NBA / Aug 23, 2010 / 4:45 pm

The Standard: How the NBA’s young stars measure up to Kobe

Kobe Bryant (photo. Nike)

Today is the Kobe Bryant‘s 32nd birthday. Growing old? Not quite.

At 32, Bryant is arguably the NBA’s best player, and according to some, not far from MJ on the list of greatest ever. The 14-year veteran has been a 12-time All-Star, 10-time All-Defensive Team selection, 12-time All-NBA selection, has earned five NBA championship rings, one Olympic gold medal, one league MVP, two scoring titles, one slam dunk title, is the L.A. Lakers’ all-time leading scorer, and recorded the League’s second-highest scoring single game when he dropped 81 points on the Toronto Raptors in January 2006. This adds up to the best career of any current player in the league.

The scary part about all of this is that Kobe’s still adding on to that list. At 32 years young, it seems as if Bryant is fueled to win now more than ever. His desire to patent his legacy as one of the greatest to ever hit the hardwood is growing each day. As we reflect on Bryant’s career, we predict where some of the NBA’s younger superstars will be at the 32-year mark.

Chris Paul is the leader of the new school of NBA point guards. Ever since his rookie year in ’05, there has been little argument that CP3 is the best PG in the league, even with back-to-back MVP Steve Nash still in Phoenix.

At 25 years old, Paul has achieved some impressive feats. He has been selected to the All-NBA team and All-Defensive Team twice so far and has broken a few records. Paul holds the record for most consecutive games with a steal (108), and tied Jordan’s single-season mark for most games with a steal (80). He also has led the NBA in assist two times. Paul could have added onto that list recently had he not been hampered by injury. He can’t afford to get hurt if he wants to continue to hold the title of best PG. There is too much competition, from Deron Williams to Derrick Rose to Brandon Jennings.

If Paul wants to be known as one of the best PG’s of all time, he is going to need to continue his dominance as well as bringing some new help to New Orleans. In order to be the best you have to beat the best, so Paul will have to lead the Hornets — assuming he doesn’t get traded soon — past the likes of other big names in the Western Conference such as Bryant, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony (for now), and frankly, I just don’t see that happening in the upcoming years. By the time he hits age 32, Paul might be revoked of his best-PG title by the likes of D-Rose, but will still be viewed as one of the best point guards in the League.

Carmelo Anthony has the NBA on its heels anticipating his decision whether to stay with the Nuggets or join a new franchise. This decision could play a major role in Carmelo’s chances of improving his legacy or damaging it.

Carmelo has been a four-time All-NBA selection, and a three-time All-Star. It seems as if he is just one step away from achieving greatness, but always falls short. ‘Melo is currently 26 years old and is getting better and better. Some would even say ‘Melo is the best/most complete offensive player in the League because he makes it look so easy and can score from anywhere.

If he chooses to leave the Nuggets and join forces with other superstars on another team, I think he would be doing himself a disservice, especially if he goes East. If he stays in Denver and lets the franchise rebuild around him, come age 32, they could be the best team in the Western Conference. The Laker run is only going to last so long, and after Kobe falls off, the West is up for grabs. ‘Melo could be at the forefront of that opportunity if he stays in Denver. As far as his game goes, he’s only going to get better in the upcoming years.

Kevin Durant is the future. It’s almost scary to see how good he’s becoming and entering his fourth NBA season, he has already won the Rookie of the Year, and last season became the youngest scoring champion ever. Durant stands 6-10 and plays with incredible guard skills. There is nobody that he can’t shoot over, so he creates his own shots with ease. He scoring ability is raw, and he’s incredibly versatile. Durant is truly a unique player and in his own class simply because he has quickness, and athleticism which is unmatched against any other competitor his height.

At 21 years old, Durant is the chosen one to lead Team USA at the World Championship this summer, which speaks volumes about his game, work ethic and maturity. Last year Durant led the Thunder to the playoffs and gave the Lakers their most difficult series. Even before LeBron, Wade, Bosh and the Heat, or ‘Melo and the Nuggets, I think Durant and the Thunder will be the team that finally knocks Kobe off of his high horse in the postseason. By the time he hits 32, Durant will be leading the Thunder into the NBA Finals for several years running, competing for ‘chips against the Heat dynasty, and eventually he will knock them off their high horse as well.

At 28 years old, D-Wade is in his 7th year in the League. So far he’s been a six-time All-Star, earned one championship ring, one Finals MVP, one scoring title, and has been named All-NBA five times and the All-Defensive Team three times.

To catch Kobe, he would need to win a ring every year for the next four years, which is a definite possibility. Armed with new firepower, the sky is the limit for the South Beach super-friends (Wade, LeBron and Bosh). Accompanied by two new superstars — one of them being King James — it may be hard for Wade to increase his numbers individually seeing as how he won’t have to do it all for the team anymore, or dominate the ball as much with King James on the court. In my opinion, Wade will win more team achievements as opposed to adding on to his individual accolades in upcoming years.

Wade’s game is based around his athleticism, which can tend to diminish with age (in most cases). So if Wade wants to continue being an individual force, he’s going to have to learn that middle-age fade away. Wade will continue to be a perennial All-Star and will be winning championships in the near future, so come age 32, I don’t think Wade will be the least bit disappointed. Plus he’ll most likely always have one more ring than LeBron.

This summer LeBron James made the quickest transition from most-loved athlete to most-hated athlete I’ve ever seen, shocking the world with his decision. It is easy to see that LeBron is the most high profile player in the League and arguably the best talent that the NBA has ever seen already.

At age 25, Bron’s list of achievements are measly compared to what it has the potential to be. So far, he’s been the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, two-time league MVP, six-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA, one-time scoring champion, and two-time All-Defensive. Seven years from now, when LeBron is 32 years old, that list will be much longer.

LeBron shows no signs of slowing down until he gets what he wants (championships). He has gotten better every year and it has come to the point now where there is no telling how good he could actually get. Individual accolades are not LeBron’s focus, but that won’t stop him from adding onto the list of individual achievements. It’s in Miami’s best interest to make LeBron the focal point of the team, since he is the best distributor and has the ability to make everyone better. If Miami succeeds and exceeds expectations, LeBron will receive most of the praise, since he will be dominating the ball more so than the other players.

All the hate Bron has been receiving as of late is only fuel to his fire, he claims, and inspiring him to take his game to a whole new level. At 32 years old, LeBron will re-define what the term “best player” really means. If there is anyone in the League that could average a triple-double, it’s LeBron, especially with Wade and Bosh as his supporting cast. People forget that Kobe himself once made the transition from most-loved to most-hated, and I think Bron will make people forget all about it just like Kobe did. Come age 32, Bron will be steps short of becoming the best to ever play the game of basketball.

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  • jm

    Please don’t throw Brandon Jennings into the best pf mix with names like Paul and Williams. It is way too early for that. I would put Rondo and Rose in the category of next tier with those 2. Jennings…not yet.

  • jm

    * meant pg

  • https://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    “Come age 32, Bron will be steps short of becoming the best to ever play the game of basketball.”

    Wow that is a HUGE statement. Can’t really agree cause so much could happen between now and then.

    LOL smh wow that is a HUGE statement.

    Should have drop this one earlier, would be at 100 post easy by now.

  • 12thMan

    No one will forget about what Lebron did because that display of weakness and lack of competitive edge has never been seen before. We’re gonna see the curious case of a guy who plays at superstar level and wins, but never really cares about it. It’s gonna be interesting to see how people react to that..

  • http://twitter.com/therealknowbody Mr. Brogden


    July 11th, 2010 at 9:12 am
    Mr. Brogden says:

    “Y’all thought his MJ-ish ability was DYNAMITE. Well, wait to you see this guy GO HARD on his MAGIC sh*t. With his Gold Medal Olympian Highly Talented Friends. EXPLOSIVE….

    “YOU, YOU, and YOU might begin to redefine how you define what/who is the BEST.”


    Dime, can i get my own blog…NOW?????

  • http://tolulope.edun@gmail.com Y.G.

    NOBODY!!! KB24 is just on a level that the other players can’t get reach yet. The man has the total package: mid-range jumper, 3 point game, post-up game, getting to the rack going left or right, lockdown defender, high basketball IQ, & most importantly the kid is clutch. D-Wade & LBJ gave up their chance to be on KB24’s level when they created the super team, so that only leaves ‘Melo & KD(they can’t even carry his gym bag) And for the haters that keep predicting his downfall due to age…. Keep dreaming! Ha! Happy G’day Black Mamba! Rest up for the 3peat.

  • Captain Fantastic

    Kobe is best since MJ. Will stay that way for years to come.

  • Heckler

    by 32yrs old, will the following players still be in the league?

    Greg Oden
    Michael Beasley
    JR Smith
    Yao Ming
    Adam Morrison


    No Brandon Roy? haha you are CRAZY.

  • srb

    You forgot Paul Pierce.

  • nella

    Wow…I thought this article was legit, then I got to the Lebron slurping at the end.

    No signs of slowing down? How about the lack of a developed jump shot, no post moves, no footwork beyond a bull rush to the hoop.

    If you think that will still fly when Lebron is 32 you gotta be kidding me. 270 lbs. on your joints when your legs start to go is not going to look good unless you get some actual skills.

  • Stunnaboy09

    Is it Kobe-love fest week here at dime, geez leave this guys duck alone. I know Bron taking his talents to SOuth Beach and LA winning it again puts Kobe on top of the “everyone loves him” list but am I the only one sick of hearing how kobe is the BEST player right now. Overall no doubt he is but he regressed lasy year (yes injurie I know) and Bron improved yet somehow Kobe is better? Can someone please fill me in on this? I know he wont he ring but didn’t doesn;t it say LA Lakers on the ring and not Kobe, Gasol, Artest, Bynum, Fisher and Phil all played huge roles if I recall.

    Another thing I don’t get is the idea that your greatest is measured by the championships you win. Like I said, don’t TEAMS win championships and players win MVP? Shouldn’t the MVP hold a more substancial look into how good a player is than his rings? Besides Hakeem no one has ever done it by themselves and im tired of people saying Kobe has 5 rings he was better than bron last year while Bron won the MVP

  • drew

    @ nella

    how good can he be? much better if he actually had a post game, especially considering someone at 6-8 and 260.

    average a triple double? highly doubt that if he’s sharing the ball with wade and bosh. this isn’t just going to be a “give the ball to lebron” and get out of the way offense of mike brown’s.

    lebron may be the greatest athlete the nba has seen, but best player? c’mon dime. you guys gotta start hiring some better writers.

  • LakeShow84

    @ Stunnaboy

    I feel you.. as someone who’s watched dude get thrown thru the ringer im kinda disgusted with all the Kobe love nowadays.. Everyone so quick to jump back on the wagon..

    SO WACK..

    So i feel you man.. But ummmmmm he still is the best as of right now :)

    Cuz ill say Kobe Bryant takes last years CLE team to the Finals.. only to play himself in LA which would make for some interesting TV..

    Seriously tho MVP is the regular season award.. and all NBA pundits know the real season starts in late April..

  • George W Kush Sr

    “….I don’t think Wade will be the least bit disappointed. Plus he’ll most likely always have one more ring than LeBron.”

    I had to laugh, so true.

  • Stunnaboy09

    At least a Laker fan agrees with me on all the Kobe love,

    I stil say he wasn;t the bets player last year simply because of injury, dude has SO many problems with his knee, back and finger and I jsut can’t see him leading say, Cleveland to the Finals. Fully healthy, maaaybe, his shot selection is a bit off and he can solo of sometimes, however when he is on no one comes close.

    As of being the best, I’ma STILL go out and say over the last 2 years Bron is SLIGHTLY better than Kobe. It may be a small margin but it still means something, Bron is the best regular season player in the L whiel Kobe is the best post season. Bron is the best when thngs are going smoove, Kobes the guy you want when the chips all fall down. Who do I want on my team?

    Hurts me to say it.

    Kobe Bean Bryant.

  • Big Mike

    You hit it right on the head. The best player is there in the playoffs and when things get tough, not when they get good. Lebron is a frontrunner. His skillset is nowhere near KB24. Alot of people think Bron’s is better because of his athleticism but that’s different than skills. Skills will always be there, athleticism won’t.

  • JAX

    Sigh…the real point here is that Kobe has mentally reached the point of superstardom. LeBron has not. LeBron is definitely physically better right now. But he has NO KILLER INTINCT YET!! Jordan was bad as hell for 7 years also but couldn’t win until his mentality to take no prisoners evolved. He used to have the “Breakfast Club” during the summers (intense morning workouts with Scottie, Horace, etc) when they finally put it all together. THAT’S when Jordan took off. We caught a glimpse of LeBron having that ability when he destroyed Boston in Boston (game 3?) but didn’t finish them off the rest of the series. Imagine if LeBron said forget all the hype, goes underground and SERIOUSLY gets in mental shape. Come talk with Kobe then…

  • MSL

    I’m tired or talking about Kobe, cause someone in your offices decided it was a good subject this summer.

    Why? Don’t we have more interesting things to talk about, with everything that’s happened with Miami, Team USA, Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Rose, Rondo, Carmelo, Chris Paul, Fiba, coaching, coaches, etc.

    I know it’s a slow time. But I’m (and I’m sure many others) are tired of talking about Kobe with simplistic arguments.

    Think of another subject please?

  • NYC

    I”ll take WAde instead Jax, Mike and Stunnaboy.

    He’s the best combination of Kobe and Lebron.

    He’s more skilled than Lebron and more athletic than Kobe.

    He’s not a chucker/ball hog like Kobe (.i.e he passes and is a good passer), but he’s also got the killer instinct to take your heart out, unlike Lebron!

    Yeah. I’ll take Wade!

    actually I think Dime slurps both players P*icks (Kobe, Lebron).

  • bullish513

    First off…Brandon Jennings, not a top 10 pg ( I know he’s only a rook but fg% way too low). Lbj is on pace to have a better career ( 27,7,7 ,48%). I know he’s gonna be on a different team so his role will change, but if he can avg a triple double or close to it? It won’t matter if his scoring avg goes down some. Dwade, the best 2 in the game probably won’t have a chance because of his all out style (injuries). Still keeping my eye on KD…

  • bullish513

    Oh yeah Carmelo could pull a Syracuse if he had healthy help ( NY with Tony P and Amare…If Brandon Roy stays healthy he could be in the discussion.

  • Bigdoggchad

    Man everyone is on durant’s nuts! Had one good season and lost in the first round now his name is on the MVP trophy and the thunder are representing the west in the finals.

  • Dayinho

    Playoffs don’t lie. I agree with 12.
    Kobe was good last three years and clutch during the SR but his stats against the C’s don’t lie.
    Lebron was better against the C’s than Kobe AND Wade was better against the same defense than both.

    But Kobe is playing with Gasol (20&10) and a HOF coach whereas Wade and Lebron used to play with nobody and beginner coach.You can’t compare.
    The only thing I know is that Kobe was not dominant against Boston. Can we say that he’s at the same level than MJ? No way.
    He’s not the better player right now.

  • Bojangles

    Few points to make:

    1. Just because the LAKERS won the title, is it a requirement to say Kobe is the best in the league? Give some credit to the team around him (especially Pau Gasol). Plus for all those who say “when all the chips are on the table, I take Kobe”: this actually happened, Game 7, he shot 6-24.

    2. Piggybacking on that statement, as much as I hate what Lebron did this summer, in my mind he is still clearly the MVP and best player in the league. Anyone who says Kobe is better: put Lebron on the Lakers. I find it hard to think any true basketball fan could say that team doesn’t cruise to the title.

    3. Finally, to the statement that Kobe’s career stands as the best of any current player in the NBA: this is arguable but far from obvious fact. Tim Duncan has four titles as the best player on his team, without the assistance of a Top 30 of all-time player. Plus two MVPs to Kobes one, and three finals MVPs. Could also throw Shaq in here, he won three titles as his teams Alpha Male and when he was at his best, was the most dominant player of the past 15 years.

  • Ace_One

    kobe bryant: game 7 nba finals. 6-24 shooting. ’nuff said.

  • drew


    MJ game 6 clincher 96 finals… 5-19FG.

    seems like people have selective memory when it comes to downplaying kobe.

  • AZ

    Didn’t timmy have david in the first chip (pretty damn good player)..manu could and maybe should of won the finals mvp against the pistons..Never won back to back chip.. love tim but he’s ain’t at that mvp level no more or will be. Kobe kinda still there and been there.

  • AZ

    Too bad Manu didn’t play most his career in the nba, cuz he would be deadly with or without td

  • Ace_One

    @drew. you aren’t serious? what are you trying to say? that jordan had bad nights? are you saying that Kobe was really the most valuable player in the finals this year?

    come on. He had one good game, right? .400 shooting average? I’m not even going to look this up, no way Jordan shot a worst finals average than what Kobe did this year.

    kobe takes consistently poor shots. he makes some difficult baskets but there is no way this guy is even remotely close to Jordan. at all.

  • one_zero

    15 fucking rebound, enough said.

  • Andy

    I think people hate LeBron because of the infamous decision. However, there is i think one more thing why he doesn’t get credit. He is gifted with fantastic athleticism. Think about it, at his size, 10-15 years ago, he would be a power forward. Yet LeBron has the speed and quickness of a guard, combined with the strength of a big guy. This is the source of his performance. He has limited jump shooting ability, he isn’t a threat from downtown ( people leave him open at the 3 point line, and they do that for a reason..), and no post game, as well as some of the worst footwork in the league. And he has been the same for all his seasons in the league.
    Mj and Kobe, that’s a different story. When MJ came in the league, he was a great dunker. Same for Kobe. Spectacular guys, but couldn’t hit the jumper. What did they do? Got better at it! Worked, really hard, and long, to get there. Kobe improved each season, adding to his array of skills, be it the jumper, the post game, the 3 point shooting, and the defense.
    That is why people will keep hating LeBron and loving Kobe and MJ. LeBron doesn’t appear to be truly interested in improving his ability. He doesn’t work at it. By the time he’s 32? I don’t know. All that burn ( he does play serious minutes, and that won’t change) might lead to some injuries…When he gets older, and his athleticism will be gone, the only way he keeps up the performance is if he develops the kind of old man game that Paul Pierce plays. I really don’t know how it will play out. However, i will tell you who has the insane level of determination that MJ displayed: Kobe. And that’s why i’d pick him any day.

  • riccardo

    Please stop with this Melo-should-stay-in-Denver-nonsense.
    You wrote Denver is going to the Finals and then OKC is goin’ to the Finals for years to come. So I guess you foresee a Oklahoma City-Denver rialry coming up, hu? With Lakers, Rockets, Spurs, Mavs magically disappearing in the sunset, right?

    Melo stays there, he’s not going to win ANY ring, period.
    He goes to NY, with Amare and TP or CP, AT LEAST one.

    Time for Dime to hire good writers

  • g2k

    Who from the list above will be the next Penny, T-Mac, Steve Francis or Stephon Marbury? Unstoppable last year and then just drop off

  • Jay10do

    Kobe will never be better than Jordan period. DPOY don’t never for get that

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    Just wanted to point something out in your post…
    “10-15 years ago, he would be a power forward. Yet LeBron has the speed and quickness of a guard, combined with the strength of a big guy.”
    How can he have this combination but have “some of the worst footwork in the league”.
    -he has good feet, he just travels all the time.

    Other than that, great post. I agree with everything else you said. Lebwrong is naturally gifted and seems to accept that and doesn’t really add anything else to make him better.

    The best separate themselves from the rest by working hard even at the pinnacle of success.

  • Jay10do

    Lebron is the best player as of right now!

  • Pat

    You serious man? Saying the Thunder gave the lakers their most challenging series. Did you watch the NBA finals? L.A barely beat Boston. Also for young stars you have to include Brandon Roy and Deron Williams. This is a good list but most of these guys are already proven and some would argue are ALREADY better then Kobe, interested but poorly researched article.

  • http://davidsmith234@aol.com David

    @ ACE_ONE
    @ My man DREW

    Again I am going to start off by saying Kobe (my man)can win the next 3 and he to me will not be better than Mike. MJ’s contributions to the NBA are immeasureble so Kobe can never be better. HOWEVER; Kobe deserves to be in comparison to the Great MJ, because again he patterned his game after Mikes. Plus Kobe’s offensive game to me is better than Mikes, but not overall.

    Now to Ace_One and Bojangles, Drew brought up the one game that was a close out game in 1996 finals but MJ had another game (game 4) where he shot 6-19. So Ace there were two games he shot poorly, but that doesn’t change the fact that Mike was the best. But to Bo it shows that Mike’s supporting cast was evenmore Legendary than this years Lakers, so stop with that non-sense.

    And Ace, Mikes shooting percentage in the 1995-96 finals was 41%. That is 1% better than Kobe’s against Boston, so again stop with that non-sense. And to everyone who says Kobe is a ball hog, lol you guys are idiots if you don’t think MJ wasn’t. In MJ’s last two finals he averaged 27 shots per game. Shooting over 27 at least 4 times in both of those series, too much for having guys like Kerr and Kukoc on his team.

    Look, I understand Kobe not being better than Jordan. But when you say Lebron is better than Kobe and try to place him on the Lakers squad and say that Lebron would made them better, is totally dismissing Kobe’s greatness. The Lakers squad would not win a champion with anyone other than Kobe because he drives them hard, Just Like the Orignal 23. Michael J. Jordan. Which is why MJ say Kobe is better than Lebron.

  • http://davidsmith234@aol.com David

    By the way, as a fan of Kobe I am happy for all the Love Kobe is receiving. Kobe for years have receieved so much hate and really continues to I might add. But now he is finally being respected. Again for all who thinks Kobe wasnt a major chog in his previous three Chips, you are wrong in a major way. Just think about it Shaq has been to one finals post Lakers era and Kobe has gone to three straight since Gasol and Gasol aint Shaq in his prime. So Kobe has proven that he is a winner. Just think if Kobe had Gasol and company when he was scoring 62 in three quarters and 81 in a game. Kobe may have had 6-7 chips right now. Because the spurs were good but they never had an answer for Kobe. NEVER

  • Crew Dizzy

    @ drew & David

    Finally some people who look at things objectively, I’m tired of these people who poke holes in Kobe’s in game and act like mike was perfect. To further your points on poor shooting performances in the finals, dude went 15-35fg in game 6 of ’98 NBA finals, I know he hit the game winner but I have a feeling if Kobe shot 35 times in game with no overtime he’d be crucified win or lose.

  • sh!tfaced

    How do they measure up? That’s easy. They don’t.

  • Joe’s Momma

    I agree with YOMOMMA @ 9

    If you gonna put CP3 up there, you gotta have B.Roy

    And please stop saying CP3 is the best pg in the game. He is in the convo no doubt, I’m not that big of a hater.

    But after what DWill did last year, he takes that crown. Until CP3 plays another full season at that level, you gotta take that with a grain of salt.

    And leave Jennings out of this article, he got that moxy that I love, and he is an LA kid, but 1/2 of a good year don’t put him in the discussion.

    Durant, he may be on his way. If he continues to improve at the rate he is, he will be the best player after MJ and Kobe.

    Melo? Stop it. With that stacked team he got out of the first round 1 time, and that was because of Billups, not Melo.

    Boy, this coming year is gonna be FUN!

  • Joe’s Momma

    @ David

    as Flava Flave would say “YEA BOYYYYY”

    Nice work. I agree with almost everything you said.

  • http://davidsmith234@aol.com David

    @ Crew Dizzy and Joe Momma: Thanks by the way.

    What is funny is that when Kobe shoot 13-27 in game 5 of NBA Finals he was critize heavily for not getting his teamates involved. And I was like WHAT? I was thinking did they watch the game I watched? If Kobe doesn’t score 19 points in the Third quarter, Kobe doesnt play the Fourth because they are blownout. Then we would have heard Kobe let his team lose. What the heck?

    Only Jeff Van Gundy brought that to light. He said it is absurd that Kobe has to win completely inorder to not be judged. And that if anyone who thought MJ’s 50 or more pt games and so on, though MJ was being selfless that it was a JOKE. ANd it really is.

    The reason Kobe is dismissed like he is, is because everyone knows that the more Kobe wins the closer he gets to Mike. I don’t think he will catch him because he isn’t Beloved like Mike, but it come a point that you can’t argue the facts. And if the Lakers win again and especially if they Beat the Heat, Kobe will seriously be in some company. Second greatest player of all time aint Bad you know.

  • Deez Nutz

    @ David, Amen

  • Bojangles


    I’m trying to make a few points, mainly that I think this article overrates Kobe a little bit in comparison to his peers:

    1. Kobe gets too much credit for the accomplishments of the Lakers. The main reason the Lakers won the title this past season is their front line. Rebounding, interior defense, easy buckets as a result of said rebounds: this was the key for the Lakers. I’m not saying Kobe didn’t have a lot to do with their success, but Kobe didn’t win the title by himself.

    In addition, for the first three-peat: this is a significant part of Kobe’s resume, but lets be clear: he had the best player in the league on his team, one of the most dominant centers of all-time. These should count for 1/2 a ring if comparing with the rings won by MJ or Duncan: those guys never won titles as sidekicks.

    2. You make the argument that Kobe “drove” his team to the title. I have no way of knowing whether the Lakers really needed Kobe’s leadership or whether Lebron’s more relaxed approach would have been sufficient. All I know is that Lebron led some really mediocore rosters to the league’s best record, the NBA finals, Game 7 against the NBA champs (2008). I can only imagine he would have done a little better with Gasol, Odom, Artest and Bynum rather than Varejao, Jamison, Parker and Mo Williams. I don’t think anyone can argue that those squads are comparable.

    3. Timmy never won back to back titles. But he has won four titles as the best player on his team. Shaq has three such titles. Kobe has two such titles. Therefore, I think its a reach for the author of this post to just state like plain fact “This adds up to the best career of any current player in the league”. Now if Kobe grabs a few more, this would change, but we will have to see.

  • David C.

    Lebron, Wade, or Bosh will not win a championship together before Kobe retires. By that time, they will be older and their athleticism will be on the decline. Problem is, they’re too full of themselves, ignorant, and undisciplined to work on their game to gain the skills needed as they get older and slower. They might win a championship, but they will not win multiple ones. Believe it.

  • http://davidsmith234@aol.com David


    Hahaha, seriously Kobe only derserves half of the credit. So I guess Shaq only has only Three rings by himself so does Tim Duncan because of Tony Parker being the most valuable player in the series against your boy’s Cavs, well his old team. This is as asinine as they come. But I will entertain it because well it is funny,and because I am sure you are the only person that believes this. Oh well yeah and the other Kobe haters on this planet.

    Look I researched it and Kobe was most valuable and important in the Western Conf. Championships post 1999-2000. Those series as you know were more like the NBA finals due to the fact the Eastern Conference was so so Weak. In the series against the Spurs he averaged 33pts, 4reb, 4ast, and 1.4 steals. Shaq was at 27pts, 13 rebs, and I think 2blks. Outside of rebounding he didn’t contribute anymore then Kobe. As I remember again, the Spurs had no anwser for Kobe, but Duncan and Robinson slowed Shaq down. He had a bad game too but Kobe was there to save him. But this is irrelvant to you because nothing Kobe did was of importance. Not to meantion his clutch play time and time again.

    And Tim Duncan I love, but seriously Kobe is better than him and will always be. Old school Media members will probably argue, it but it isnt close. Players and new school media (reporters between 30-45yrs old) think Kobe is a top 10 if not top five player. I think he needs to win again to be in the top five but he is like 6 on my list. Ask and I will show you my entire list.

    Finally, Lebron has never shown the seriousness and fortitude it takes to win a championship with him being the guy, to me. I hate to agree with Skip Bayless, but he was right about Lebron in that regard. Actually he has been right about him all the time. Skip said and I quote, “Lebron has number one talent, but number 2 intangibles”. That is sad to me because he is better than Wade, but because he joined him he is second to him. Just remember what Pat Riley said, I am glad that Lebron and Bosh join our truly great player Dwayne Wade. If he tought Lebron was better, he would have something like this, I am glad Lebron chose to be us so we can truly compete for a Chapionships. He is what we needed to get us over the hump. If Lebron, would have joined the Bulls he would have been incredible. But I guess he will settle for partial credit, by choice as you have said Kobe has. Holla!