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Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 12:27 pm  |  201 responses

Top 50: Kobe Bryant, no. 4

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players for ’12-13.

by Myles Brown / @mdotbrown

What is there left to say about Kobe Bryant? Between his fans and critics, there isn’t an adjective or expletive left in the dictionary. But that’s just idle chatter, utterly useless in moving the discussion forward. A better question is, what do we know about Kobe Bryant?

As always, only these two things: He wants to win and he wants to win his way. They’re alternately admirable and aggravating desires that have driven him to fits of brilliance and at times, made him a bit of a bastard. But that comes with the territory, right? What we need to know is, after 16 seasons, what has Kobe learned about sacrifice?

He’s acknowledged that this iteration of the Lakers is probably the most talented he’s ever played with and many would undoubtedly agree. Yet the first retort would surely be the ‘03-04 Lakers lineup including Shaq, Gary Payton and Karl Malone. So let’s look back at that time, shall we?

All season, Kobe’s usage rate was as low as it’s ever been and he played smart, efficient basketball, often carrying the team through difficult stretches, as Shaq and Malone were hobbled by injuries. But then came the Finals. Tired of playing little brother to O’Neal, dogged by the looming threat of his legal troubles and fueled by his Game 2 heroics, Kobe played like a man possessed. He should’ve gotten an exorcism.

Call it conjecture if you’d like, but the facts remain: Kobe consistently took more—and made less—shots than anyone on the court, slumping through 10-27, 8-25 and 7-21 outings in the series. He clearly wanted to establish his dominance, only to learn that it doesn’t always equate with excellence.

Anyway, it’s been eight years. He’s grown, learned, changed, all that good shit, right? When asked whose team this year’s Lakers were, Kobe dismissed the question with a wave of the hand, asserting that such labels exist only for column fodder, right? That his skills are expertly complemented, just as everyone else’s, making them a dangerous team, long as it doesn’t devolve into a pissing match… right?

“It’s my team.”

Shit.

Kobe Bryant has claimed he doesn’t see himself renewing his contract, which expires in two years and I believe him. With a stacked roster and just enough health to capture two more Championships, Kobe may see himself racking up rings six and seven before riding off into the sunset as Michael should have. It’s the shrewd and appropriate move. “At least Kobe knew when to stop,” they’ll say. “And he did win more than Jordan, you know…” Kobe came in his way and he’ll go out his way; shooting, knowing full well the ire or immortality that awaits him.

These last two years could define his legacy as either ambitious or oblivious. Given his ranking this year, it’s clear that we trust he’ll make the right decision.


Where should Kobe Bryant rank in the SLAMonline Top 50?

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SLAMonline Top 50 Players 2012
Rank Player Team Position Pos. Rank
50 Greg Monroe Pistons C 8
49 Tyreke Evans Kings PG 14
48 Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 13
47 Stephen Curry Warriors PG 12
46 Ricky Rubio TWolves PG 11
45 Al Jefferson Jazz PF 14
44 Anthony Davis Hornets PF 13
43 Serge Ibaka Thunder PF 12
42 Al Horford Hawks C 7
41 Ty Lawson Nuggets PG 10
40 Danny Granger Pacers SF 6
39 Tim Duncan Spurs PF 11
38 John Wall Wizards PG 9
37 Monta Ellis Bucks SG 8
36 Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 10
35 Roy Hibbert Pacers C 6
34 Tyson Chandler Knicks C 5
33 Eric Gordon Hornets SG 7
32 Kevin Garnett Celtics PF 9
31 Manu Ginobili Spurs SG 6
30 Amar’e Stoudemire Knicks PF 8
29 Marc Gasol Grizzlies C 4
28 DeMarcus Cousins Kings C 3
27 Paul Pierce Celtics SF 5
26 Andre Iguodala Nuggets SG 5
25 Rudy Gay Grizzlies SF 4
24 Josh Smith Hawks PF 7
23 Derrick Rose Bulls PG 8
22 Joe Johnson Nets SG 4
21 Steve Nash Lakers PG 7
20 James Harden Thunder SG 3
19 Pau Gasol Lakers PF 6
18 Chris Bosh Heat PF 5
17 Kyrie Irving Cavs PG 6
16 LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers PF 4
15 Tony Parker Spurs PG 5
14 Dirk Nowitzki Mavs PF 3
13 Andrew Bynum Sixers C 2
12 Blake Griffin Clippers PF 2
11 Kevin Love TWolves PF 1
10 Carmelo Anthony Knicks SF 3
9 Russell Westbrook Thunder PG 4
8 Rajon Rondo Celtics PG 3
7 Deron Williams Nets PG 2
6 Dwyane Wade Heat SG 2
5 Dwight Howard Lakers C 1
4 Kobe Bryant Lakers SG 1

Notes
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’12-13 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jake Appleman, Maurice Bobb, Rodger Bohn, Brendan Bowers, Franklyn Calle, David Cassilo, Bryan Crawford, Adam Figman, Eldon Khorshidi, Eddie Maisonet III, Ryne Nelson, Ben Osborne, Allen Powell II, Sam Rubenstein, Jonathan Santiago, Abe Schwadron, Leo Sepkowitz, Dave Spahn, Ben Taylor, Tzvi Twersky, Peter Walsh, Tracy Weissenberg, Yaron Weitzman, DeMarco Williams and Dave Zirin.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • http://twitter.com/n_fogel Nicholas Fogel

    Legendary, one of the greats

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    No. ‘Tis all I have to say. Just, no.

  • sef

    well, looks like my favourite PG, chris, will be number 3. duhon is in for a great season!

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    lil Bean is always good for the elite

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Still don’t get how he’s the best player on the Lakers just because he’s going to shoot the most shots.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    At this stage of his career, he’s about #6 or 7…4 is too high.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Brill86 Andrew Woods

    this write up did nothing to ease my frustration with him being placed at #4. if anything it made a strong case for him to be #6 or 7

  • Junior Taylor

    If Kobe goes out on his own terms aka shoots in an effort to prove that Lakers are still “his team”, the Lakers might not even make it to the Finals like everyone predicts. They still might make it given the talent around him and OKC dropping a notch after trading their best playemaker in Harden for a one-trick pony in KMartin.

  • Drig

    While I still consider him to be the best SG in the L and the best fit for the Lakers at the said position……….Dwight impacts LAL more over the course of a season. Over a course of a playoff series or two? Kobe *can* justify being LAL’s best player but over the course of a season is just too much at his age………

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    the Harden thing makes the road a lot easier for the Lakers. They match up better with Miami than they did with OKC before the Harden trade. Now the Thunder have the worst defensive 2-guard in the NBA, presumably playing the majority of their minutes. And now they are down a guy scoring off the dribble + heavier work load for Eric Maynor…..which equals less defensive responsibility in a series for both Nash & Kobe. Just a totally horrible move for THIS season. Sorry, i can’t get over how much i dislike that trade.

  • LakeShow

    Agreed 100%.
    He’s still the most skilled in the L, but that doesn’t translate to being better than everyone. He is #5 this year to me. Lakers still are obviously HIS team, but Dwight will be their best player night in and night out from here forward.

  • Shifty

    Didn’t say much about what they expect in terms of stats this year….but am I the only person who thinks how the hell did he rack up 12 all NBA deafensive teams? Including the latest 1st team all selection in 2011? I swear there were more guards better than him defending? Dwayne wade has been a better defender imo for last 4 or 5 seasons!

  • Drig

    Just don’t let Kobe hear that “worst defensive 2-guard” part lol. Anyways, I think Thabo’s gonna be set for major minutes on Kobe this year to ease the load on Durant on the defensive end ( and boy will he need to save energy this season to make the machine run well without Harden ) which will limit their O unless he gets hot come playoff time. Just what this Laker fan wanted :D

  • Drig

    Night in and night out is selling Kobe short IMO………..

  • Shifty

    Doesn’t say much about what his stats will be like this year…….but am I Te only person to think how the hell did he get 12 all NBA defensive team selections? Including his last 1st team selection in 2011? I swear other guards have been better then him?! Dwayne wade in my opinion has been better then him for like 4 or 5 seasons!

  • Drig

    Best players needn’t always have the better season. Case in point : DWill and Rondo/Rose/Westbrook/Parker etc.

  • lalalalal0000

    Kobe bryant is better looking than dwight, so he deserves this position – Nuff said!

  • Drig

    Shouldn’t feed the troll………….but can’t resist……….

    Pau’s no.1 :P

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Neither Kobe, nor the 2 guys who he’s ahead of that he shouldn’t are on a team like last years Nets. — I don’t see how shooting the most shots will render Kobe’s season better than Dwight’s. And I don’t see Kobe being better than Wade for the first time in 4 years just because he ONCE AGAIN has a championship level supporting cast. None of this situation is new, we know exactly what to expect out of Bryant.

  • Drig

    The smart money is definitely on Dwight having a better season than Kobe. But there’s still a possibility that Kobe actually does show up like Team USA Kobe which can help him have a much more well-rounded season compared to earlier ones……. ( Yeah, about 10% chance. SLAM’s betting a lot on that 10%…… ) Anyways, as we already discussed, Wade-Kobe depends on what your team needs. Simple. Either can be ranked above the other imo.

    BTW, what do you consider to be an ideal season for Bryant this year which *can* make you believe Kobe over Wade is an acceptable decision???

  • TBRK

    I’m not taking Melo over Kobe….

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    considering Kobe is so inefficient and overrated defensively, Wade would have to get hurt. Or Kobe would have to do something he’s never done.
    -
    Put up 25 – 5 – 5 on <47% shooting with Wade underperforming. I can't realistically see Bryant being better than Wade without Wade getting hurt. There is no "depends on the situation" – Wade is the better more effective player. Has been, will be. It's not saying anything negative about Kobe to say this, Wade is just better now. Which is fine.
    .
    It's like me arguing Kobe as the better SG between him and Reggie Miller in 2001 – Yeah Reggie was more accomplished and led a team to the finals, but Kobe was just a better player at that point. Better defensively, better offensively. Better player.

  • Drig

    You ain’t the first guy…………or the last.

  • Caboose

    At least he’s not #3…

  • Ben Osborne

    First off, I LOVE that “Max Airington” wrote about Kobe for us again. Thank you Myles! Secondly, Kobe fans are so hardcore. The vast majority of comments I saw leading up to this, and on Twitter, said $ was too high for Kobe. Then I look at the votes and “should be better than 4″ is winning by a mile. Incidentally, I voted him 4 :) . Why is he the best player on the Lakers? Because when they need a score, it’s going to be in his hands. If Dwight messes up, Kobe is screaming on him. Same with Nash. If Kobe messes up, no one is saying anything. Dwight may have more value with his skill set and age, but Kobe’s scoring ability and domineering personality will still be essential to the Lakers season, for better or worse. I think for the better, at least this season.

  • Drig

    I stick by my statement about it being based on the team makeup. A team like LAL needs a player who’s jumpers are at an elite level. Considering the last regular season as a better indicator than the lockout season, Kobe’s been the better shooter for his career and still is and would be better for teams like Memphis, Lakers, Utah etc. i.e. teams with a offensively solid ( not necessarily elite ) frontcourt.

    Wade on the other hand is gonna be the better fit for teams that like to run and push the ball.

    If you’re starting a team from the ground up, Wade’s the obvious choice. But not if you’re counting pieces to help the team win the championship.

    Assuming you meant 25-5-5 on >47% shooting…… Kobe won’t score 25 points this season. But it’ll be near the 47% mark though.

  • Drig

    BTW, @disqus_rOeXXBD2qs:disqus …………..remember I told you to wait till Kobe’s article came up re : voting on Dwight and Wade’s articles? All is right with the world lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Wade is going to be a better fit for any team. Just because Kobe is a better shooter doesn’t mean his shooting is more beneficial. If Kobe’s shot selection was in any way comparable to Wade’s….sure, but it isn’t. Wade is better in every way, Kobe’s advantage in terms of shooting is completely neutralized by his actual shot selection.
    .
    i did mean >47% lol my bad. — if he is only scoring 22-24 a game on 47% he won’t be better than Wade who will be at 22-24 a game at 50% – especially once you factor in the whole defense issue. Kobe is average at best. — The thing about Kobe’s defense that is always brought up by people who support him, you always have to write “when dialed in” – or “when he’s trying” or some other cautionary warning that indicates his defense normally isn’t any good but that apparently doesn’t matter.

  • Drig

    This season is gonna answer a lot of questions about Kobe : Whether his shot selection improves when having another perimeter player who can create and score off the dribble, whether he can be an efficient scorer, whether he can average 5 assists per game, whether he can let the offense in the fourth quarters be a team game and let the team create a chance for him etc.

    Let’s just agree to disagree about the Wade-Kobe argument till we’re halfway into the season. If my hypothesis comes close to hitting the bullseye and Kobe can play efficiently and score, it’ll help me make an argument that I can back up with stats and have enough sample space lol. Am tired of talking about ifs and buts and would rather let Kobe prove me right or wrong one way or the other this season.

    As I stated earlier, it’s easier scoring near the rim at than it is from 23ft out. A few courtesy of Kobe’s stubborn nature and a few courtesy of ( IMO ) the team putting him in that position. IF the stubborn shots come down but Kobe has to take almost as many perimeter shots to keep the offense balanced ( and definitely less number of 3s ), would you be willing to cede that Kobe’s shooting is more beneficial on certain teams that were mentioned than Wade’s, his defensive shortcomings during the not-so-crucial parts of the game included???

    And yes, Kobe’s D is usually below average effort wise kinda like Melo’s is usually.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    We talked about this on the Wade post. Just don’t see how the Lakers can win with him playing the way he’s always played. The best thing for him and the team would be for him to decrease his shot attempts, improve his FG% and average around 24 ppg. We’ll see if he does it his way still or does it the way it should be done. I don’t see him having a season that will be worthy of being ranked 4th.

  • rkirby

    Was I the only one that saw Kobe against OKC in playoffs last year? He’s still the best shooting guard in the league. It isn’t that close. Dwight Howard couldn’t get touches in Orlando! Orlando?! You can’t be better than Kobe if you can’t be the number 1 option on a lottery team.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    If Thabo does get major minutes on Kobe, OKC’s offense will suffer. That was the thing about Harden. He wasn’t good or great defensively, but he made an effort. Westbrook, Harden and Durant on the court at the end of games was impossible for the Lakers and Spurs to deal with. Martin will be a huge defensive liability even if he can score. Thabo will be a huge offensive liability even if he can handle Kobe.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    That’s the only good thing about this.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    “As I stated earlier, it’s easier scoring near the rim at than it is from 23ft out.”

    .
    Ofcourse it is, it is also a lot harder to attempt a shot at the rim than it is to attempt a 23 footer.
    . — If Kobe stops shooting long contested jumpers but still shoots the same amount of shots from the perimeter? I will be really surprised if the Lakers are even good. Because that means their offense is broken.

  • LakeShow

    I don’t follow… Kobe’s going to put more stinker nights up than Dwight is.

  • Drig

    I haven’t watched OKC’s preseason games but does anyone know if Thabo has improved his outside shot??? How about his decision making??

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    exactly.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    I didn’t get a chance to watch them during the preseason. But for a dude who only average 5 points in the playoffs last season, he would have to not only improve his shot but also his confidence/aggressiveness with shooting the shot in order for him to be able to stay on the floor at the end of games instead of Kevin Martin.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    remember how i told you already knew how it would end up on the list? this doesn’t validate anything more than Kobe is completely overrated. It’s Kobe’s team, but he isn’t the best player on it. And this is the definitive ranking of the NBA’s top 50 players, not the leagues top players who aren’t valued as much as those who lead teams and get a bunch of attention doing it.

  • russian guy

    I would still argue (maybe smone has the numbers) that the main reason Harden was so effective vs the Lakers was,that their pick and roll defense just couldn’t handle Harden.I see them improving in that area a lot with Dwight.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Kobe is more skilled than Dwight and D-Wade, but with his athleticism leaving him, he can’t use those skills the way he used to. He can’t get as much lift on those shots in the post as he used to. Sometimes, it looks like a struggle on offense because his mind wants to do things that his body just can’t do anymore. He’s not half of what he was on the defensive end in his prime. He’s a better shooter than Wade, but I’d prefer the guy who could get me a better shot than the guy who has more of an ability to hit tougher shots. Watching Dwyane play, the game is easier to him. If his outside shot isn’t working, he doesn’t keep shooting it hoping that one will eventually go in. It remains to be seen if Kobe can do anything else at this point in his career if his shot isn’t working. Wade doesn’t hit a lot of tough jumpshots because he doesn’t need to. He can get to the basket and finish at the basket better than Kobe. Dwight isn’t that skilled at all, especially on offense, but his athleticism and his physicality makes him a more valuable player. Kobe can hit shots when the Lakers need him to, but more than that, they need Dwight to do what he does.

  • Drig

    We’re talking about superstar players here……….both of who can finish just as well at the rim as per hoopdata with 2011 as the indicator.

    My bad, I meant if Kobe reduced his 3pt attempts from 4+ to around 2 per game and his perimeter shots from around 8 to around 6 and made around 47% of the rest of them ( mostly good enough looks ).

    18fga, 21 points, 5.3 assists, 5 rebounds on 47% shooting, 3ptfg% 34% vs 18fga, 22 points, 4.5 assists, 5 rebounds on 48% shooting, 3ptfg% 28%

    The former taking around 3-4 more shots per game from more distance when compared to the latter.

  • Drig

    True. Do you think if he can get hot and build up a game like Ariza’s in ’09 come PO time, OKC can go on a run??

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Even if that were true, the threat of it is now gone. Those are fouls that Dwight could potentially get on Harden driving to the basket on the pick and rolls. He can’t block everything.

  • Drig

    Don’t be surprised to see Kobe still being the best player over a stretch of 2-4 weeks is what I was implying. But overall, yeah.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    They could win the West and get to the Finals if he was Trevor Ariza.

  • LakeShow

    Yeah that’s always been a problem for the Lakers with Kobe. Not being able to win with his style of play. Except for those 5 chips…. but other than that… yeah.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    How well each guy shoots at the rim doesn’t matter. Kobe doesn’t get to the rim with any sort of consistency for that to be relevant. They won’t shoot the same amount of shots and have a 1 point differential in what they produce. Wade simply shoots too many high % shots for that too happen. Kobe would literally have to become a player he has never shown the ability to be to become as efficient as Wade as a scorer.

    .

    What you did in your little example was lower Wade’s FG% too lower than his career average, and Raise Kobe’s to above his Career High. If that’s not being hypothetical about a completely unlikely scenario, idk what is.

  • keyon dooling

    Well, I thought SLAM had informed readers until I saw this. Having Kobe at 4 (ranked by SLAM) was bad enough, but having 64% of readers thinking Bryant is still a TOP THREE player is beyond ridiculous. Realistically, Kobe is a top 8-12 player right now, based on last season, the playoffs, and the Olympics (peep the Olympic game footage, dude was getting TORCHED by some average hoopers from irrelevant basketball countries. We all already know about his abysmal FG %, so this ranking has NO merit. Appalling.

  • LakeShow

    “It remains to be seen if Kobe can do anything else at this point in his career if his shot isn’t working. Wade doesn’t hit a lot of tough jumpshots because he doesn’t need to. He can get to the basket and finish at the basket better than Kobe.”
    .
    .
    .

    You must have missed the 15 boards and 11-15 FT’s in the 2010 Finals…

    .
    Also, you must not realize that Kobe can’t just post up or go to the rim at any time he feels like it, like Wade and the Center-less Heat. LBJ and Wade can be the primary post players for that team. Kobe’s competing with 3 post up front court players ahead of him. He has to take all the tough jump shots for the Lakers. They have no shooters or perimeter talents beside him.

  • shutup

    Even though I don’t agree with the ranking (about imo he should be at least 5 or 6) I love this write up, actually its my favorite so far.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Dwyane Wade.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    nobody is.

  • LakeShow

    Co-sign this comment. I like the way you think Drig. Understanding that players aren’t just a position, but that each provides different skills and strengths that could be better for one team than for another. Seems obvious, but not everyone seems to get it.

  • yourmomslover

    3. CP3
    2. LBJ
    1. KD

  • LakeShow

    Thanks for bringing up the hoopdata, I always read those numbers, but I don’t use them for arguments, because numbers lie pretty easily, but it’s funny how these guys truly do not understand the make up of each team and why Wade and Kobe have to shoot differently an therefor will have a FG% disparity.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    The same old 5 rings argument. Last one they won was 3 seasons ago in case you weren’t aware. None of those rings were won doing it his way. It was Phil Jackson’s way. Kobe’s way has included him deciding not to shoot in a playoff series where they should have eliminated the Suns in 06. It has also included him not shooting in a regular season game to prove a point. It has recently included him deciding to take shots he didn’t need to take and then instead of taking some of the blame himself, he threw Pau Gasol under the bus. You and those who are like you have yet to make any kind of intelligent argument for him. None. All you can say is “He’s won 5 championships”. Nevermind how they were won. All you know is he won them.

  • justin05

    Agreed lake. The people who don’t agree that Kobe is better than Wade neglect the fact that Kobe is the most hated, yet respected athlete in sports. Every night the opposing team/opposing defender is trying to stop him and make themselves look good and he still puts his team in positions to win. Other than Lebron, idk another player in the league who has the kind of load on their shoulders that Kobe has.

  • justin05

    Dwight will have better stats and more control on the defensive end of the floor but Kobe is still the go-to-guy w/ 5 minutes left in the game.

  • lakers2013

    cuz its Kobe Bryant

  • Omar

    He’s seventh on my list.

  • Omar

    I thought he was going to be.

  • justin05

    Ignorant statement. People will lose respect for your opinions when you make dumb comments like this one. Because he’s going to take more shots? Please kid.. He’s the best player on the Lakers because he’s going to take the most shots during the last few minutes of a game. Just like Lebron, Durant, and Paul. Kobe is #4

  • keyon dooling

    Lol @ “if Dwight messes up , Kobe is screaming at him.” Complete Bull$#!+ intangibles argument to defend this pick! hahahah Watch more basketball

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    LeBron and Chris Paul make the best decisions at the end of games whether it’s a shot for themselves or for someone else. Kobe’s not in that group. He will take the most shots whether he needs to or not at the end of games. Durant will take the best shots at the end of games and he’s made more of those shots than Kobe has the last few seasons.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    D-Wade would fit on any team and be more valuable than Kobe. You can compare guys who play the same position. D-Wade would not only score better but he would involve his teammates a lot better. He’s just a better overall player and has been for 4 seasons. Anyone who doesn’t see this either has some sort of love affair with Kobe or just hasn’t watched them play.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Brill86 Andrew Woods

    yea i would place him at 7 too which is no slap in the face.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    You piggy bank off of other people’s arguments and present nothing yourself. One solid argument for why Kobe is better than Wade. Just one. I’d be interested in hearing you say one thing besides the championships argument or the skill argument that you can’t back up.

  • LakeShow

    The same old “Kobe is over rated argument.”
    Funny how they coincide huh.
    .
    Could you link me to KB throwing Pau Gasol under the bus. I missed that.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    I think we will learn a lot about Kobe and whether winning or winning his way is more important to him.

  • LakeShow

    Precisely.

  • LakeShow

    “piggy back”

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    For this season, he is overrated. The past four seasons, for anyone to think that he has been better than Wade, that is also overrating him.

    “No, Pau’s gotta be more assertive. He’s the guy that they’re leaving…He’s gotta be more aggressive.” Kobe’s comments after Game 4. Scoring a lot of points doesn’t make you a great leader. If Kobe wanted Pau to be more aggressive, giving him the ball and letting him get a rhythm would have been the best way to go. He took no responsibility. It’s easy to look at his point totals and figure that it wasn’t his fault that they lost. But if you’re the leader of that team and you know that you can turn it on and off every once in a while when needed, you get Pau going. If you don’t like his aggression level, get him going at the beginning and sacrifice some of your shots. Look at the comparison between the Lakers two best players and the Thunder’s two best players in that series. For the series, Kobe played 5 more minutes and took 75 more shots than Pau…75. Pau didn’t forget how good he was all of a sudden. Durant played 7 more minutes yet took 36 less shots than Kobe. Durant actually took 8 less shots than his 2nd best player, Westbrook. If you think that all of that can be explained by simply saying that Gasol wasn’t aggressive enough, you’re out of your mind.

  • ssef

    I really don’t get it. You give the dude a terrible write-up the past few years AND you drop him lower on your list. It’s all good though, placing Durant at 2 while he still plays no D is acceptable, right? I will say that though I think Kobe is still at 1 till he retires, I agree his recent body of work hasn’t been up to par. I expect this season to be a monster one for him and LA.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i’m going to lose respect for saying that? whose respect? LOL, and with that reasoning, Jamal Crawford has been the best player on most of the teams he has ever played on. You realize that?

  • zogs19994

    LEBRON HAS 1 CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR AND EVERYONE JUMPS ON HIS D
    JUST LIKE LAST YEAR WITH DIRK….REMEMBER?
    -
    KOBE HITS A BUZZER BEATER, EVERYONE “KOBES THE BEST MAN”
    LEBRON MISSES A BUZZER BEATER, “OH HE’S NOT CLUTCH”
    -
    #FAIR WEATHER FANS

  • shockexchange

    For the past two seasons Horry Jr has played on teams with “exceptionally more talent” than the rest of the league and the Lakers still got bounced early in the playoffs. Any amount of Lakers success has come in spite of Horry Jr, not because of him. The Shock Exchange wouldn’t even put Horry Jr in the top 20.

  • LakeShow

    Wait…. that was him “throwing Gasol under the bus”

    LOL.

    I can’t even take you serious man.

    Don’t forget the sentence that he capped it off with: “He will be the next game.”

    Big time bus throw under there…. lol…

    Kobe never threw Gasol under the bus. Nice try, good effort, though.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Him being the “most hated, yet respected athlete in sports” has absolutely nothing to do with it. Strictly on the floor, he hasn’t been better than Wade for 4 seasons. Many good arguments have been made to back that up. No argument has been made to refute those arguments. Kobe’s load is there only because he puts it there. For the past 2 seasons, his load could have been lighter if Bynum and Gasol had the offense ran through them. You do realize that you just said that Kobe has had such a heavy burden on him when the Lakers were projected by a lot of people to be in the top 3 of the conference each of the last few seasons, right? Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, all of these guys had more on them than Kobe.

  • russian guy

    Agreed.But I thought that the improvement of Howard over Bynum would make it easier for the Lakers to defend it..but again,with the trade it all went up to smoke.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    No one should take you seriously. You’re just here to be a cheerleader. You do it well.

  • LakeShow

    I figured you couldn’t defend that.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    that’s such a load of bullsh*t. Even when Wade was the only player on his team he shot 49%, while Kobe still shot 45% as the only player on his team. Wade just takes smarter, more high percentage shots. It’s cut and dry. It is not Kobe’s job to take sh*tty shots.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Defend what? What have you ever defended when it comes to the Lakers? Like I said, all you have to say is “5 championships” or you laugh. You know you’re just a cheerleader.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    You also ignored the facts I gave you. Facts..those things you don’t have to back you up on the few instances that you do have something original to say.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jay.brodes Jay Brodes

    mamba should be about 3! just my opinion but i think that is fair..average 28 last year playing thru several injuries..i expect his shooting percentage to up this year!

  • D-Bo

    so final three CP3, KD, and LBJ I could mess with that

  • Junior Taylor

    For the 1st time in a long time, Slam has the Top-3 correct. Bravo!!!

  • Junior Taylor

    Stop with the excuses. Every great player at some point in their career were the only viable option on the perimeter for their respective teams.(MJ with the mid-to-late-80s, LeBron with the Cavs, Mac with Orlando, AI with Philly, Nique with Atl, Wade with MIA after Shaq and before CB/LB. Lebron, MJ, Wade were able to keep their efficiency at a high level while AI and Kobe’s efficiency suffered.

  • LakeShow

    lol.

    How are the book sales going? How many have you guys sold? I’m honestly curious.

  • LakeShow

    No D?
    Really?
    What’s with everyone’s infatuation with people playing stellar D. It’s just not going to happen. Durant is above average defensively. He’ll get better too. You can’t expect every player to play D like Iggy, T. Allen, Bradley, or Shump.

  • shockexchange

    Sales are going well. I had my first book signing at my alma mater this past weekend. Everybody is drooling over the book cover. It was selling electronically before the print version came out. I am negotiating sell through Barnes & Noble and some local bookstores in the NYC. That SLAM Q&A set things off though.

  • The Seed

    Kobe at 4 is fine, he will play great, get hated, get called old, get called ball hog, get called MJ wanabe, get called arrogant, get called jawface and still win rings in suppose Lebron league, like he did for two straight years.

  • keyon dooling

    no. LeBron has actually been the best player in the league (and SLAM’s rankings) for about 5 years now. No one is “jumping on his D.” The only thing that’s changed is that he’s getting better and Bryant is getting worse.

  • Karl

    And the lifetime achievement award goes to… Kobe Bryant.

  • Kevin45

    34 years old and being mentioned in the top 4 in the league full of young stars?! I’ll take it! Mamba is 1 in rings tho!

  • Kevin45

    Obviously you dont watch the Lakers or no anything about basketball. Take Kobe away and there a average team

  • Conor

    Why? If you honestly believe that there is any similarity between Kobe & Wade versus Miller & Bryant, why even offer your opinion? The primary difference between your theory and reality is that Kobe can still outplay Wade on any given night, despite his physical erosion, while Kobe of 2001 would dominate Miller on every given night.

    Comparing Kobe of ’12-’13 to Miller of ’00-’01… I don’t know what to offer other than my theory that must be blind.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lol Dwight, Steve, Pau is an average team? Genius, why didn’t anybody else realize that? .
    What you meant to say was, Take Kobe away and they are not championship contenders. Which is true of him and Dwight. — but that doesn’t make him the better player at all.
    .

  • Conor

    Kobe can still be the best player in the League on any given night & that is the only projection that needs to be written. Anybody who thinks otherwise is a media-saturated dunce.

  • Conor

    You do realize that Bryant was in the top five for clutch assists as recently as 2011-2012, right? Probably not.

    Debating with people who belittle Kobe’s game is like debating with those who support Mitt Romney’s politics. They make things up because they don’t watch or they only observe the statistics which support their claims.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Miller could still outplay a young Kobe Bryant. I meant 2000 anyway -which is obviously just a year before and clearly outside of your argument http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/200006160IND.html

  • Conor

    He assisted on 28.7% of clutch baskets made by LA throughout the season. LeBron was at 31% and Chris Paul was at 35%.

    Know who was number one? Pau Gasol at 38%.

  • LakeShow

    Mmmh, see here’s the thing. You bore me.

    I actually like arguing with most people on here. You… you are just boring.

    .

    See I could make a big long argument like this:

    So you say Wade has been better than Bryant for 4 seasons aye? Lets look back.

    2008-2009: Statistically speaking Wade beat Bryant. He outscored him by 4 PPG, Out-dished him by 2.5 ast per game. Rebounded slightly less, but not enough to make an argument for. Wade also had his best theft effort with 2.2 Stls a game. Along with his customary block a game.

    While Kobe had a great season, Wade had the best of his career, and this season would be his first where people started to question who the best 2 guard in basketball is. Kobe still had the edge in allot of peoples minds with Wade having been injured so much the season before, and his team only winning 15 games. And the Fact Bryant just won his 4th Ring and his first with out Shaq. None the less, this season proved Wade not only “had it”, but might be Bryant’s Equal or had surpassed him.

    2009-2010: Statistically speaking, a case can be made for either candidate.

    Wade 26.6PPG, 6.5 AST, 4.8 REB, 1.8STL, 1 BLK, 76% FT’s, 30% three PT FG, 48% FG’s

    Bryant 27PPG, 5AST, 5.4 Reb, 1.5 Stl, .3 blks, 81% FT’s, 33% three PT FG, 46% FG’s

    Difference this year being that Bryant propels his team to its 5th Championship on his watch and his 2nd without Shaq. While the Heat lost to the Celtics in 5 games. With the equality of stats, this year can easily be given to Bryant for winning his 2nd Finals MVP trophy, and 2nd consecutive O’Brien Trophy.

    2010-2011, This year each player scored 25 PPG. Wade grabbed a monster 6.4 boards a game as compared to Bryants 5.2. Most can assume Bryant would have an extra board or two if he played on the Heat rather than next to 3 players grabbing around 10 per game on the Lakers. Wade assisted players 4.6 times a game compared to Bryants 4.7. the most noticeable stats disparity is in the FG% where Wade posted a career high 50% while Kobe shot the ball at 45%. This FG% directly correlates to the players requirements for their team. Bryant was not able to post up as much as he would like while Wade was asked to do just that as often as possible and the fact the Wade is a slasher and rather reckless(directly coincides with his injury history) in his attack on the rim while Bryant chooses his spots on the outside to help space for the Lakers loaded front court.

    Both teams fell short of their ultimate goal losing to the same team, the Dallas Mavericks.

    Nearly identicle season between the two of them. You CANNOT make a claim or act as if it’s fact that either one had a “better” season than the other.

    2011-2012: Our most recent season in memory almost was never going to start it seems. Finally once the L and the Players Association came to an agreement the season got started off and although it was shortened it still gave us a good sampling.

    Wade: 22ppg, 4.6 ast, 4.8 Reb, 1.7 stls, 1.3 blks 49% Fg’s
    Bryant: 27.9 ppg, 4.6 ast, 5.4reb, 1.3 stls, .3 blks, 43% Fg’s

    .

    Once again a toss up. Wade had the better defensive stats. Kobe had the better offensive stats. You can go on about FG% but at the end of the season each player played how they were asked to play, and the FG% is directly correspondent to that. Bryant rebounded better, scored more and dished out the same while shooting better from distance, mid range, and free throw. Wade stole the ball more, played all around better D, had the higher efficiency rating but was injured throughout the season again, which hampered him from being fully effective and also hampers his ability to truly say he has surpassed Kobe.

    While Wade has had some seasons that were better or could be argued as better over the last 4, so does Bryant.

    It’s simply stupid to say “Wade has been better than Bryant for 4 seasons.” It’s just not true. He has had his moments and is clearly capable of being his equal, but as certifiably better?

    …………………………………………….NO……………………………………………….

    Whom you find to be the better player is up to you to decide. If you let STATS rule your life than it’s probably Wade, his stats are more tangible to look at and you can come to conclusions based upon those numbers if you want to. Or, if you enjoy watching the game and don’t really care about numbers and stats other than W’s and L’s, Kobe usually takes the cake because people can see the passion in his eyes and can tell there is nothing he takes greater joy in than defeating his opponent.

    But big long arguments are dumb on the internet. No one side concedes anything, and points that are important can get ignored, so that’s why it’s easier just to mock you for hating Kobe unnecessarily.

    I see KB and Wade as equals on the court these days. In head to head match ups KB gets the better of Wade but over the course of a season Wade can and has outplayed Kobe.

    This season should be fun.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.callihan1 Chris Callihan

    What? The man’s 34 years old. Lebron is 28 and he’s a better player now. What exactly does that have to do with being a fair-weathered fan? Every coach/player in the league knows Lebron is the best, just like everyone thought that about Kobe 4-5 years ago. Ignorant comment of the day goes to you.

  • Conor

    So, you use the 2000 NBA Finals – which included a Game Two injury for Kobe – wherein Bryant was a fourth-year player against the seasoned Miller as a recovery example?… At least you respect him. This is what he did to Miller by the end of that same series (he was 21): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFHqwat3Wm8

    Alas, you wrote “2001″ and he dominated Miller.

  • zogs19994

    OK NAME 1 OTHER PLAYER IN THE TOP 10 ALL TIME

    THAT LEFT HIS TEAM FOR ANOTHER WITH MULTIPLE STARS AT THE BEGINNING OF HIS PRIME
    THATS RIGHT SO STFU

  • Kevin45

    He’ll get about 30 a game this year

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    It wasn’t a recovery example. I accidentally put 2001 instead of 2000. Which is the same thing I do with Iverson except I put 2000 instead of 01. And it was JUST an example, which only included to ability to understand. Given how defensive you are getting, I assume you so understand. As Kobe was clearly better than Miller, while Miller still occasionally outplayed him. Not saying it’s “as” obvious but it still is.

  • LakeShow

    Not to the extent Kobe was last year.

    Who did Kobe have to pass to on the perimeter last year? Tell me?

    Bron had shooters all around him, every year.

    T-Mac your right about, too bad he shot worse than Kobe FG% wise… Shows how hard it is for elite perimeter players to play without anyone else on the perimeter worth a damn.
    MJ had great shooters on his teams…
    Kobe just didn’t last year man. I think Steve Blake or Andrew Goudelock was their best perimeter shooter outside Kobe last year… I mean really Taylor? You gotta take those hate tinged glasses off. Bean had no perimeter help at all last year. Zer0. None. Zilch. GOOSE EGG.

  • LakeShow

    Gems.

  • TownRoyal88

    Chris Paul is not better than Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant is arguable… Good god

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    lol I’m boring…I think the most boring thing a person can do is be completely biased all the time. Which is how you are with the Lakers. I see the championship argument comes into it once again. The difference between the 09-10 season was Kobe led his team to another championship without Shaq…you failed to mention the teammates he had compared to the teammates Wade had. Gasol, Bynum, Ron Artest hit a big shot after Kobe airballed a shot to get them to the Finals. Kendrick Perkins, KG’s sidekick as an anchor in the Celtics defense, went down in Game 6 making it easier for that Lakers team to win. Why would you say that big long arguments are dumb after making a big long argument? What’s easy is to mock you for loving Kobe and the Lakers regardless of the great arguments that people present basically showing how Wade has outplayed your guy 4 seasons in a row. I’ve only given facts…the reason you think I “hate Kobe unnecessarily” is because the facts I give don’t show him in the best light which is the only light you see him in. Now you’re talking about passion in guys eyes as if that means something. People watch the games and then look at the stats. If we aren’t supposed to go by what we see and what the stats show, exactly what are we supposed to go by? Because how many championships a guy has means nothing in this case. And passion in people’s eyes also mean nothing. How they’ve played and what the stats show is that Wade has outplayed him for four seasons. Kobe’s only advantage is PPG over those seasons…if a player shoots more to score more yet is beaten by a guy in every other statistic, when people try to say that Kobe is still better or they’re equal, the only thing they can stand on is points. The game is about more than scoring. There’s a reason why you don’t have many who agree with you here. Kobe’s a volume shooter. D-Wade is an efficient scorer. There’s a difference. By saying that they played exactly how they were asked to play, you’re saying that Kobe shot as much as he did only because he was asked to. So he was asked to take bad shots with teammates open? I highly doubt it. You say that Wade being injured last season kept him from surpassing Kobe…except he had already surpassed him. Most people saw it and said it. You can’t name one season in the last 4 where Kobe can say that he played better than Wade. Take the 2 championship seasons out of it because that is more of a team thing than an individual thing obviously. The only stat you can point to is points per game…that’s it. The best indicator in my opinion is this…the 2010-2011 season when LeBron arrived and he and Wade were trying to figure out how to play together…Wade was healthy and his statline was 26, 6 and 5 on 50% shooting. He hasn’t worn down since. He was hurt last season. Healthy again which means he’s still that player. His stats won’t show it because he has decided, for the good of the team, to be the 2nd guy on that team. We can even look at last season and Wade’s numbers were 22, 5 and 5 on 50% shooting. Only played 33 minutes a game. Had he played 5 more minutes to equal Kobe’s 38, his numbers would have been better.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    …the last championship the Lakers won was 3 seasons ago. Ugly second round exits the past two seasons.

  • KBM

    Wilt

  • This guy is a complete dumbass

    retard.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    He had the best frontline in basketball to pass to. LeBron’s best teammate in Cleveland was Mo Williams who disappeared in the playoffs consecutive years. The man got to the Finals with Larry Hughes as his best teammate. So he and Kobe don’t belong in the same sentence here. If LeBron had Bynum and Gasol in Cleveland? Lights out. He’d still be there with more than one championship to show for it. No perimeter help isn’t the same as no help at all. Let’s be serious.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    T-Mac on those Orlando teams? Compared to Kobe in LA? Also no comparison there. Kobe would probably be done in the NBA now too if he had to try to carry a squad like that the way T-Mac did for 4 seasons.

  • manu

    wait so chris paul is better than this guy?

    an overrated pg who hasn’t done anything over his career but lose is better than the most feared player in the league?

    please

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Most feared player in the league resides in Miami, Florida and wears number 6.

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    Shhh you might make him realize that the past is different than the present… let him dream on

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bishop.SeanMagicJuan Sean MagicJuan

    Abdul Jabbar.

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    Seriously…

  • pablasso

    Maybe the voters, who are the coaches, know a thing or two that we don’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Who in there right mind projects Kobe as the 4th best player on this planet this year and next?? He isn’t even the best Laker! His numbers are awful (bulk shooter) and they are going to get worse. It is 2004 again.

  • danpowers

    kobe is still a great player but the ranking isnt really justified as there is at least one shooting guard better than him called dwyane wade.

  • Drig

    Troll be trollin’…………..had me cracking up at the “exceptionally more talent” part

  • Bored

    he wasnt all-defensive 1st team last year. or were you talking about all-NBA first team?

  • Bored

    Shaq.

  • Bored

    LeBron James.

  • Bored

    went to Lakers. got a ring.

  • Bored

    went to lakers. got a ring

  • shockexchange

    After being called a troll, the Shock Exchange now stands corrected. Pau Gasol / Andrew Bynum at the same ____ time, Two skilled 7-footers at the same ____ time, Postin’ up callin’ for at the same ____ time, does not qualify as “exceptionally more talent.” Thank you for clearing that up.

  • Drig

    So you mean Pau was also calling for Post up plays for himself? And the entire team sans Kobe were willing to do that but Kobe stopped it?

    And does the word “bench” mean anything to you?? Anything?

  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange is going to put this in bullet-point format so you don’t miss anything: (i) In a league of 6’8″ centers, L.A. had Pau Gasol / Andrew Bynum at the same ___ time, two skilled 7-footers at the same ____ time, (ii) Odom was 6’10″ and skilled, (iii) MWP’s final year in Indiana, he was the best player in the L and poised to become the face of the NBA, (iv) Derrick Fisher ran the club and could hit clutch, open jumpshots. That L.A. team was illegal. But instead of pounding the ball inside to the bigs, Horry Jr had to shoot it at the same ____ time. There are at least 15 other players, who if you replaced them with Horry Jr., would have gone to four finals and won at least three chips with that team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    Great retort, buddy.

  • Drig

    Please don’t tell me you’re serious……..Name me ONE team in the modern era that went to four consecutive finals with almost the same team lol with their top two players not taking an off-season break between two seasons, their 3rd/4th best player when healthy NOT being healthy when they were winning and the coach wanting to quit after the season replaced by a coach who didn’t put the two 7ft guys in the paint like you claim. Yeah. I’ll keep waiting.

    1. Yes. But the last 2 years, Pau had to sacrifice his game to accommodate Bynum’s game. But since you obviously think pounding it in without any scoring from the perimeter can win you games, I expect this to fly over the top of your head.

    2. Odom was the one bench player we had. And we didn’t have Odom for last season thank you very much.

    3. So MWP’s final year in Indiana is now the basis for what he does 7 odd years later?? Good. Next, tell me you still think Kobe’s 26 years and we’ll be fine. MWP was having foot issues in ’11 and lost his shooting touch last season. Damn the L should’ve been in a sorry state when he was the face if he’s still playing at the same level he did back then.

    4.You obviously didnot watch Lakers’ games. Obviously not.

    5. In ’11, Kobe was playing on a bum knee. Sane guys could see that. And could understand that the team was drained.

    Name me those 15 players.

  • Drig

    Please don’t tell me you’re serious……..Name me ONE team in the modern era that went to four consecutive finals with almost the same team lol with their top two players not taking an off-season break between two seasons, their 3rd/4th best player when healthy NOT being healthy when they were winning and the coach wanting to quit after the season replaced by a coach who didn’t put the two 7ft guys in the paint like you claim. Yeah. I’ll keep waiting.

    1. Yes. But the last 2 years, Pau had to sacrifice his game to accommodate Bynum’s game. But since you obviously think pounding it in without any scoring from the perimeter can win you games, I expect this to fly over the top of your head.

    2. Odom was the one bench player we had. And we didn’t have Odom for last season thank you very much.

    3. So MWP’s final year in Indiana is now the basis for what he does 7 odd years later?? Good. Next, tell me you still think Kobe’s 26 years and we’ll be fine. MWP was having foot issues in ’11 and lost his shooting touch last season. Damn the L should’ve been in a sorry state when he was the face if he’s still playing at the same level he did back then.

    4.You obviously didnot watch Lakers’ games. Obviously not.

    5. In ’11, Kobe was playing on a bum knee. Sane guys could see that. And could understand that the team was drained.

    Name me those 15 players.

  • Drig

    BTW, OKC had Westbrook-Harden-Durant plus solid role players who made a decent bench. Miami had LeBron – Wade – Bosh and solid role players who could fill in minutes and play upto their level. Spurs had a ridiculously deep team last year and were one Ibaka fluke and a bad call away from the Finals. All of them had continuity with their teams as well. Lakers had the deck stacked against them courtesy of “Basketball Reasons”.

    So, I’d love for you to explain to me how Lakers last season had EXCEPTIONALLY MORE TALENT than those teams. Honestly, some trolls……

  • Drig

    Damn, one of my LONG posts seem to have disappeared so I’ll give you a summary : Magic led LA and Shaq-Kobe lakers were the only teams in history to make the Finals 4 times in 5 years and win 3 titles in the modern era. Showtime was ridiculously deep compared to the Kobe-Gasol lakers and Kobe-Shaq Lakers had a big re-tooling before their 5th season. Also, both teams didn’t have their 1-2 punches in the Finals of the Olympics in between that run.

    Name me those 15 players.

    You’re an idiot if you think MWP played the last 2 years at the same level as he did when he was with Indiana. Absolute idiot. Not mincing words here.

    Bynum and Pau never really complete each other and you seem to be caught in that illusion. And Pau and Bynum never really played together in the paint. It was always one guy in the paint and one guy outside.

    Derek Fisher hit clutch shots in the POs. He was a liability for the last 3 regular seasons.

    Odom was our bench in ’11. In ’12, we had no bench. In ’10 and ’09, Odom played in the place of Bynum who was injured for major parts of teh season. Anyways, Odom also didn’t play for us in ’12.

  • shockexchange

    (i) The “post-expansion” NBA and its lack of parity represents a paradigm shift; you cannot compare it to previous periods, only to itself. That said, the Lakers did not simply have more talent than the rest of the L, but “exceptionally more” talent.
    (ii) The Shock Exchange considers Odom as part of the conversation because he is part of the “exceptionally more talent” argument. The fact that L.A. threw him under the bus for Horry Jr’s underperformance is irrelevant.
    (iii) The Shock Exchange mentioned MWP’s performance in Indy only adds to the “exceptionally more talent” argument. Just because he is being underutilized in the “pass to Horry Jr offense” is not my problem.
    (iv) The Shock Exchange doesn’t need to watch a lot of Lakers game know they are lazy and entitled, and the biggest underachievers in the L.
    (v) You want a list? Take the first 15 guys (who did not play for the Lakers) in SLAM’s player rankings and each would have won three chips with that “exceptionally more talented” Lakers squad.
    (vi) The Lakers did not take three or four chips with that squad, so by defnition, Horry Jr is not a top 5 player. And if you compare him to MJ, you are simply playing yourself. If Horry Jr was hurt, that’s all the more reason why he should not be included in the Shock Exchange’s top 20.

  • Drig

    LOL……….Post-expansion NBA and its lack of parity my ass. NBA in every season had 3-4 contenders, 5-6 really good teams, 5 really young teams and the rest stuck in purgatory. What the last repeat Lakers did was nothing new. The Lakers had a title winning team in ’08, ’09 and ’10 ( despite the bench ). And they did mighty well getting 2 titles.

    2. L.A. never threw Odom under the bus. You’re deluded.

    3. So……..you’re talking about talent and not performance??? So tell me with a straight face that Clippers have “Exceptionally more talent” than any team in the L this year. Same with teh Spurs last year. You’re senseless.

    4. They are lazy and entitled. Just like Shaqobe lakers were. Your point being? And if what Gasobe Lakers did was underachieving, I don’t think any team achieved what was par for them.

    5……………And there’s the proof that you’re an idiot who doesn’t even consider team makeups………..

    6. Again, Showtime Magic was the only team which made 4 finals, won 3 titles and didn’t re-tool heavily in a 5-year stretch. And that doesn’t happen for teams which have no benches.

    7. So Kobe being hurt means Kobe should not be in Top 20? -_- ……… How does that work again?

    And tell me how OKC-Heat-Spurs-Celtics had worse teams than the Lakers the last 2 seasons?

    BTW, I sure do hope you also believe Shaq-Wade heat and the Spurs underachieved at different points during the decade……..

  • Mike From Spain

    You chose a fitting name for yourself.

  • Mike From Spain

    Let’s think of some swaps, for purely basketball reasons (not market or contract related). Lakers ship Kobe for Westbrook. Does OKC accept? Lakers send Kobe for Iguodala. What happens? Lakers call Miami and say ‘lets trade Kobe and DWade’. What do the Heat say? I included only players lower in the Slam list and playing similar positions (Westbrook could work as a #2 guard, and the others are SGs).

  • shockexchange

    1. There is no parity in this league. There is L.A. and everyone else. The Heat, OKC and Spurs are on the next rung down. Even teams in the cellar can’t help themselves via the draft. If you had read my book, SHOCK EXCHANGE, you would know this.
    2. Odom was thrown under the bus – he was traded.
    3. Just because you accuse the Clippers of being lazy/entitled doesn’t make the Lakers any less lazy/entitled. Stay focused Drigg.
    4. The “lazy/entitled” argument goes to show just how uber-talented L.A. is. Based on deductive reasoning – (a) L.A. “exceptionally more talented” than rest of L + (b) L.A. consistently bounced early in playoffs = (c) Horry Jr is not a top 5 player … not even close.
    5. When you have “exceptionally more talent” than the rest of the L, team makeup is irrelevant. Besides, when that Lakers squad previously won two chips, “team makeup” was apparently just fine. Quit making up excuses.
    6. The Shock Exchange won’t dignify this comment with a response. It is highly insulting to compare Show Time Magic teams to any of these watered down teams currently in the L. If you had read my book you’d know this.
    7. When Horry Jr gets healthy, learn to pass the ball to the open man, improve his basketball IQ (dump it in to Pau Gasol / D12 at the same ____ time), and shoot with more accuracy – 30 shots/game at 40% clip is unacceptable, the Shock Exchange would consider putting him at number 19 on the list.

  • shockexchange

    Drig, do yourself a favor … don’t answer this question. The Shock Exchange would hate for you to incriminate yourself. LOL.

  • Dagger

    I didn’t know that; thanks for posting this.

  • Drig

    What exactly are you getting at here???? Don’t think OKC or Miami would do that. But we’re not talking about who’s the better franchise cornerstone here. We’re talking about whether LAL was more talented than OKC etc. :|

  • Christian Dereks

    he’s not getting any more championships…maybe if he was to play 3-5 more seasons which isn’t gonna happen. the lakers are not gonna win the championship this year it’s gonna take time for them to learn how to play well together. i’m much more intrigued to see what kobe does after basketball,he’s such a piece of sh*t a##hole i wonder if he could be a analyst working with other former players

  • manu

    hardly

    boston didn’t even have jeff green, bradley, and oneal and miami still had to take 7 games

    overrated

  • Max

    Great

  • Max

    Get owned!!

  • Max

    LMAO

  • Max

    he ment the 10-11 season.

  • Max

    Bus throw under is a nice word lol.

  • Max

    This comment is so funny when you think of it..
    “Kobe’s load is there only because he puts it there”.
    “Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, all of these guys had more on them than Kobe.”

  • Max

    You can be by taking a lottery team single handedly to the finals..

  • Max

    Look back at last year’s playoffs and see how ya boy Kobe did when KD was guarding him.

  • Max

    Please reply mr great shockexchange, why do you call Kobe Horry Jr and do the ____ thingy?

  • lakers2013

    lol yeah thats if you take away KOBE…….which you wouldnt……DUMBASS

  • Max

    NO

  • Max

    NO.

  • Max

    Wrong

  • Max

    This tread need to have a “Kill yourself” button.
    Make it happen SLAM!

  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange will let Drig do the honors of explaining, since he monitors very closely everything the Shock Exchange says. If not I will fill you in later.

  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange will let Drig do the honors of explaining, since he monitors very closely everything the Shock Exchange says. If not I will fill you in later.

  • shockexchange

    Your answer is a de facto admission that at a minimum, Westbrook, Iguodala and Wade are better than Horry Jr. Three down and 12 more to go.

  • Max

    lol

  • LakeShow

    So I take it you don’t understand floor spacing what so ever?

  • LakeShow

    LMAO

  • Max

    Kobe giving some mad facials to all the PG’s lol

  • Casey

    How can a guy who is a high volume low % scorer be ranked #4? And that’s all Kobe is anymore is a scorer. Ridiculous. Better than Rondo, Westbrook, Love? But then again you have Rose ranked #23 and Carmelo #10 so you guys obviously have no idea what you’re doing.

  • Bob

    I would say any team with Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol is a championship contender. Howard went to the Finals with a Magic team that had Turkoglu as their second best player so pairing him with two players better than Hedo makes them an obvious title contender, Even without Kobe.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    it’s debatable. i was just making a point.

  • Drig

    wtf logic is that??? Those teams wouldn’t pull the trigger because they’d be giving up 5-6 years of contention atleast for a 2 year rental. Not because they’re better…….

  • shockexchange

    Let’s see, (i) Drig gets emotional, (ii) calls the Shock Exchange a name and (iii) begs SLAM for a new commenting system.

  • LakeShow

    I’m so bored already. I just can’t even get past you talking about Perkins… Bynum was nearly ineffective in both Championships… Bynum… And your talking about Perk missing. GTFO.
    Your so biased against Kobe and the Lakers. There’s no point in trying to get you to respect Kobe and the Lakers and that’s fine, because the last thing I or the Lakers need is your respect. Prepare to cry in June when Kobe beats LBJ for the O’Brien.

  • LakeShow

    Per 36 mins Kobe was better than Wade in 2010-2011. Stop trying to distort already distorted facts to fit your agenda.

  • LakeShow

    lol, nasty, but got me laughing good…

  • LakeShow

    We get it, you jerk off to LeBron allot. Congrats bro…

  • zogs19994

    DAWG YOUR NAME IS MAX, ILL EDIT THAT
    “DOG YOUR NAME IS MAX”

  • zogs19994

    NOT AT BEGINNING OF PRIME, YOU IDIOT

  • Max

    Dawg, if I take your name and put in a D instead of the Z, you would be Dogs, dawg.
    And Max aint my official name bro..

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    This is why you’re a complete joke and a disgrace to every good/true Lakers fan and every real basketball fan.

  • Bored

    are you serious? what do you mean by “NOT AT BEGINNING OF PRIME”? they basically share the same accolades up until they moved to their new teams, except LBJ got league MVP in his last 2 years at the Cavs. You idiot.

  • Bored

    he is better than Wade because he takes more clutch shots? if Kobe played more like Wade he wouldnt need to. the game would be a W already.

  • Bored

    haha! you crazy!

  • Bored

    good point

  • Bored

    wipe your mouth dude!

  • Bored

    (iii) is right on the money!

  • eyal

    This is a travesty.

  • Max

    So? …

  • shockexchange

    “Horry Jr” connotes the uncanny ability to align oneself with teams with “exceptionally more talent” than the rest of the league so you can win a chip, just like Robert Horry. The “same ____ time” thingy is a take on Future’s rap song “At the same ____ time.” If you’ve got two bad chicks at the same ____ time, then you’re ballin’ out of control. In a similar vein, if you’ve got two skilled 7 footers in the watered down NBA – the Lakers with Pau Gasol / Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol / D12 – then you’re ballin’ outta control and have no excuse not to win.

  • Max

    Strange, makes sense.
    Future sucks d!ck tho lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    or maybe they only worry about their own teams and shouldn’t really be relied upon to vote for awards? — award voting should be held by team scouts. If anyone.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    funny that you fail to mention Kobe shoots 36% with less than 5 minutes remaining in close games, —- and Kobe’s whole, 33FGA in the last 5 minutes compared to 6 assists per…..Kobe is not, anywhere close to, James/Paul/Durant in end of game situations. Sorry charlie.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    he left out a lot of important information.

  • coggie13

    Moses Malone, Charles Barkley couple more just outside the top 10.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.boland Evan Boland

    Lmao at CP3 > Kobe. At this point. I may still even go as far as to say LeBron > Kobe > Durant/Rondo

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.boland Evan Boland

    Yeah definitely as a 1 on 1 defender. Kobe still got some crazy hands though. Still a great defender. He just get’s beat off the dribble now. So does DWade.

  • Robert

    Well, I had him at no. 3 but at least SLAM showed more respect to Kobe than ESPN did. But one thing I’d like to say is that they prematurely gave Lebron the no. 1 spot. Really, Lebron only deserved it this year after finally winning that chip. But of course we all know Bron is SLAM’s baby like Iverson was.

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