this ten but I just kept thinking of names and kept going…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I said he was a good defender. And if that’s what you want to say made the difference between him and Iverson, then fine. I already told NBK that was fine.
    That’s not what y’all are arguing. And even if it was, I would still say that Iverson had years where he was “average” as a solo defender and an absolute BEAST in the passing lanes. Elite.
    So Kobe was a better defender and Iverson was a better passer and distributor, and he got more steals.
    I’ve already said that Kobe wins the title of best wing of his generation hands down. I would never argue that Iverson matches up career wise mainly because of how Iverson career ended, and the fact that he didn’t have the same level of team success, even if he had very respectable team success.
    But, that doesn’t mean they weren’t rivals. Kobe created a false reality. He made it seem like no one was on his level for any sustained amount of time. Bullcrap. As an individual player, several cats were on his level, mainly Iverson.
    As far as team success, well none of those other players had the good fortune to hoop with Shaq, or the Gasol, Bynum, Odom threesome.
    When Kobe was stripped of superior talent and Phil Jackson he lost. He lost frequently. These are the facts. Crunch the freaking numbers. He lost to the Spurs, Pistons, Mavs, Celtics and Jazz in often time humiliating fashion.
    And this was despite having elite talent riding beside him. It’s amazing how he and Shaq get a pass for this, while other players get docked. No wing player has played with better talent than Kobe his entire career. NO ONE.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Taylor. It does when your claiming that they were as good as Kobe. He isn’t just better and defending than them he is drastically better. Just look up Kobe defending on a clip or check his numbers and head to head match ups. He routinely holds players below their average while beasting on them offensively. That makes him a good defender. Not “elite” or “great” I guess, but he isn’t asked to be. If he was asked to play defense and not score he would probably be an elite defender, but he’s not asked to do that. He has shown the ability to lock guys up when asked or needed. He’s no MJ on the defensive end, but he’s no T-MAC,AI or whoever star player of his era you want to much up with him. Ya’ll think that Manu is a good defender?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    If Kobe was as great a defender as people like to think why wasn’t he the one checking AI during the 01 Finals? The lakers had to drag a cat from the depths of the bench to guard AI because they knew that no one in the regular rotation had a puncher’s chance at stopping AI. The guy was “guarding” Rondo instead of Ray Ray or PP both times LA faced BOS in the finals, come on son!

  • http://juan.garcia@computershare.com Obi1saysSTFU

    The “Experts” at ESPN have Kobe ranked 7th in the whole league. Great to know we have such great in-dephth gurus who have such a pulse on the current state of the NBA and it’s best players.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I’m saying hind sight says he didn’t really have any real rivals. He played as well or better and out lasted all of them. With that said. During that time he was absolutely not considered to be hands down the best. Iverson can definitely say he was his rival. T-Mac also. They were rivals for seasons but not careers.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    How many of you actually read what Kobe said, as opposed to the headline? Kobe didn’t say he never had a rival, someone who was in the NBA and playing on his level (or higher) as a wing player. Instead, he repeatedly qualified his remarks by saying “in terms of what I have left to accomplish in my career,” or in terms of “what I am looking to accomplish.” He’s talking championships and longevity, and let’s be honest: no wing player can challenge him on that count since Jordan retired. He’s right.

  • Tom

    I think Kobe’s legacy is going to be no wing has been elite for this long of a time, even Jordan needed that two year break in 94 and 95. So to me that’s what i’ll always remember Kobe for, and I think thats what makes him unique among all the greats, the longevity. But like some of the others where saying, during his run he has had equals, mainly Iverson, Ray Allen in the Sonics years, Tmac, Manu (not numbers wise but in terms of team success)

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    How can Iverson not be a rival for a career?
    Based on what?
    Before he went to Detroit, Iverson had never averaged fewer than 22 points per game!
    Basically, the only way you can say Iverson was not a rival is if you say that to be a rival they had to play in the playoffs regularly, which didn’t happen. Otherwise, by any other measure, they were clearly rivals for the spot of best guard in the League.
    Iverson hit the League running, and never looked back until he got old.

  • Everynowhere

    @jtaylor21 because he would get crossed like jordan. not really the ideal match up size-wise

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Dagger
    I agreed with that statement. But these cats are not arguing that point.
    They are arguing that from an individual standpoint, nobody was on Kobe’s level for most of his career.
    And that’s crap.
    Kobe has played longer and at a higher level than all of his peers and most people in the history of the game. He came out of high school, has avoided major injuries, has taken 20+ shots most of his career and has developed his game incredibly.
    Of course he’s chasing down those cats. Then again, he’s chasing down Jordan despite playing the equivalent of three or four seasons more than Mike when you compare the numbers already.
    so it really ain’t the same at all.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Taylor… Why didn’t AI guard Kobe? It didn’t make sense to put Kobe on AI full time. Why wear down your 6’6″ guard running around with AI when he is going to “get his” against whoever is guarding him. When KB did guard him though he did as well as any other player that went up against AI. AI murdered everyone, why would Kobe be different. He is above good, but below great defensively. Allen is that a knock on Kobe? Playing with great talents shouldn’t take away from what kind of a player you were. Didn’t Magic have comparable talent around him as well? It’s not a knock on a player than they had good teams they played on.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I’m a HUGE Ray Allen fan. Love the guy. Literally LOVE him. With that said. He was never a legitimate rival of Kobe’s at all. His peak was below Kobe’s worse year in his prime. Not on the same level at all. This all kind of depends on your definition of “rival” again. He has/had rivals, just no legitimate ones over the course of his career. AI gets closest in terms of overall talent.

  • Mo

    Kobe wasn’t even better than Iverson or Ray Allen until 2002 or 2003. So for 6 years he definitely had “rivals”.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    Allenp: can’t argue with any of that then. Keep up the good fight.

  • Mo

    Iverson was better than Kobe from 1996-at least 2002 or 2003. After that Kobe took over.
    .
    But here’s the thing. Iverson is 3 years older than Kobe. Wade is 3 years younger. How does Wade not count?

  • JoeMaMa

    I’m confused about this whole “Kobe wasn’t a great defender”. He was. The NBA Defensive teams are chosen by the coaches. Not fans (All Star game), not media (MVP)…the coaches. The guys basically don’t sleep during the season, prepping maniacally for each game, searching out any last weakness or opening for the smallest advantage. They see things that we don’t, through countless hours of game tape, talks with other coaches, players, and front office guys. They talk to their own players about how to attack the opposing players and teams. Coaches that, without question, know a seemingly infinite more about basketball than any poster on this site. And these coaches aren’t fans. I’d wager a guess that most coaches really don’t like the other teams’ players. So if Kobe’s got every coach in the league saying he’s a top defender, I’ll believe them over the random posters on this site every day of the week.

  • http://juan.garcia@computershare.com Obi1saysSTFU

    i actually agree that Kobe did play against some of the most talented and great wing players this game has ever known. On offense you had the previous already named. On defense you had your Spreewells,Kids, Bowens, Bells and so on. Better even then those MJ went up against… Craig Ehlo? Really now…

  • MirChilly

    A.I is easily the most disrespected great player ever! Top 10 all-time in honesty. Also those nets teams where really good. Kidd had them boys working and let’s not forget that they was tied 2-2 with the spurs and kidd was embarrassing parker so bad they offered to trade parker the whole off-season. If it wasn’t for Martin getting a severe stomach virus before game 5, the nets might of have won that series. Back to A.I, he was Kobe biggest rival. He was better than kobe from 96-06. That’s ten years!!! Place the numbers side by side and you will see. A.I played with an inept front office who traded away Van horn and Larry Hughes while killing the cap by paying mutombo 18mil a yr, drafting nobodies (speedy claxton) and trading for C-Webb corpse. Kobe has always had top talent. Even when shaq left and went to miami, he had Caron Butler and Lamar Odom. Kobe is undoubtedly great, but in their primes, A.I was better.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    JoeMama the coaches names are connected to the voting, doesn’t mean that they actually fill out their ballots. And those that do, it’s pretty hard to assume they are actually paying attention to anything more then when their teams play, so they vote by reputation more then performance. It explains perfectly why Tony Allen wasn’t 1st team all defense last year despite being clearly the best perimeter defender in the league.

  • MirChilly

    Also Kobe never played against the physical defensive teams that A.I played against. A.I had the knicks, heat, pacers from 96-01, pacers 2.0 with artest from 02-05 along with detroit and even boston. The toughest team kobe played was the spurs, everybody else played a wide open style. Let’s not forget that before 04 you could hand check players (the main reason we see a rise in point guards now). So A.I did what he did under tougher circumstances.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Joe MaMa
    The coaches also select the All-Star reserves.
    How often have they screwed that up?

  • Dungeon Family

    @nbk a kobe hater But knows more about Kobe than what Kobe knows about himself.

    I find that Odd

    also READ what he said instead if the Headline

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    MirChilly
    I meant to bring up that Caron Butler team, but that was the year Kobe was hurt for a huge chunk of the year, so I let it slide.
    I’m telling you, people who didn’t live through that era as a diehard basketball fan really don’t remember what was going on.
    Now I see why all these old heads get pissed off. It must be really aggravating to them to see history rewritten.

  • Kadavour

    robb Posted: Mar.5 at 1:29 pm…TRUTH. NONE of Kobe’s late 90s contemporaries can ball at the level he is now. Vince is a bum. T-Mac can’t start in this league. Neither can AI (maybe on the Lakers haha). It’s looking like Cap is the only player in the history of the game to perform at such a high level over an extended period of time. Dude has more heart than anyone to ever play.

  • Kadavour

    MirChilly, who was tougher than 01 Portland? Ruben Patterson, Scottie, and Bonzi Wells beatin dudes up on the perimeter. and when you go inside you dealing with Rasheed. haha. Don’t forget about arguably the dirtiest player in the league outside of Jordan and Miller – Bruce Bowen on the Spurs. The West was insanely tougher than the east in the late 90s to early 2000s. what year did Camby and Spree leave the Knicks? that was a tough bunch. But then Spree went to Minny. C’mon kid, the east was wet-flower soft outside of Indiana and Whatever team Zo was playing on.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I read his comments just now. His comments, while a little slippery, aren’t the main problem.
    But first, let’s clear the air. Kobe has not always been consumed with winning championships. That is a lie. He has been equally or more concerned with proving himself to be the greatest basketball player of all time. that has been his number one goal from day one. He was not happy with people perceiving him as Shaq’s sidekick, and that helped end their partnership.
    His comments were about total career and they were also about personal play. He said he “outgrew” his rivals which you could take as dealing with longevity. But, then he says that he was never comparing himself to his peers because his goal was to win championships. Which is a lie and not backed up by his attitude and decision making.
    He had rivals and he outlasted them. That’s an accurate statement and no one would ever, ever disagree with it. If Kobe fans weren’t so consumed with re-writing history to make him greater, they wouldn’t be arguing anything else.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    What history has been re-written here. Kobe is the greatest wing or guard since Jordan. Not every year has he been the best, but over the years he has been. End of debate.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If that’s what had been said from the beginning, we wouldn’t have wasted all these comments.
    That isn’t what was said, or what people believed, and that is why I wrote what I wrote.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    idk what your talkin about Dungeon. per usual.

  • http://Www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    Co-sign the hell out of AllenP everything he said is right AI was the man he was the best guard and I even say that Kobe didnt completely surpass AI till about 2006 check their stats! A.I KILLED it from 1996-2008 just got screwed around with after an yes! Kobe is trying to recreate his legacy with all this its all about championships talk because he knows theres a better chance of him beating Jordan in rings than scoring titles mvp awards etc. And Kobe actually only has one MVP 2 scoring titles and he knows nobody is catching him in rings anytime soon either… If it was all about titles he wouldnt be taking fadeaways over double teams with 20 on the shot clock woth Gasol open downlow..

  • JoeMaMa

    I think that Kobe Bryant’s 10 First Team Defensive awards show that he’s been a great defender. Was every last one of those awards merited? Well…most were. I’m sure we could find a time or two when someone else deserved the nod. But it’s very important, when judging Kobe’s ranking against his contemporaries, to acknowledge that he’s been easily one of the best defenders in the past 10 years.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    naw, he hasn’t. He deserves 0 first team all-defense selections. He had to guard the opposing teams best player, rarely. Rick Fox, Devean George, Brian Shaw, all had more defensive responsibility more often. Kobe was given a tough assignment for a play at the end of games, or for a stretch in a quarter. Phil valued his offense (rightly so) over his defense, but those big defensive possessions garnered the most replay value, made it look like he was the defensive stopper on those teams. When really, he wasn’t tasked with that, especially over the course of entire games.

  • http://www.thedynastyboys.com lix

    Kobe DID NOT deserve all of those All Defensive selections. He and JKidd basically got multiple selections off rep, not performance. Anyone who says different doesn’t watch anything more that Sportscenter highlights.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    OH and if you think Kobe deserves any of his defensive accolades in the last 7 years then you definitely have no actually been watching full Lakers games. He hasn’t (again, rightly so) had big time defensive responsibility in that stretch at all other then to lead the defense by floating and talking.

  • What

    Go Celtics!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I can’t believe people really think coaches are worried about who is a great defender on the other team.
    They have more than they can handle worrying about their own teams
    You go back through the years and examine the great defenders that were hooping with Kobe at the same time and explain how he made all defense over them. He was NOT a better defender than many cats like Battier, or Snow, or Mckie, or Artest or Prince, or Bowen, or Thabo, and many others. He just wasn’t. I could go through his entire career, look at who was playing then and pull up name after name of cats who were better defenders who didn’t make all defense.
    Bottom line, Kobe’s rep got him in.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Kobe got all defensive selections while not even being close to the best defender on his own team (Ariza – Artest)

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I think he should have been given 1 or 2 first team nods. 2002-2003. He was a beast defensively that year. He deserves to have a couple off of reputation, but no he does not deserve those 1st team selections. But neither does Kareem Abdul Jabbar, whom has more than Kobe does. He and Kobe were comparable with their defensive prowess. Neither should have as many as they do though.

  • CB

    I see what NBK is saying but between 2000-2008 kobe was the best guard in the NBA. Yeah A.I was ballin and won the mvp, but thats because he was by himself, and yeah t-mac was ballin too but Kobe was the best all around guard in offense and defence all in one. As far as comparing him to duncan and Shaq idk. Shaq was pretty dominant until 04. And even if you put shaq in his prime vs Jordan in his prime its kinda hard to say whose ‘better’ .

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    KAJ was an absolute force defensively. idk what you mean? the last 2 awards were questionable for sure, definitely the very last 2nd team award in i believe 84′, but before that he was grabbing 10ish defensive rebounds and blocking 3+ shots a game, there really wasn’t anyone better at that time that i can think of.

  • robb

    People here are assuming Kobe said “I had no rival” as in “I had no equal” he’s not saying that. The media loves that Magic vs. Bird thing. They tried to renew it with the Kobe vs. Lebron stuff, but It didn’t work so now they are asking Kobe who was his rival so they can create some controversy and apparently it’s working because many guys here are misunderstanding what Kobe’s saying.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Unless he got all defense selections throughout the 80s but I don’t think he did. Maybe two or three after 1980

  • MirChilly

    Kadavour… I forgot about that portland team but honestly they was really only a real threat for two years (98-99 and 99-00). Even with portland and san antonio, that’s only two compared to A.I’s 5 or 6 really tough teams. Also let’s not forgot that late 90′s toronto team while they didn’t win much (or at all) was a tough team to play because of camby, doug and a young t-mac defensively. Let’s not forget that A.I is really only 5’10!!! Yes that does matter. Now Kobe has outlasted all his main so-called rivals (outside of Ray Allen) in terms of nba longevity, so he deserves his spot but I completely understand ALLENP point, We are “caught up” in the moment a little too much now a days. I had a dude about 17 tell me that derrick rose is better than gary payton ever was and blake is better than kemp. But I watched them games, so I believe my thoughts are valid

  • http://nbasobrietystrike.blogspot.com/ CoolWhip

    This is dope.
    Nice to see Kobe speak with actual candid candor – like he’s actually being ‘himself’, not just a proximation of what he thinks is himself.

  • http://www.thedynastyboys.com lix

    LOL @ candid candor

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    When someone who is grown has been told the same thing(s) since they were a child, often times they believe it.
    Whether they consciously believe it, or unconsciously.

  • BrackMamba

    ray allen can not be compared with Kobe. they’re just 2 different players. kobe creates his own shots, ray allen gets his shots created from other players.

  • Dingo Rob

    Kobe keeping it real, showing he has a good grip on who he is and where he sits. Personally best guard since MJ followed by AI

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yeah my B. Didn’t realize Kareem was snagging so many boards and blocking so many shots in his younger days.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I completely understand what you were getting at though, if 80s Kareem got all those defensive accolades he would be in the same rep for awards situation as Kobe.

  • http://slamonline Jimbo

    The only guard in the 2000′s who deserves to be in even the same sentence as Kobe is AI. And the only other shooting guard who deserves to be in the same sentence as MJ is Kobe.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Kobe isn’t in the same sentence as Jordan.
    Period.
    Jordan is the better scorer.
    Better defender.
    Better passer.
    Better ball handler.
    Better rebounder.
    Better leader.
    Better decision maker.
    More heart.
    More coachable.
    Better pure athlete.
    Better without the ball.
    More clutch.
    Played in a better era.
    Never had a center.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    And he lost his hair sooner….then everyone.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I love how everyone conveniently forgets about JWest when talking about SGs comparable to MJ. His numbers (both RS and Playoffs) are the closest to MJ’s but his name seems to get lost in the “Kobe looks, walks, and talks like MJ” hype.
    It’s a shame how old-time greats are regularly disrespected by the media and fans in the name of hyping up today’s stars.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    MJ also sported tighty whities better. Wayyyy better. Taylor, stop it. West is a distant third. Wade is biting at West’s ankles if he hasn’t passed him already also.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Lakeshow, West is 3rd. But not distant. And Wade has definitely not caught him. You need to catch up on your Jerry West history.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yeah maybe. I know the numbers. Never seen a full game besides AllStar that West was in. I just know he would get dominated by Wade. That’s all I need to know in assessing who is the better player. Wade doesn’t have half the career accomplishments that West had, but he is the better player by all accounts in my opine.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I see.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    So by looking at a player’s athletic abilities is all you need to know when trying to decide who’s the better player? WOW…I guess Gerald Green would turn West into vegetable soup. I don’t know if you’re serious or just trying to make a fool of yourself but West’s numbers are superior to Wade’s all across the board (RS/Playoffs). When Wade wins a Final MVP award on the losing team and becomes the Logo of the NBA, then maybe…just maybe we can talk about him being better than West.

  • Everynowhere

    talent wise: i agree with lakeshow. But when players are being compared its usually about what they had accomplished in their careers. The logo has had a better career then wade so far. that’s not even debatable.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Go back to 2nd grade homie. You gotta learn to read. I didn’t even mention athletic ability. So Wilt is astronomically better than Shaq? Right Taylor? No one has ever won MVP in a losing effort other than that one time so why would Wade ever do that. Hey but it’s all about the numbers to you it sounds like so yeah Wests #’s > Wade’s #’s.

  • http://www.nba.com Red

    Kiss the rings biaaatch!!!

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    People tend to favor what they never witnessed.

  • ctk

    this guy isnt a rival so to speak but KevinGarnett was a better player than Kobe from 2000-2008…Kobe just played on better overall teams

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    People tend to favor what others tell them to favor.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    You know, Garnett probably was better from 04-05/06. So Kobe’s reign was even shorter then I thought.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Who told him to favor Wade over Jerry West? Lol what you talkin bout willis?

  • rkirby

    @Philosopher Phil Jackson said himself that Kobe is a better ballhandler than Jordan, so take that one back. Also, Shaq is the player whose numbers are inflated if anybody’s are. Who did Shaq have to go against in the post when he was in his ‘prime’ especially in the finals? an aging Mutumbo, Divac, an over-the-hill David Robinson…everyone else isnt even worth mentioning. The one time Shaq met a good center in the finals, he got swept even with Penny Hardaway, Anderson, Horace Grant, Dennis Scott. He has played on just as talented teams if not more talented teams than Kobe and has won fewer championships. Shaq for the majority of his career has had a physical advantage similar to the ones Chaimberlain had in his heyday and grossly underperformed while playing with the greatest wing players of their eras (Penny, Kobe, Wade, Lebron, Pierce, Allen). Shaq is so overrated it’s not even funny.

  • ctk

    KG should won back to back MVPs…he was what Dwight is now with better scoring,passin,n leadership

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    the media.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    You just said “I just know he would get dominated by Wade. That’s all I need to know in assessing who is the better player” What kind of sh*t is that? If you’re going to make outrageous statements at least have some facts to back them up.
    West’s a better shooter, passer, rebounder, defender, leader, tougher, smarter, and better in the clutch. I wouldn’t expect to offer a counterpoint because why use facts when you can use your gut.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Chris Paul also made All-Defensive First Team, which he had no business being on. The All-Defensive teams are a sham–I don’t even know why we take them seriously.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Also to add to JTaylor/Lakeshow’s comments, Wilt IS better than Shaq.

  • http://slamonline Jimbo

    @The Philosopher… have you not heard the MJ-Kobe comparisons for the past I don’t know, 13 years? I never said Kobe was as good as MJ… nobody will ever be as good as him, but he at least deserves a mention. Jordan had Pippen. Kobe has the skills and he deserves a mention alongside Jordan as the second or third best shooting guard of all time. There is no argument against it and you would be down right ignorant if you disagreed.

  • Dungeon Family

    @Jtaylor21 You worry about Kobe more Than Kobe worries about himself

    You act like a Scorned ex girlfriend

  • mike

    kobe s great- the greatest of his era, but he never had a signature playoff moment – a signature game in the finals that cemented his legend like mj, bird, magic did. He always had enough talent around him to win late in games- so that he didnt even need to play well to win his rings in the finals. he s a great player- but alot of luck has made his legend also. I mean Robert Horry has seven rings also- all through being in the right place in the right time. If AI was on the lakers with shaq- he might have won 3 rings- maybe more because the team would have stuck together.

    That being said though- he has shown the heart the clutch, the confidence and the hard work to constantly improve his game, whereas the others have plataued. I mean the guy is still in the top 3 players- after 16 years- thats pretty amazing. and he shows no sign of slowing down. What im saying is, he s a great player- but perhaps slightly overrated in my book. He s the best of his era, but for me, well short of magic and michael, maybe on par with oscar robertson, and jerry west, and larry bird. Those guys carried their teams to rings. People forget Kobe had some terrible seasons, and some terrible moments, remember when he self destructed the 2004 finals team against detroit?!? or when he let the team lose by not shooting?!? great player but the fact that he has no rivals says more about his competition than the fact that he is that far above them. He s the best of his era- but maybe his eras havent been that great, rather than the fact that he is. For me Kevin Garnett was the best individual talent and player of his generation, better than duncan, shaq kobe, and ai, but kobe has the rings- and i guess thats what counts to the historians.

    Kobe full of contradictions like that. wants to win, but will let his team lose to prove a point, great winner, but also- has been lucky, great scorer- but inefficient and selfish. Clutch- but also very very lucky. in a great franchise, but also has been one to create a winning team. Antyhing you can say about him- the opposite could also be said if you apply it .

  • http://dsjfkl.com Jukai

    Conversation is a bit late, but Kareem’s defense is just as overrated as Kobe’s. He blocked a lot of shots, got a lot of boards, but played terrible man-to-man defense. In the 1972 all-star game, they pulled Kareem and put in Chamberlain at the end of the game because an injury hobbled 35-year-old Stilt STILL played better D than Kareem. I know Wilt Chamberlain was a defensive force in his later days, but this is a year before Chamberlain retired due to injuries.
    Kareem was a fantastic team defender, weakside blocks all day and lots of boards… but he was a stick and got bullied quite a lot in the post, and it wasn’t just in the 80s. In fairness though, he probably got a bunch of nods because a lot of great defensive bigs were in the ABA.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Wilt retired because he Didn’t want to play anymore. Not because of injuries. He considered coming back multiple times.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Jimbo:
    I know about Kobe. Trust and believe.
    I just like to “stir the pot” sometimes. (alot)lol

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    Kobe certainly has outlasted his rivals. but he has had plenty steve nash, ginnobli, A.I., Vince, T-mac, Ray allen
    in fact vc, T-mac, A.I., and Ray and even penny were all better than him for years and I know for a fact A.I. was a LOT better in 01. I give bean credit for catching up to him tho.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    this actually sounds like a fascinating discussion to read tho.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    ESPN, CNN and other sports mags, stated Kobe as the player of the Decade. Kobe has been great for a while, anybody who thinks he has not done anything or is overrated. Watch some basketball, please. BOOK IT!!!

  • http://dsjfkl.com Jukai

    NBK: He retired cause of injuries. He thought about coming back despite the injuries.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Hmm not that i don’t believe you but where you read/hear that?

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Sporting News’ NBA Athlete of the Decade: Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers
    PUBLISHED Thursday, Sep 24, 2009 at 5:18 am EDT
    Sporting News Sporting News
    We say…

    Is he the next Michael Jordan? Can he win a title without Shaquille O?Neal? Is he still better than LeBron James? When it comes to Bryant, the talking points have always missed the mark. No player in the history of the sport has been as hell bent on muscling up and improving his game every offseason. Bryant continues to set the bar on hard work, and there?s no sign of anyone reaching his level in that regard.

    Read more: http://aol.sportingnews.com/nba/story/2009-09-24/sporting-news-nba-athlete-decade-kobe-bryant-sg-lakers#ixzz1oJLMvaTw

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Sporting News’ NBA Athlete of the Decade: Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Feb 14, 2010
    Kobe wins Player of the Decade–TNT

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    Kobe also didn’t think he had a rival in that Colorado hotel room.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    During the 2000s decade (2000 – 2009), Leading the pack is obviously Kobe Bryant, who was named the NBA Player of the Decade by TNT and ESPN.

  • hushabomb

    Allen is right. Kobe is a phag!

  • Maniac

    You know, I just read through all the comments and I must say, some of the hate towards the guy is amazing… Anyways I must applaud Allenp for not letting AI get forgotten. He was in fact my favorite player growing up, even more so than Kobe. With that said, you were really really reaching dude, but perception is reality…. sadly. I really have nothing to say because opinions are like a**holes and some are just unbelievably misinformed by bias, ignorance, stupidity, or a combaination of the three. I’ve stayed away from posting on SLAM because some of the people on hear just sicken me from their lack of knowledge and/or intelligence. I rarely ever agree with nbk or Allenp, but at least they can hold up a decent argument; others will just continue to disrespect themselves with their comments. Btw, what’s good LakeShow.

  • Maniac

    *combination, *here

  • Rainman

    I’d like to say, that even tho cuz of work i wasnt able to comment any, this is a debate i enjoyed reading over , some good insight. BOOK THAT !

  • Rainman

    oh, and biiiiiig shout out to the dude that brought up Manu, i was thinking the same thing. Great, GREAT player.

  • JoeMaMa

    Kobe Bryant is a great player who, through his own mental process, believes he’s the greatest player in the game today. I don’t necessarily agree with that, but that’s his attitude, and I respect that. There are probably 10 guys in the league who say that very thing: “I’m the best”. The problem is, because of successful marketing, his dominance, and this attitude, his fans go over the top for him…and as a result, there’s this blowback from others. They swing the other way, and actually give him less credit than he deserves. It may be that these individuals just want to be different, or that they dislike the bullsh*t, self-serving marketing campaigns of the league and Kobe’s sponsors…and I get that. But this thread shows that there are alot of posters that simply don’t respect Kobe’s level of play, and they hide behind “media portrayals” or what have you. Which is kind of sad. But to get back to the original point RE: rivalry, I think that Kobe’s referring to the fact that he’s never had a Bird to his Magic…the guy that was the ‘other’ for his career. Kobe’s always his contemporaries, and they’ve all been stated: TMac, AI, Vince, LeBron, Wade…all guys who, for a few years, were rubbing shoulders with Kobe. But they weren’t really competing for titles with him, nor have any of them maintained his level. I would’ve liked to have seen DWade earlier in Kobe’s career, because that would’ve been an AMAZING rivalry. But, through timing, good fortune, and longevity, Kobe’s never had that classic rivalry. I think he’s playing it the wrong way, as an ego boost and legacy tool, but I think, in a way I can understand, he’s correct. In his own Kobe way.

  • mike

    Look. If you know basketball it should be very obvious that kobe is the best player of his era and when it comes to talent he’s definitely top 5 all time. I think if you put him in any era he would easily dominate and outshine any player except for jordan. You have to look at his situation differently than a lot of other superstars. Yes he was very fortunate to play with shaq but he was the younger player so for about 8 years he had to hold back his individual game. I dont know of anybody else who had their whole team ripped apart and was able to come back and win 2 championships. Nd even after 16 years with a screwed up knee, a finger he cant move, and a
    a bad wrist he’s still able to lead the nba in scoring

  • mike

    and i think everyone knows that A.I loved to score just as much as kobe and i never seen him score consecutive 50 point games let alone 81 points. if Kobe was drafted to a losing team his numbers would be way higher than they are now

  • Maniac

    Great post JoeMaMa. I find it really sad that “basketball fans” are witnessing greatness right before their eyes and can’t appreciate this man for his talent, accomplishments, and dedication to this game. I agree that there are many many stupid Kobe fans that take things far beyond what they should be, but there are just as many of those fans for other popular players. The fact of the matter is that he could very well go down as the second greatest player of all-time and half of the basketball community can’t accept/appreciate it due to their obsessions of other players’ legacies and/or hate for him. I find it out right disgusting. It just saddens me that he isn’t going to be around too much longer (I believe 2 more years after this season) and a lot of people are going to look back 10 years from now and realize just how great he is how wrong they were about him. It sucks to see one of the game’s truly great players so disrespected by “fans” and the media. (I hope that LeBron doesn’t suffer from this after he gets his act together, though the hate for Kobe is 10x worst).

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JL4wQcbNL0&context=C3c6088dADOEgsToPDskInY_JnRrlwHg4s1VwAbsO7 anynomous

    wow. kobe never stops talking. Iverson was indisputably better than kobe from 96 to 08 before he left denver and was reduced to just 2/3 of the shot attempts he`s been accustomed to his entire career. In contrast, kobe has played with one team forever and is attempting 4 more field goals per game than last season. He`s at about 24 shots a game. If AI`s probational/sentencing period ever comes to an end, it would be interesting to see how many points he would average on 24 shots a game. Even in 07/08 on a team with a primary scorer in Carmelo Anthony, Iverson continuously lit the lakers up. One game in particular I remember him dropping 51 points. When you`re discussing individual rivals, titles (TEAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS) do not come into to play especially when the one player who mops the floor with you is in the eastern conference so that you only get to see him twice a year unless both teams get to the finals. Unfortunately, AI didnt have the luxury of a shaq, or a phil jackson, or a pau gasol, or a supreme front office management. I certainly hope that AI gets an opportunity to return so he can refute some of these claims.

  • Justin G.

    Jesus Christ AllenP, you can be incredibly arrogant and aggravating at the same time. Maybe it’s not what everyone else is missing. Maybe it’s what YOU are missing! You are proving without a shadow of a doubt what it’s like to watch the game through blinders. Iverson was a very good to great player and you can’t just conveniently discredit Iverson’s low shooting percentages while simultaneously bashing others (like Kobe) for the same thing. If he was such a great player he would have made those supposed scrubs around him better than, wouldn’t he? Maybe in practice he could have worked on that instead of having such a flippant attitude about it. The greats like Jordan, Magic, Kobe, Bird…they took practice as seriously as they took the games and it helped make their teammates better so they wouldn’t have to chuck up ill advised shots and have people like you make excuses for them with “It’s better he shoots than any of those other guys”. I am so sick and tired of reading the “He played with Shaq and then later Pau” BS too. EVERY GREAT PLAYER PLAYED WITH ANOTHER GREAT PLAYER(S) TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP!!! Detroit in 04 was an enigma, not the norm. Good Lord man, give your head a shake!

    JoeMaMa’s post at 1:36 is perfect in basically translating what Kobe is saying. Kobe didn’t say he had no equal. Too many of you are equating “rival” with “equal” and that’s not what he’s saying at all. @anynomous, to say that Iverson was indisputably better than Kobe from 96 to 08 is just plain ridiculous. Iverson was better at first because he played through college and was older when he first got into the league. Kobe was 17 years old and playing on the bench behind Eddie Jones. From ’03 on Kobe has been by far the better player.

  • anynomous

    @justinG What great player did hakeem olujawon play with when houston won back-to-back? What about the detroit pistons? There were NO HOFs on that team. Everybody doesn`t have to play with great players? It depends on the era, the competition, and the team struture. kobe was fortunate to play on shaq`s team when oneal led them to 3 rings and fortunate that memphis gave up pau for nothing because before that trade that lakers team was heading towards a future full of first round knockouts. As I said before, Allen Iverson was hands down better than kobe from 96 to 2008? He was averaging 30+ points, 7+ assists, and 2 steals before going to denver where he averaged 26, 6, and about 1.5 steals alongside Melo. If AI would have stayed in philly he would have continued to put up 30+ and 7+ because he would have been the primary option which would have made him a strong candidate for a couple more scoring titles. I think there have only been 5 players in nba history who have put up 30 and 7, and AI did it twice. known fact: kobe has never been able to handle Iverson when he`s healthy. Iverson just makes him look like he`s standing still. And AI already knows kobe couldn`t stop him.

  • http://slamonline Jimbo

    @the philosopher oh, ok then. I was kinda scared for a minute there.

  • Justin G.

    OK, you got me with Hakeem. I already mentioned the Pistons. So that’s 3 championships in the history of the league that did not have at least two great players on the team. Well done. Is it not plausible that Shaq was fortunate to play with Kobe as well? Do those Laker teams win championships without Kobe putting up 25+ on top of what Shaq was doing? Probably not. And sure Iverson was putting up 30 points. But as I pointed out his shooting percentages were borderline pathetic at times. He took that Philly team to the Finals in what could mildly be called a weak conference. And stating whether Kobe could guard Iverson or not is pointless. Of course he was too quick for a 6’6″ shooting guard. Iverson wouldn’t be able to stop Kobe either but does that mean anything? Again, of course not. So many people were taken in by his thug, brash style and of course the way he played with reckless abandon. Don’t get me wrong, I was a fan as well but I could also see through that other stuff to know he was a chucker in every sense of the word

  • Mo

    2001 wasn’t even Iverson’s prime. That came about 4 years later as far as all-around game PLUS his 2001 speed.

  • Mo

    from 1996-2003 Iverson was clearly better.
    From 2004-present Kobe is clearly better.

    That’s 7 years for A.I. and 8 years for Kobe. I see Iverson getting demoted a lot by fans in their 20 and younger that never really saw him. Kobe will be the first to tell you that A.I. was the real deal and not just someone with the green light to shoot. He said the same sentence at the AllStar game last year.

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    It’s 2012 and people are still trying to call Iverson a thug?!

  • havoc33

    I’d say Kobe had a few rivals during his career, but in all fairness he has left them all in the dust. McGrady was probably the only one who could match Kobe skill wise, from 01-03 he was almost there with him. Also, Iverson and Carter in their prime was pretty good, those interconference battles between LA vs 76ers and LA vs Raptors used to be great to watch.

    But Kobe is right in the fact that when he peaked 06-09, all his competition started to fade, so in that sense he does not have a true rival. More than anything, you could say Phoenix as a team has been Kobe’s rival, but no single player stands up to him. Steve Nash still owes Kobe one of his MVP’s.

    @anonymous: Iverson hands down better than Kobe from 98 till 08? my god, you have to be the biggest AI fan in the world. You can argue from 96-01, but no further. I never questioned AIs heart, but if he had even half the dedication of Kobe he could have been so much more than the constant underachiever he was.

  • havoc33

    @Justin G: it’s so convenient that people forget that for large parts of the 01 and 02 Playoffs, Kobe was the best player for the Lakers, not Shaq. Kobe dominated the Kings and Spurs in 01, and also had a spectacular series agains the Spurs in 02. Shaq was deservedly so their Finals MVP both those years, but a lot of times it was Kobe who made sure they even got there. Let’s not even start to talk about the regular season, please, Shaq started coasting big time after his MVP campaign in 2000. They way Kobe benefitted from having Shaq, Shaq also benfitted from having Kobe around. Like Jackson pointed out recently as well, Kobe was one of the few people on that team apart from Shaw who could consistently find Shaq below and throw a decent post pass. Kobe was a lot of times their playmaker, yet still put up 25-27 ppg.

  • Justin G.

    Sorry. Should I have said “thuggish, brash style”?

  • http://www.thedynastyboys.com lix

    Justin, your argument is ridiculous and plain silly. Clearly your opinion isn’t all basketball based so there’s no point in arguing with you.

  • http://www.slamonline.com TADOne

    Meh. AI was and is very confident in his abilities. Brash is definitely a good word. However, AI is no thug and thug is not a style. Al Capone was a thug. Suge Knight was a thug. AI was a ball player from an impoverished background. Sorry,not trying to single you out Justin but that label really bothers me.

  • jay

    if Iverson came out today we wouldn’t even call him a thug. He’s only known as a “thug” because tattoos and cornrows were so shocking 15 years ago. Today he’d be just another young player with a sketchy past.

  • ctk

    question for the AllenIverson fans …since 1990 to now…Startin a team from nothing …would u really take Iverson over Wade,Drexler,or McGrady

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Man, if you’re talking about titles, then how can you give Kobe all that credit for having his team there without acknowledging that none of his contemporaries had SHAQUILLE O’NEAL!
    Kobe fans are funny. I already said dude, based on longevity and team success can joust with Duncan as the greatest player of his generation and is clearly the greatest wing player by a large margin.
    But this rival stuff is a slick way to set himself up on the mountaintop alone. Dude played with Shaq for the first and largest chunk of his career. That’s an incredibly massive advantage as far as team success. Then, when he had “poor” teams, which weren’t really horrible compared to some of the teams his contemporaries were dragging around, he couldn’t get out of the first round. Then, he gets a top five power forward in Pau, a good young center in Bynum and Lamar Odom, and he starts winning again and people act like it’s all him.
    That doesn’t make sense. Every time dude has had team success, he’s had superior talent. Without superior talent, he hasn’t had team success. So, which one of his contemporaries actually had talent like Kobe’s throughout their careers?
    No one.
    He’s been the hardest working, most fortunate cat in the NBA his entire career. It’s not even close.

  • havoc33

    Allenp: Smush Parker is happy that you show such confidence in him! And I would argue that Jordan had a better supporting cast than Kobe ever had: Pippen, Grant, Rodman, Kukoc, heck even Armstrong was an Allstar without Jordan. Not to mention two of the deadliest shooters of all time in Kerr and Paxson, never to be underestimated when you talk about the success of the Bulls.

    So there is no point trying to discredit Kobe for having a good supporting cast during his championship years – everyone needs one in order to be successful.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Who compared Kobe to Jordan, or Kobe’s supporting cast to Jordan’s?
    I compared his supporting cast, and team success, to those of his contemporaries and potential “rivals”?
    Iverson, T-Mac and Vince Carter. Possibly Ray Allen.
    When you look at those players, their team success was directly tied to their overall team talent. Just like Kobe.
    Only while Kobe has typically had loads of talent around him, those players did not.
    That was my point. Team success is a tricky metric because it’s often not completely tied to how well a player performs. Very few players can take talent deficient teams and make them contenders. And Kobe is not one of the few and neither were most of his contemporaries.

  • Rainman

    I know a lot of ppl have been scoffing at the Manu Ginobili comparisons, but since 2003…since Manu first came into the league, he’s been battling Kobe in the playoffs more years than not.(the playoffs are where rivalries are maintained right? ) Lets take a deeper look into it:

    2003- Manu Ginobili’s rookie year, by the time the playoffs come around he’s a big rotational player, and the Spurs meet the Lakers in the playoffs, in a battle in which the Spurs win and end up winning the ring. MAnu played Kobe relatively well that year.

    2004- Met again in the playoffs, a great series in which Manu and Kobe actually went bak and forth. Lakers win the series. (also the series Derrick fisher hit the shot at 0.4 seconds over Manu)

    2005- Lakers miss the playoffs(See: Shaq Left.) The Spurs cruise through, and Manu was jsut dominant all the way through (Especially againsy my Suns…MAN was he dominant…) Can u guys remember the long hair flopping all over the place as he made all the crucial plays against the Pistons in the 7 game Finals? To me, he deserved Finals MVP that year. Stern said when announcing it, that it was super close (either 2 total votes, or 2 percentages ,considering a few percentage of votes probably went to Tony as well).

    2006- Lakers and Spurs dont meet this year, Lakers get eliminated by the Suns, and the Spurs fail to repeat, get defeated by the Mavs in a GREAT 7 game series, in which Manu Ginobili played great basketball. (Excpet for that costly foul on Dirk on that drive in game 7 that we all remember)

    2007- Dont meet for the 3rd consecutive year, Kobe and the Lakers get defeated by the Suns (BTW, why is noone making any cases for Nash? Nash and kobe have played on 2 of the best teams in the West for the past decade, First Nash with the MAvs, then the Suns. Have we already forgotten the 2010 conference finals and how close that was? Sure the rings dont add up, but still) MAnu Ginobili helps his team go all the way to another title.

    2008- LAkers trade for Pau, Kobe finally gets what he wants for a title run. Lakers and Spurs meet in conference finals, Lakers were clearly the better team, but Manu-Kobe once again was a battle to watch. Kobe was motivated to another level that year tho, but again, they meet in a battle.

    Look, i know in terms of dominance u may not say its all that close, i’d say so too. But when u’ve put these two in a playoff series (Which has happened clearly more than once, and who knows? maybe again this year) its been fun to watch .

  • lisa

    Dang, yall are really making Kobe look like he wasn’t a great player. So what if his supporting cast was better or if he was “lucky”. Yall are so off topic…. Hating this early in the morning? Yall don’t have anything else to do huh? Next time on your lunch break just go wack off.

  • lisa

    @Rainman… I LOVE Manu. It’s sad that a lot of great players from this decade are aging fast. Kobe, Manu, Steve Nash, Duncan, Garnett, T-mac… Gonna miss those guys.

  • http://www.sonichurricane.com Guile

    LOL @ the bum quoting kobe 04/05 injury ridden stats as his post shaq production, how many game did he miss that year?40?that’s the year where the lakers miss the playoffs right?with caron butler as their leading scorer?i believe that the lakers was above 500 when kobe got injured too, if i recall right.

    the post shaq years, when he’s been healthy, kobe has average more points with chris mihm/kwame brown at center, so yes, without shaq, kobe’s stats would’ve been inflated, it’s not until pau gasol came to the lakers, that his points production decreased.

    without shaq, the lakers won’t win the chip between 00-02, but kobe’s stats would’ve been very inflated.

    AI was a 40 percent shooter his whole career, he was a bum, he IS a bum, he couldn’t even get a starting spot on a turkish team a few years back when he was as old as kobe is now.

    why people @slam magz always glorifying him, i don’t know, the guy is a terrible player, not smush parker level, obviously, but he’s overrated.

  • http://www.sonichurricane.com Guile

    and let me say this, kobe was undeniably, the best 2 guard in the league, since 2001 up to now, and he was always been in the all defensive first team, all nba first team, most of that span (not counting the season when he got injured and miss 30-40 games (04-05), of course)

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    You need to use basketball reference more often if you’re going to make those comments about Iverson.
    His worst shooting years came playing at the two guard. At the point guard, he was around 45 percent.
    And using shooting percentages in a discussion about Kobe is hilarious.

  • dazzy

    Guile, if you really believe that those all defensive teams were accurate than you are probably too young to have watched enough of Kobe’s career. He definitely shouldn’t have been picked over the likes of Allen, Bowen, etc. Just stop.

  • lisa

    @Allenp… It’s funny how you really just hating on Kobe. People are really trying to compare AI to Kobe? Lol… I use to HATE Kobe with a passion but damn yall take it to another level.

  • Drig

    Allen………..Kobe was the better two way player compared to AI since ’01. Kobe has never been elite on D for a season’s stretch sans probably ’03. However, he has shown he can be elite-great for short bursts ( for quarters max basically ). AI played the passing lanes well but man-to-man D? AI didn’t leave enough on the plate for me to rank him above Kobe. And with regards to why Kobe didn’t defend AI…..come on now! Why doesn’t Kobe defend CP3? Because it’s a bad matchup and pointless to try to lockdown a PG with a great offensive ability which AI had. Vice-versa with AI defending Kobe. Simply put Kobe had the height advantage but AI had the speed advantage. The result is as clear as daylight.

  • Drig

    T-Mac and Yao came together for 2 years but didn’t manage to get out of the 1st round in Houston. This was the T-Mac before he got injured continuously. So no. VC was never on T-Mac or AI’s level, let alone Kobe’s since ’01 as far as their skill are concerned. VC did have the talent and the athleticism but never the drive.

    Now with regards to his team………Jordan never had any rivals only because his team was so good right? Jordan managed to make a talent deficient team into a contender right? Magic did it as well right? Bird too didn’t he? No. Kobe never played with a team that had mediocre talent. He either had a superstar or an all-star with him or had the pits.( Yeah, ’06 Kobe had a worse squad than ’02 TMac ). So saying, “Very few players can take talent deficient teams and make them contenders” is a stretch.

  • Drig

    BTW, I just wanted to know if you considered the ’05 Cavs as legit contenders??? Because that would make your definition of a contender and mine entirely different. Because personally, I never thought they were a contender compared to the teams on the West coast. Same with EC finalists when Kobe-Shaq LA, Spurs and Kings were in town.

  • Justin G.

    Drig, that’s partly why Philly and the Nets were able to get to the Finals in the early 2000′s. Everyone knew that the winner of WCF was going to be the champion, that it was the real Finals. The Eastern Conference was so weak. That’s not to necessarily downgrade what guys like Jason Kidd and Allen Iverson did during those years but it’s a factor. @Allen…that’s why I had said in this and in other threads when discussing the two that it was so funny how much Iverson was loved on these boards but still pointed out Kobe’s lack of great scoring proficiency. You can’t have it both ways. Neither of them was a very proficient scorer

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If you think the Bulls, Celtics and Lakers of the Jordan, Bird and Magic eras were talent deficient when they were contenders, then you don’t know basketball.
    I really feel like that. Those three teams had a surfeit of talent when they were contenders. Magic has played with some of the best talent of any player in NBA history. The only person who played with more talent is probably Bill Russell.
    Bird had three other Hall of Famers in this starting lineup, and another one coming off the bench, who while hobbled, was still quite good.
    Let’s be real.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    They were both proficient scorers.
    Neither was efficient.

  • Drig

    Sigh. Re-read my post again about Magic, Bird and co. I implied that even all of them had great teams all the time or bad team in case of Jordan. Never in between just like Kobe. Why act like 3 out of them 4 are on another planet compared to him????

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Drigs
    Kobe played with Caron Butler and Lamar Odom. That team was very mediocre. Then they traded Caron for Kwame and became horrible.
    I apologize for misreading the part about Jordan, Magic and Bird. I went back and I see what you were trying to say, even if I disagree.
    I think Mike’s team steadily improved with a growth in talent, and through his production. Magic and Bird inherited more talent.
    But, I’m not comparing Kobe to them, I’m comparing him to his peers and noting that when you throw team success into the discussion, it skews things which is unfair because none of Kobe’s peers were ever consistently surrounded by the sort of talent he had. Ever.

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