NBA / Jun 17, 2009 / 6:32 pm

Dwyane Wade: “Kobe Bryant Is Still The Best Player In The Game”

Dwyane Wade (photo. Mannion)

Dwyane Wade (photo. Mannion)

It’s a day of statements. The rowdy emcee on the mic at the LA Coliseum anointed Phil Jackson the undisputed greatest coach of all time, while Phil wore that stupid “X” hat that looked like something that you’d make at a kiosk in the mall.

And now Dwyane Wade is making a statement of his own: Kobe Bryant is the best basketball player in the game today.

“I believe that Kobe Bryant is still the best player in the game, his experience and his overall talent. It’s not taking away from LeBron, it’s not taking away from Carmelo, it’s not taking away from myself,” Wade told ESPN Radio Chicago. “Kobe has been in the game longer than the rest of us, he’s older than us, he’s smart with the game. He’s the better player.”

Wade’s proclamation falls directly in line with our own Austin Burton’s comparison between Kobe and Derek Jeter.

Nevermind the ring count: This is how Kobe has truly set himself apart from Shaq. For any athlete, once they stop talking about your actual talent and statistics and instead fawn over your “desire” and “clutch” and “mental toughness,” you’ve made it to a different level of legend status. Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Lance Armstrong, Brett Favre … this is the class Kobe has been on the doorstep of entering for years, the class everybody wanted to put him in, the class he finally joined last night with his first post-Shaq championship and Finals MVP.

Wade’s support for Kobe lies in Mamba’s basketball intelligence, an amorphous, hard-to-define attribute. That’s different from the general praise we hear about LeBron – his freakish athleticism, his strength, his vertical jump. Like the rest of our world swept up in the debate about “the greatest,” Wade defines Kobe as having attributes that others still haven’t attained.

Source: Real GM

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  • http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-phil-jackson17-2009jun17,0,6829575.story Chilirey

    “Stupid X Cap” backstory by Laker Beat Writer.

    *Lakers’ Phil Jackson caps off win in style*
    By Mike Bresnahan – June 17, 2009

    The yellow “X” cap he wore a few minutes after the Lakers won the NBA title spawns a deluge of calls from fans wanting one.

    What started as a small gift from a pair of agents to their well-known client has taken off in an unexpected direction.
    The yellow “X” cap that Lakers Coach Phil Jackson donned a few minutes after the Lakers won the NBA championship on Sunday in Orlando, Fla., spawned a deluge of phone calls to the office of Jackson’s father-and-son agent team of Todd and Brian Musburger.
    Jackson initially thought his sons and daughters created the cap for him, but the Musburgers made it as a symbol of Jackson’s winning his 10th NBA championship as a coach.
    The dates of Jackson’s championship coaching seasons were inscribed on the side of the cap — six of his championships came with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, the other four with the Lakers this decade.
    “Our office has been flooded with calls for them,” Todd Musburger said. “We never expected it to mushroom. We expected it to be a private gift to our friend.”
    The Musburgers have decided to sell the cap for $25 through collegefund.org.
    All proceeds will go to the American Indian College Fund, as per Jackson’s wishes, Musburger said.

  • doug

    Huh, no comments from all the bron zombies…yall this is the reality as much as you guys hate Kobe..he’s the best player in the L coming from a player that some of you don the best player, D.Wade said it, all the greats have said it,hell even Lebron has said it. Kobe is the best doing it til you prove him wrong. Everyone Fall Back the Parade on Fig was nuts, one of the highest parade turn outs in North American sports history. K-Hova ya heard!

  • bobby s

    D Wade sure looks like a douchebag in that picture

  • doug

    LOL,yeah real fugazi.

  • Tbest

    What’s wrong with Phil’s hat?

  • danksy

    hey dude phil’s grand kids made that hat, show some respect. Good article though, thumbs up

  • Mase

    Weak calling that “X” hat stupid Katz. Given with love, and if it looks cheesy to you, no one can touch it. Weak.

  • http://www.lakersnation.com Lakers Nation Dot Com

    I agree . . . Katz again shows how worthless he is to the Dime Magazine Staff

  • dk

    This is coming from the second greatest player today and probably the the 5th best player of all time, go figure!

  • doug

    DK did you just say d-wade is the 5th greatest player of all-time?

  • Yoooo

    I know this guy didnt call DWade the 5th best player ever

  • doug

    I’ll just take that as sarcasm from DK.Otherwise, that’s a ridiculous statment.

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    Those small pockets of time when you know what should be done and how to do it,while opponents are clueless.By the time most pros can truly dial into most of them they are too old to perform.sad reality.

    that’s what kobe has that dwade n em don’t.Nobody cheats time though.even money couldn’t.then they’ll beg him to leave.I rank him in my all time top 10 or better when he’s done.

    c’est la vie

  • doug

    I agree, put him in my top 5 right now though.

  • hooper5013

    HUH? D. Wade 5th best in the game? NEGATIVE. Mike Magic Larry Russel Wilt Kobe the rest of them dudes is next best. You can put Mike first and the rest of them put in whatever order you’d like.

  • http://deleted Luigi

    no..its impossible to make a top 5 list without argument…i can name 20 right now

    MJ
    Magic
    Bird
    Erving
    Wilt
    Russell
    West
    Robertson
    Baylor
    Stockton
    Hakeem
    Ewing
    Barkley
    Robinson
    Kareem
    Drexler
    English
    Moncrief
    Parrish
    McHale

    these arnt all in order. but you can see. theres 20 alredy. n these are all on the top of my head. n u cant base skill set on the way the game was played back then. u just cant…

    but my top 5 right now…

    Kobe
    Wade
    LBJ
    Melo
    CP3

    i could put some bias there n put Agent Zero up there but im smarter than that haha

  • http://yahoo ray skillz

    Kobe is still the best, but LBJ and D-Wade are on his heels! He might only have one more year to hold’em off…well maybe two, but thats it!!!!

    He is where he deserves to b, on top! His greatness is finally being recognized by everyone.

    He’s always shined, he’s just being seen in a new light!! This is the brighter side of the “black mamba”, he still can smile.

    Just like anyone else he has two sides, but all of the previous negatives comments and views about him only chose to show u one of them.

    Congrads kobe, u and the Lakers did it!

  • dk

    Wade singlehandedly led his team to the second round as a rookie in the MODERN DAY NBA, then turns around and puts ring on. At waht age again? Wade is going to smatter records and could bypass Kobe ass the all time best. Not counting MJ, of course. All you idiots talking Wilt, Russel, Mchale, get a fucking clue about basketball. Wilt etc wouldnt do shit to the bigs nowadays.

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    Luigi,how dare you bring logic into this ?!
    i meant top 10 shooting guards of all time when he’s done

    Haha !!

    me,

    genius.

  • Gerard

    Yo I gotta say it: everybody overlooks the man. The one dude that one titles with completely different squads. The one that has never had a team in jeopardy of missing the playoffs (Shaq with Suns) or been selfish enough to make the whole game about him. Tim Duncan is the greatest. I don’t care that Kobe has matched him in the titles department, Timmy D is a better player and will always have more respect.

  • Gerard

    ^edit WON titles

  • ponky_alolor

    @ 20, are u saying Tim duncan is the greatest player of all time? I mean he’s widely regarded as the greatest PF of all time but MJ has the GOAT status as of the last time I checked.

  • Thats my boy Blue

    ‘Sota trading Al Jefferson and the sixth pick for Stoudemire….Why? Guess the stupidity didnt leave with McHale.

    http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/extras/celtics_blog/2009/06/jefferson_on_mo.html

  • dk

    @23 and the 6th pick. Both players have iffy knees…

    IDK what to think lol

  • jzsmoove

    At least I aint the only one that thinks hat was dope. I almost choked on my breakfast cereal when the article said the hat was stupid. Looks like someone else is looking mighty stupid right now, we’ll refer to it as AK.

  • Michorizo

    I think the players’ opinions carry the argument with more wieght than anyone else. You don’t truly know who the best is until you actually play against them. The players have spoken and KOBE is the best.

  • bigdoggchad

    @DK Wade is going to be 28 in January and can’t stay healthy due to his style of play. He is a great player but I don’t see him surpassing any of Kobe’s numbers.I don’t even like Kobe. Kobe is 30 years old and has scored 23,820 career points not including playoffs. Wade at 27 years old has 9,922 career points not including playoffs.

  • LakeShow84

    Funny how no one has even mentioned Bron yet..

    Guess you guys are waiting for the season to start so Lebron can drop his same numbers and bricks to proclaim him the “best” again..

    And Andrew Katz is the biggest Laker hater around.. even worst than Kriegel.. and dont go blow ur wad Katz.. im just comparing haters.. not writers.. you aint up there yet pal :)

  • LakeShow84

    @ DK

    Now that the season is over and we dont have to act unified lemme say it..

    You say some weird shit sometimes lol

  • karizmatic

    To me it still depends on how you define “best” To me Lebron is the most dominant player in the game, no one is going to match his athleticism as far as power and speed etc. But the player with the most skill and best fundamental floor game is Kobe, and it’s true none of the other players in the league match that yet.

    But at what point does the smarts and fundamentals not matter anymore? LBJ is the only player in the league capable of putting the numbers he puts up. Charles Barkley said himself that if you trade Kobe with Lebron on the Lakers, the Lakers are a better team with Lebron. Personally I think at this point Lebron is the best player in the league, with Kobe second and Wade a very close third. But if you want to split hairs you can say Kobe is the most skilled and LBJ is the most dominant.

  • karizmatic

    @ Lakeshow, are you happy now, I just mentioned LBJ.

  • LakeShow84

    @ Karizmatic..

    Good shit.. a legit arguement! but what Barkeley’s drunk (and constantly wrong) ass doesnt realize is that Lebron CONTSTANTLY massages the ball in his system.. he is the end all be all of his offense so those numbers are actually attainable.. NOT to say anyone can average 8 & 8 plus 30 but if you trade Kobe and Lebron and put Lebron with Phil’s system he wouldnt drop the same #’s cuz the system is team oriented.. remember that brief second Rudy was coachin the Lakers?? Kobe was putting up triple-double #’s too.. but in Phil’s system its a different story..

    Lebron is athletically dominating but painfully predictable.. plus he gets the benefit of the whistle in ANY situation.. Shit someone please tell me Kobe gets the same calls that Lebron gets.. as far as DOMINANT goes.. i hate to say it but it aint hard to be dominant in the East.. how many defensive oriented teams are even in the east?? 2 and Cleveland is one of them.. Houston, Utah, San Antonio, Denver and even some scrubby teams like Oklahoma & Memphis are trying to get in the act..

    Thats all IMO of course..

  • bigdoggchad

    Wow! LakeShow84 are you kidding me? You actually think Kobe doesn’t get the benefit of the whistle? There are 3 teams in the East who play great defense.(Bos,Orl,Cle)

  • LakeShow84

    @ BIGDOGGCHAD

    sometimes he whines for nothing but sometimes he whines cuz ITS REAL SHIT.. And Orlando doesnt play good D they just have the DPOY.. When have Turoglu and/or Shard ever been considered good defenders??

    If Kobe gets calls how why are players allowed to handcheck him on the 3 point line?? isnt that illegal?? Why are players like Battier allowed to hold his jersey when he drives into the paint?? isnt that a foul?? Shit how many times does he get fouled on his followthrough for his J?? LOL

    i aint saying he NEVER gets calls but he damn sure dont get calls like Lebron.. Lol just watch the Orlando/Cavs series.. that shit was insulting to REAL hoop watchers everywhere.. then watch Kobe against Orlando in the Finals.. dude was getting smacked.. Shit watch the closing minutes of game 4 and tell me Lebron wouldve been treated like that..

  • karizmatic

    I don’t think the whistle argument is a legitimate argument at this point the only player who attacks the rim like Lebron is Wade and they get the benefit of “phantom” calls, when Kobe attacks the basket he gets those calls as well, but he doesn’t attack the basket nearly as much or with as much reckless abandon as either Wade or LBJ at this point in his career.

    @ Lakeshow, you can say Kobe could have put up similar numbers in a different system, and 2 or 3 years ago that might very well have been true, but I am talking about currently. It is my humble opinion that Kobe is on a decline physically and simply can’t do some of the things he used to do, and that slight slip in athletic ability has allowed a raw player like LBJ to overtake him as far as dominance is concerned. In addition, not only Barkley said this, but Kenny Smith did as well, was he drunk too?

    In any case I’ve said this before on here. I believe the argument comes down to the same principle as the argument between Shaq and Hakeem… early in Shaq’s career, Hakeem was always more skilled than Shaq and could dominate the game that way. Shaq had sheer size and power on his side and dominated the game in such a way that rules had to be changed to account for him. I believe it is the same with Kobe and Lebron, Kobe definitely has the more polished game, and probably always will, but Lebron has the ability to impact the game in such a way that Kobe probably never will be able to because of his size and speed. I think at this point Lebron has matured enough that he is better that Kobe in terms of overall impact. Kobe is a more skilled player, Lebron is more dominant.

  • LakeShow84

    Ehhhhhhhhh i dunno..

    i think your shooting at dominant physically.. but being able to dunk and be faster doesnt mean you dominate THE COURT neccessarily.. When those 2 are out there together people HOPE Lebron will dominate kobe and prove they point but we all see Kobe is the better player..

    look at the olympics.. Dwade dominated most the time and when push came to shove Kobe took over while Lebron looked like a kid watching the stars.. for all his size and speed he disappeared..

  • karizmatic

    I’m not really shooting at dominante physically altogether. If I wanted to point at specific points in LBJ’s game that are already better than Kobe, I would have to say he is actually a better passer, he’s a better weakside shot blocker, and there are a lot of players in the game that can jump just as high as Lebron and are at least in the ballpark as far as speed that don’t do the same things Lebron does (Josh Smith comes to mind). Lebron can probably play all 5 positions on the floor, at least 4 out of 5, Lebron has many skills and is beginning to polish his game. I don’t ever think he will have the footwork of a Kobe,(just as Shaq never developed the footwork of Hakeem) but I think Lebron brings other things to the table that Kobe does not have as much an abundance of, such as court vision, a better knack for rebounding, and a willingness to track the ball better on the weak side, I also think LBJ has some intangible Kobe doesn’t have, but intangibles inevitably are in the eye of the beholder.

  • Dre

    To me is tied bewteen Kobe and Lebron. Lebron’s sheer athletic ability… gives him the edge in that. Kobe’s shooting and defense gives him an edge. Lebron’s court vision and passing gives him and edge. This ends up in a tie… I don’t count rings because one team is better then the other.

  • QQ

    Gotta side with Karizmatic on this one.

  • dragonyeuw

    Talk all you about Lebron’s athletic dominance, Kobe’s still the most feared player with the game on the line.

  • LakeShow84

    I feel ya Kariz..

    However as a SF and being built as he is Lebron is SUPPOSED to grab those boards.. Its the responsibility of the PG & SG to get back to prevent cherry picking so any rebounds Kobe grabs is considered a bonus (unless the opposing SG posts up but how often does that happen)..

    If Lebron has ANYTHING on Kobe it is his passing ability and thats hands down..

    Also being a weak side shot is one of the main duties of a good SF.. If Kobe does it once again its a bonus..

  • Alan

    overall talent and understanding of the game, plus passion all together it would

    This how it will be when its closer for Kobe to RETIRE:

    1. Jordan
    2. kobe
    3. magic
    4. wilt
    5. russel
    6. bird

    and so on… What Kobe has proven and done over the years has been incredible to see and the things he has done that the other have not is rediculous… hes 30 and has still good 6 years especially with that jump shot… u are crazy not to see his knowledge of game where hes like a coach showing and making his teammates better by showing them and leading them…

  • http://Yahoo.com Bhemis Parks

    You think Wade really means that… in the 11 games the two have played each other, Wade owns in every catagory outside of scoring.
    Kobe has a 6-5 edge in winning but 2 of those came with Shaq on his side and Wade being a rookie. He also got two wins in the 2007-2008 season when Wade and the Heat were dealing with injuries.

    Wade is being modest at best. He points to things like experience that give Kobe the edge… never does he suggest that his ability is anyless than that of Kobe.

  • deeso

    Wade had the best season this year in terms of numbers and clutch play.

    Lebron had a better playoffs. Even better than Kobe’s.
    Kobe wasn’t amazing in the Finals. He played smart and hard.

    Lebron is the best player in the league regardless of what team you throw him on. How was the team oriented LA triangle working in 05-06 when Kobe averaged 35 and tossed in an 81 point game?

    Wade and Kobe do things I can appreciate but at the end of the day it’s real easy for me to pick Lebron over those 2.

    Wade and Lebron are basically welcoming Kobe into the player fraternity that Kobe wasn’t much a part of with the dudes he played with earlier in his career. Kobe is the older guy in the crew that they big up and side with when Shaq throws verbal jabs. It only helps that Kobe is freakin nasty on the court. LOL

  • jack

    I think Dwayne Wade going to the Lakers at the last two or three years of Kobe’s Carrer would be awsome, Kobe could teach Dwayne how to make some impossible shots that he has mad (even thought Dwayne respectivly has made crazy or impossible shots himself).Kobe and Dwayne win some Championships together giving Dwayne at least 3 or 4 Championship rings and 2 or 3 Finals MVP awards and when Kobe retires Dwayne Wade can be the next big thing in L.A, surrond him with a bunch of good players maby Labron so he can get some Championships with Dwayne and the Lakers.

  • b_jamez007

    ….If Jeezy’s paying LeBron…I’m paying Dwyane Wade…..

  • http://yahoo.fr pierre guelson theluscat

    I think it’s not scientificly correct to say Kobe or Lebron is the best nba player now. Both brings their individual talent in order to make NBA interesting. We’ve to take into consideration they’re are not the same generation.
    In addition, Lebron has a penetration that Kobe, even Jordan doesn’t ( didn’t) have. However, Kobe has a good shoot, and he can easily takes good decision at the end of the game, he frequent proves it. So, Who’s the best? Anyone, each one is master in his field.
    Pierre

  • Banes

    bobby S is homosexual. the article is about wade’s thoughts on kobe but you’re looking at his physical appearance. again homosexual

    anyhoo, yes Wade was right in what he said and this isn’t up for debate you dummies