It’s true that he was never the unquestionable best player in the league. During his prime (2003–2011) he usually had Duncan/Lebron to compete with, and to a lesser extent Nash and Dirk who also competed with Kobe for MVPs during that time.
Since a lot of Kobe fans like to talk about his MVPs getting stolen from him by other players let’s take a look at the MVP voting shares during Kobe’s prime (which I define to be 2005–2010 ish) and lets also look at win shares since that is an objectively good look for being the ‘best player’ comparisons. If you were the unquestioned best player, you should be either #1 or #2 in win shares, and you should be either #1 or #2 spot for MVP voting.
Ok so 2005 the year that Kobe fans think Nash ‘stole’ the award from Kobe. Uhh… Kobe wasn’t even on the MVP voting list this year. So.. I’m gonna say that Kobe wasn’t the best player this year since he wasn’t even on the voting list and moreover didn’t even make the playoffs that year.
Ok how about 2006? Did Nash steal from Kobe this year? Well … not exactly. Kobe was 4th in MVP voting. Hard to make a case that someone stole from you when you were 4th place. He was 4th in win shares as well. Also, he lost in the first round of playoffs that year.
Ok how about 2007? Did Dirk steal the MVP away from Kobe? Kobe was in third place this year. He was 3rd in win shares (tied with Duncan). I’m going to say no, at least not any more than Duncan was stolen from that year.
So in 2008 Kobe won his only MVP. He wasn’t the first in win shares though (that would be CP3) – Kobe was 4th in win shares that year despite winning the MVP. Hard to make a case for being the unquestioned best player in the league when you beat your 2nd place finisher by only 200 points and was 4th in win shares.
I can’t say Lebron robbed Kobe this year because even though Kobe was second place, Lebron beat him by a 417+ point margin in MVP voting and Kobe was 6th in win shares.
And in 2010, the last year of Kobe’s true prime, he was 3rd in MVP voting, and way below in win shares as well.
So there you have it, Kobe has never led the league in both MVP voting and win shares at the same time (or even be in second place for both), in fact he was only top 2 in MVP voting for 2 years (2008, 2009) and thus I cannot consider him the unquestioned best player in the league in either his prime or his career.
Why was Kobe so low in MVP voting? Was there some kind of media conspiracy against him? No, the truth is during 2005-2007 he didn’t win MVP because he wasn’t on a good team – and MVPs are almost always from a top 3 seeded team, the only exception being Russell Westbrook in 2017 (because he averaged a triple double), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1976 (because MVPs were voted on by players back then). That’s the simple facts, there was no media conspiracy against Kobe at all. Scoring leader and having the best stats in the league is not the main criteria for MVP – Wilt Chamberlain averaged 50pts a game in 1962 and wasn’t MVP. Jordan averaged 37pts a game in 1987, wasn’t MVP. James Harden averaged 36pts a game in 2019, wasn’t MVP. Why aren’t people talking about conspiracies for those players?
Now that the NBA season has ended (and what a season it was!) now comes to time to revisit the top 100 greatest players of all time, as well as the top NBA players by position. I’ve decided to discard my old post on this since that post was made back in 2013, and this one has been updated through the new NBA season, with top 25 per position making a total of 100 players here.
These are all gleaned by my composite score for each player, all ranked by tallying their stats and awards together. You can download it here
I’ve also agreed with Rick Barry’s assertion that we should judge NBA players by position, because how can you compare Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain and definitively say one is better than the other when they play totally different positions? You can’t. So let’s go by position. Here’s the new list:
Greatest white players in NBA history
1. Larry Bird
2. Jerry West
3. John Havlicek
4. Bob Pettit
5. Bob Cousy
6. John Stockton
7. Rick Barry
8. Dirk Nowitzki
9. Steve Nash
10. Bill Walton
11. George Mikan
12. Dolph Schayes
13. Paul Arizin
14. Dave Cowens
15. Dan Issel
16. Kevin McHale
17. Billy Cunningham
18. Jerry Lucas
19. Pete Maravich
20. Neil Johnston
All-NBA teams for 2K18 simulation 1st team – Lakers uniform range: 92-99
Starting: Magic Johnston, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Backup: Jerry West, Tracy McGrady, Elgin Baylor, Anthony Davis, Shaq
Reserve: Pau Gasol, James Worthy, George Mikan
Starting: Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Elvin Hayes, Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Backup: Walt Frazier, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Dan Issel, Shaq
Reserve: James Worthy, Tracy McGrady, George Mikan
2nd team – Celtics uniform range 88-98
Starting: Bob Cousy, Ray Allen, Larry Bird, Kevin Garnett, Bill Russell
Backup: Dennis Johnson, Sam Jones, John Havlicek, Kevin McHale, Dave Cowens
Reserve: Tom Heinsohn, Paul Pierce, Robert Parish
Starting: Bob Cousy, James Harden, Larry Bird, Kevin Garnett, Bill Russell
Backup: Dennis Johnson, Sam Jones, John Havlicek, Kevin McHale, Dave Cowens
Reserve: Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Tom Heinsohn
3rd team – 76ers uniform range 88-98
Starting: Oscar Robertson, Allen Iverson, Julius Erving, George McGinnis, Moses Malone
Backup: Russell Westbrook, Clyde Drexler, Billy Cunningham, Jerry Lucas, Dwight Howard
Reserve: Bobby Jones, Horace Grant, Dikembe Mutombo
Starting: John Stockton, Allen Iverson, Julius Erving, Bob Pettit, Wilt Chamberlain
Backup: Oscar Robertson, Clyde Drexler , Billy Cunningham, Spencer Haywood, Moses Malone
Reserve: Russell Westbrook, Dominique Wilkins, Bob McAdoo
4th team – Bulls uniform range 91-99
Starting: Jason Kidd, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dan Issel, Hakeem Olajuwon
Backup: Walt Frazier, Dwayne Wade, Connie Hawkins, Spencer Haywood, Artis Gilmore
Reserve: Tiny Archibald, Dominique Wilkins, Wes Unseld
Starting: Jason Kidd, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing
Backup: Tiny Archibald, David Thompson, George McGinnis, Chris Webber, Wes Unseld
Reserve: Vince Carter, Alex English, Artis Gilmore
5th team – Warriors uniform range 91-98
Starting: Steph Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Bob Pettit, Wilt Chamberlain
Backup: John Stockton, Sidney Moncrief, Rick Barry, Elvin Hayes, Patrick Ewing
Reserve: Chris Webber, Jack Sikma, Nate Thurmond
Starting: Steph Curry, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Hakeem Olajuwon
Backup: Chris Paul, Mitch Richmond, Rick Barry, Jerry Lucas, Nate Thurmond
Reserve: Tim Hardaway, Connie Hawkins, Bob Lanier
6th team – Spurs uniform 89-98
Starting: Chris Paul, Michael Cooper, George Gervin, Tim Duncan, David Robinson
Backup: Steve Nash, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Dirk Nowitzki, Willis Reed
Reserve: Tony Parker, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony
Starting: Steve Nash, George Gervin, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, David Robinson
Backup: Gary Payton, Sidney Moncrief, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis, Bill Walton
Reserve: Tony Parker, Blake Griffin, Alonzo Mourning
7th team – Pistons uniform
Starting: Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Adrian Dantley, Dave Debusschere, Bob Lanier
Backup: Gary Payton, Mitch Richmond, Giannis, Dennis Rodman, Bill Walton
Reserve: Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, Alex English
Starting: Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Grant Hill, Dave Debusschere, Willis Reed
Backup: Dave Bing, Pete Maravich, Adrian Dantley, Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard
Reserve: Bernard King, Chauncey Billups, Pau Gasol
Note: All players on these teams are top 125 players all time. Charles Barkley, Hal Greer, Dolph Schayes, Paul Arizin, Neil Johnston, Bill Sharman, Mel Daniels, Roger Brown, Reggie Miller are all missing from the game due to licensing issue else they might have appeared on here.
All-NBA team for each decade 1950s:
PG: Bob Cousy/Slater Martin
SG: Bill Sharman/Richie Guerin
SF: Paul Arizin/George Yardley
PF: Bob Pettit /Dolph Schayes
C: George Mikan/Neil Johnston
PG: Oscar Robertson/Dave Bing
SG: Jerry West/Hal Greer
SF: Elgin Baylor/Billy Cunningham
PF: Willis Reed/Jerry Lucas
C: Wilt Chamberlain/Bill Russell
PG: Walt Frazier/Tiny Archibald
SG: John Havlicek/Pete Maravich
SF: Rick Barry/Bob McAdoo
PF: Elvin Hayes/Dave Cowens
C: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar/Bill Walton
PG: Magic Johnson/Isiah Thomas
SG: George Gervin/Sidney Moncrief
SF: Larry Bird/Dominique Wilkins
PF: Julius Erving/Kevin McHale
C: Moses Malone/Patrick Ewing
PG: John Stockton/Gary Payton
SG: Michael Jordan/Mitch Richmond
SF: Scottie Pippen/Clyde Drexler
PF: Karl Malone/Charles Barkley
C: Hakeem Olajuwon/David Robinson
PG: Chris Paul/Stephen Curry
SG: James Harden/Russell Westbrook
SF: Kevin Durant/Kawhi Leonard
PF: Lebron James/Giannis Antetokounmpo
C: Anthony Davis/Dwight Howard
1960s team (Celtics uni): Oscar,Cousy, West, Greer/Sam Jones, Baylor, Cunningham, Pettit,Lucas, Wilt, Russell, Heinsohn, Reed
1970s team (Knicks uni): Frazier, Archibald, Maravich, Thompson, Barry, Hondo, Hayes, Issel, Cowens, Walton, Thurmond, Gervin
1980s team (Lakers uni): Magic, Isiah, Moncrief, Dumars, Bird, Dr J, McHale, Barkley, Moses, Kareem, Dennis Johnson, Wilkins
1990s team (Bulls uni): Stockton, Payton, Jordan, Drexler, Pippen, Hill, Malone, Rodman, Hakeem, Robinson, Ewing, Richmond
2000s team (Spurs uni): Kidd, Nash, Kobe, Iverson, Pierce, Melo, Duncan, Garnett, Shaq, Dwight, Tmac, Webber
2010s team (Warriors uni): Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Wade, Harden, Lebron, Durant, Dirk, Davis, Embiid, Cousins, Westbrook, Giannis
2K Divison teams
All time Atlantic Team:
Starting: Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley (76ers) / Kevin McHale (Celtics), Bill Russell (Celtics)
Backup: Jason Kidd (Nets), Allen Iverson (76ers), Julius Erving (76ers), Jerry Lucas (Royals, Knicks), Wilt Chamberlain (76ers)
Reserve: Walt Frazier (Knicks), Willis Reed (Knicks), Sam Jones (Celtics)
All time Central Team:
Starting: Oscar Robertson (Bucks), Michael Jordan (Bulls), Scottie Pippen (Bulls), Dennis Rodman (Pistons), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Bucks)
Backup: Isiah Thomas (Pistons), Joe Dumars (Pistons), Bob Dandridge (Bucks), Dave Debusschere (Pistons), Artis Gilmore (Bulls)
Reserve: George McGinnis (Pacers), Bob Lanier (Pistons) / Mel Daniels (Pacers), Sidney Moncrief (Bucks)
All time Southeast Team:
Starting: Penny Hardaway (Magic), Dwayne Wade (Heat), Lebron James (Heat), Bob Pettit (Hawks), Dwight Howard (Magic)
Backup: Tim Hardaway (Heat), Tracy McGrady (Magic), Dominique Wilkins (Hawks), Elvin Hayes (Bullets), Wes Unseld (Bullets)
Reserve: Earl Monroe (Wizards), Alonzo Mourning (Heat), Chris Bosh (Heat)
All time Northwest Team:
Starting: John Stockton (Jazz), Clyde Drexler (Blazers), Kevin Durant (Thunder), Karl Malone (Jazz), Bill Walton (Blazers)
Backup: Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Ray Allen (Sonics), Carmelo Anthony (Nuggets), Kevin Garnett (Wolves), Jack Sikma (Sonics)
Reserve: Gary Payton (Sonics), Dan Issel (Nuggets), Spencer Haywood (Sonics)
All time Pacific Team:
Starting: Magic Johnson (Lakers), Kobe Bryant (Lakers), Rick Barry (Warriors), Chris Webber (Kings), Shaq (Center)
Backup: Jerry West (Lakers), Michael Cooper (Lakers), Elgin Baylor (Lakers), Amar’e Stoudemire (Suns), Bob McAdoo (Clippers)
Reserve: Steph Curry (Warriors), Steve Nash (Suns), Connie Hawkins (Suns)
All time Southwest Team:
Starting: Chris Paul (Pelicans), James Harden (Rockets), George Gervin (Spurs), Tim Duncan (Spurs), Hakeem Olajuwon (Rockets)
Backup: Tony Parker (Spurs), Manu Ginobili (Spurs), Kawhi Leonard (Spurs), Dirk Nowitzki (Mavs), Moses Malone (Rockets)
Reserve: David Robinson (Spurs), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Pau Gasol (Grizzlies)
Greatest players for each NBA team
Boston Celtics – Bill Russell
Brooklyn Nets – Jason Kidd (New York Nets)
New York Knicks – Willis Reed
Philadelphia 76ers – Wilt Chamberlain
Toronto Raptors – Vince Carter
Dallas Mavericks – Dirk Nowitzki
Houston Rockets – Hakeem Olajuwon
Memphis Grizzlies – Marc Gasol
New Orleans Pelicans – Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets)
San Antonio Spurs – Tim Duncan
Chicago Bulls – Michael Jordan
Cleveland Cavaliers – Lebron James
Detroit Pistons – Isiah Thomas
Indiana Pacers – Mel Daniels
Milwaukee Bucks – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Denver Nuggets – Alex English
Minnesota Timberwolves – Kevin Garnett
Oklahoma City Thunder – Gary Payton (Supersonics)
Portland Trail Blazers – Clyde Drexler
Utah Jazz – Karl Malone
Atlanta Hawks – Bob Pettit (St Louis Hawks)
Charlotte Hornets – Alonzo Mourning
Miami Heat – Dwyane Wade
Orlando Magic – Dwight Howard
Washington Wizards – Wes Unseld (Baltimore Bullets)
Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry
Los Angeles Clippers – Bob McAdoo
Los Angeles Lakers – Magic Johnson
Phoenix Suns – Steve Nash
Sacramento Kings – Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati Royals)
Top 10 what if? careers in NBA history
1. Bill Walton (ankle injuries limited him, but when healthy was MVP, Finals MVP and champion)
2. Arvydas Sabonis (came into NBA post prime but was supposedly one of the most skilled big men ever like a 7’3 foot Hakeem)
3. Maurice Stokes (averaged 16 points and 17 rebounds a game before hitting his head on the floor and becoming a quadriplegic for the rest of his life 🙁 )
4. David Thompson (was pre-Michael Jordan basically before he got into coke problems in the late 70s; scored 73 points in a game before)
5. Grant Hill (was pre-Lebron James before ankle injuries)
6. Drazen Petrovic (a rising all star shooting guard before he died in a car accident only 28 years old)
7. Bernard King (averaged 33 points a game and was on his way becoming a top forward in the 80s before he tore his ACL and wasnt the same again)
8. Penny Hardaway (a Magic-like player who was one of the top point guards before injuries got to him)
9. Derrick Rose (former MVP who was going to be one of the top point guards of his generation but tore his ACL and wasnt the same again)
10.Tracy McGrady (could have been better than Kobe and Iverson if he didn’t have so many back injuries)
Honorable mentions: Yao Ming, Len Bias (never played in NBA but died of cocaine overdose before he could have), Pete Maravich (at his peak before suffering knee injuries), Ralph Sampson
Top 10 #1 draft picks all time
1. Kareem Abdul Jabbar (1969)
2. Lebron James (2003)
3. Magic Johnson (1979)
4. Tim Duncan (1997)
5. Shaquille O’Neal (1992)
6. Hakeem Olajuwon (1984)
7. David Robinson (1987)
8. Allen Iverson (1996)
9. Elgin Baylor (1958)
10. Dwight Howard (2004)
Top 20 greatest college players of all time
Kareem Abdul Jabbar (26.4 PPG, 15.5 RPG)
Bill Walton (20.3 PPG, 15.7 RPG)
Bill Russell (20.7 PPG, 20.3 RPG)
Pete Maravich (44.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.1 APG)
Oscar Robertson (33.8 PPG, 15.2 RPG)
David Thompson (26.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG)
Jerry Lucas (24.3 PPG, 17.2 RPG)
Tom Gola (20.9 PPG, 18.7 RPG)
Elvin Hayes (31 PPG, 17.2 RPG)
Larry Bird (30.3 PPG, 13.3 RPG, 4.6 APG)
Christian Laettner (16.6 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.8 APG)
Ralph Sampson (16.9 PPG, 11.4 RPG)
Wilt Chamberlain (29.9 PPG, 18.3 RPG)
Shaq (21.6 PPG, 13.5 RPG, 1.7 APG)
Tim Duncan (16.5 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 2.3 APG)
Magic Johnson (17.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 7.9 APG)
Jerry West (24.8 PPG, 13.3 RPG, 2.8 APG)
Artis Gilmore (24.3 PPG, 22.7 RPG)
Tyler Hansborough (20.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.1 APG)
Dan Issel (25.8 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 1.2 APG)
Top 20 greatest offensive players of all time
1. Michael Jordan (10x scoring titles, 12x seasons 25pts+)
2. Wilt Chamberlain (7x scoring titles, 10x seasons 25pts+)
3. Kobe Bryant (2x scoring titles, 12x seasons 25pts+)
4. Jerry West (1x scoring title, 11x seasons 25pts+)
5. Allen Iverson (4x scoring titles, 11x seasons 25pts+)
6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2x scoring titles, 10x seasons 25pts+)
7. Karl Malone (12x seasons 25pts+)
8. Kevin Durant (4x scoring titles, 9x seasons 25pts+)
9. Dominique Wilkins (1x scoring title, 10x seasons 25pts+)
10. George Gervin (4x scoring titles, 8x seasons 25pts+)
11. Lebron James (1x scoring title, 13x seasons 25pts+)
12. Shaquille O’Neal (2x scoring titles, 10x seasons 25pts+)
13. Elgin Baylor (8x seasons 25pts+)
14. Oscar Robertson (9x seasons 25pts+)
15. Rick Barry (2x scoring titles, 8x seasons 25pts+)
16. Bob Pettit (2x scoring titles, 7x seasons 25pts+)
17. Bob McAdoo (3x scoring titles, 7x seasons 25pts+)
18. Adrian Dantley (2x scoring titles, 8x seasons 25pts+)
19 Carmelo Anthony (1x scoring title, 9x seasons 25pts+)
20. Alex English (1x scoring title, 8x seasons 25pts+)
Top 20 Greatest NBA teams of all time
1. 1996 Chicago Bulls (72-10, 15-3, HOFers: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman)
2. 2017 Golden State Warriors (67-15, 16-1, HOFers: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green)
3. 1997 Chicago Bulls (69-13, 15-4, HOFers: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman)
4. 1967 Philadelphia 76ers (68-13, 15-4, HOFers: Wilt Chamberlain, Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, Chet Walker)
5. 1972 LA Lakers (69-13, 12-3, HOFers: Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich, Elgin Baylor)
6. 1986 Boston Celtics (67-15, 15-3, HOFers: Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton)
7. 1971 Milwaukee Bucks (66-16, 12-2, HOFers: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson) 60
8. 1987 LA Lakers (65-17, 15-3, HOFers: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy) 60
9. 1992 Chicago Bulls (67-15, 15-7, HOFers: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen)60
10. 1983 Philadelphia 76ers (65-17, 12-1, HOFers: Julius Erving, Moses Malone) 59
11. 2013 Miami Heat (66-16, 16-7, HOFers: Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen) 59
12. 2009 LA Lakers (65-15, 16-7, HOFers: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol)59
13. 1989 Detroit Pistons (63-19, 15-2, HOFers: Adrian Dantley, Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman)57
14. 2008 Boston Celtics (66-16, 16-10, HOFers: Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce) 56
15. 1985 LA Lakers (62-20, 15-4, HOFers: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Bob McAdoo, Jamaal Wilkes, James Worthy) 53
16. 1999 San Antonio Spurs (37-13, 15-2, HOFers: Tim Duncan, David Robinson) 53
17. 1965 Boston Celtics (62-18, 8-4, HOFers: John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, KC Jones, Sam Jones, Satch Sanders, Bill Russell)
18. 2001 LA Lakers (56-26, 15-1, HOFers: Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal)
19. 1970 New York Knicks (60-22, 12-7, HOFers: Bill Bradley, Dave Debusschere, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed)
20. 1961 Boston Celtics (57-22, 8-2, HOFers: Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, KC Jones, Sam Jones, Frank Ramsey, Bill Russell, Satch Sanders, Bill Sharman)
Here’s my take on the 100 greatest players in NBA/ABA history as of 2020
Bill Russell “Russell” – 11x Champion, 5x MVP – 15.1 PPG/22.5 RPG/4.3 APG
Michael Jordan “Air Jordan” – 6x Champion, 5x MVP – 30.1 PPG/6.2 RPG/5.3 APG
Wilt Chamberlain “The Big Dipper” – 4x MVP, 11x Rebounding leader – 30.1 PPG/22.9 RPG/4.4 APG
Alot of people got butthurt when ESPN came out with their rankings and Kobe was *gasp* only #12. I’m not surprised at all, and I mentioned this before, but hey people like to flame me because I have facts and their only response to me not having Kobe top 5 all time is “you don’t know basketball”. So here’s my basketball knowledge:
Kobe bryant is overrated:
-career average: 25/5/5 45% 2P FG 33% FG 3P
-record lowest FG % in Finals: 38% in 2000, and highest: 51% in 2009
-81 point game yes but also against the raptors and took 46 shots
-Kobe in general takes a lot of FGA, 9 times in a game took over 40 shots
-selfish player, ball hog, drove shaq and d-howard away from LA as well as other free agents, wouldn’t take a pay cut in his later years
-1 MVP only, and 2 Finals MVPs if you take off his rings thats his only other hardware
-had good teams for most of his career despite what people say: only 2005-2007 and 2013-present he has crap teams
-5 championships but he won all 5 coached by Phil Jackson and his first 3 rings with Shaq who dominated the playoffs with 30/14 averages
-Lebron has never played with a team as good as Kobe had except when he was in Miami. Duncan played with a washed up Robinson and some late round picks. -He had good role players but so did Kobe. Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry. Plus hall of famers like Pau Gasol, Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Shaq, D-howard, Nash. Neither Lebron nor Duncan has had the arguably greatest coach of all time, Phil Jackson.
-closest to MJ but very far away from MJ still in terms of everything, stats, awards etc 8 less scoring titles 1 less ring 4 less MVPs/FMVPs lower career stats in every category
-not a good team player, ego drove away Shaq + Howard, took 25 mil salary, prevents young stars from being developed.
-no other top 10 player was a second option or a role player ever in their career.
-lost 2 finals, one on a team full of hall of famers against detroit and one against the celtics losing by the biggest margin in NBA finals history.
-statistically not clutch despite the popular perception that he is
Why is Lebron hated so much?
-because he left to go a team full of other stars? In the salary cap era its hard to start on a team already full of good players like Magic and Bird did. Furthermore, only a few championship teams have ever had only one hall of famer. the 77 Blazers with Walton, 79 supersonics with Dennis Johnson and 94 Rockets with Hakeem come to mind. You could make a case for the 75 Warriors, 04 Pistons and 11 Mavericks as well.
-Kobe and Duncan didn’t have to do this because Kobe did start on a very good team with Shaq and Duncan started on a team with Robinson. Lebron started with nothing and had nothing in the years to come. The cavaliers management gave him nothing.
-His 2-4 record in the finals. first of all, we don’t count finals losses. Jerry West had 8 finals losses and no one calls him out for that. Wilt Chamberlain has the same 2-4 record as Lebron and no one cares about those losses. Second of all, only one of those finals is really Lebrons fault. the 2011 finals he should have won and came up short. That was his fault. But the 07 Cavaliers he carried that team to the finals, remember when he scored 29 of the last 30 points against Detroit that year? and the ’14 Finals D-wade was injured and the Spurs team was just superior that year. Same with last finals, Kyrie irving and kevin love were injured and Lebron took the Warriors to 6 games with averages of 36/14/9. We can’t really say Lebron didn’t try in the finals, cause he did. (except in 2011)
-statistically beats Kobe in every way, FG%, points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, except for FT% the only area where he trails Kobe.
-Kobe has more rings but I already covered that it wasn’t Lebrons fault he lost 3 of those Finals. And he never had anyone like Prime Shaq or Phil Jackson to help him. He does have 3 more MVPs than Kobe does. There are those people who say that MVPs mean nothing and Kobe was robbed of MVPs when I say this, and imo thats just trying really really hard to be a Kobe fanboy. Kobe never was top 3 in MVP votes except in 2008. Kobe never even deserved the 2008 MVP; it should have gone to CP3. At no point in his career was Kobe actually the best player in the game if we look at WP48 and win shares. Duncan, Shaq and Lebron have held that title throughout Kobes career and arguably even Tmac and Dwade were better than Kobe at some point in their careers.
-more clutch than kobe; stats bear this out
-finally, Lebron attracts free agents to play with him (ray allen mike miller etc) whereas Kobe drives away free agents (melo,aldridge, etc) and took a huge salary increase despite the fact that he was injured which gave the Lakers less salary cap to sign free agents; conversely Lebron took a pay cut while in Miami to play with Chris bosh and D-wade
As a side note, here’s what Kobetards usually say when I compare him to Lebron:
1) Kobe has 5 rings.
2) Kobe’s scoring achivements including 81 point game, and scoring 60 points 5+ times in a row etc
3) Kobe is clutch and has killer instinct
4) Kobe is 5-2 in the finals and Lebron is 2-4.
5) Kobe bled purple and gold
6) Kobe was robbed of MVPs
7) Kobe didn’t need another superstar to win
8) Kobe carried his franchise
1) so what? Russell, Sam Jones, Havlicek, Heinsohn, Kareem, Jordan, Duncan all have 5+ rings no one ever brings up rings as much for them. Why do people always mention Kobe’s rings? Because he has every little other hardware, only 1 MVP and 2 finals mvps are probably not going to be as mentioned as much. And despite that fact that Kobe won 3 out of his 5 rings riding with Shaq. No other top 10 player in NBA rankings has ever been a second option or a role player in their career. Kobe has only been a first option for 8 years of his career and people bring up Kobe’s rings the most out of any player even though he has the least reason to brag about them
2) Kobe’s scoring achievements – he also missed the most shots in NBA history what does that tell you? How many shots did Kobe have to take on 45% efficiency in regular season and 40% in the Finals to get to where he is? What does it tell you about the basketball IQ of a player if he purposely takes difficult shots when easier shots are available or when he could pass to an open player?
3) Kobe is not clutch and has missed the most clutch shots out of any top 10 player. I already mentioned this in my other video, go take a look if you want detailed stats, but you can also google Kobe crunchtime stats if you don’t believe me. Kobe has averaged 40% FG during his Finals performances.
4) Again this is related to Kobe’s rings again, but as I said no one cares about finals losses. Wilt chamberlain has the same record as Lebron, 2-4 in the Finals, are you going to argue that Kobe is better than Wilt? John Havlicek is 8-0 in finals and Jordan is 6-0 you wanna argue that Havlicek was better than Jordan? its ridiculous. And Kobe has more first round losses than Lebron I guess that doesn’t count? Since when is losing in the Finals worse than losing in the first round? You make it to the Finals, you have a chance to win, and thats strictly better than having 0% chance to win. That simple.
5) No he wasn’t. When Kobe had a bad team from 2005-2007 (which was his own doing cause he drove Shaq out), he wanted to be traded, including to the Clippers! how soon people forget.
Kobe has probably the most ignorant fan base out of all sports.
6) Kobe was never robbed of MVPs, he was never top 3 in voting except for the year he did win MVP. If anything, Nash robbed Shaq of MVPs not Kobe.
7) sure he did. Ever heard of Shaq? and Pau Gasol? And without those guys, Kobe has never gotten out of the first round of the playoffs. And he also had Phil Jackson as well
8) Kobe led 4 out of the 6 worst Lakers teams in NBA history, took the leagues highest salary, shot the most bricks in NBA history, the lowest FG% out of any player in the NBA during the last 2 years and his farewell tour prevents young stars from developing.
I’ve already explained why Lebron and Duncan are better in pretty much every way, from stats to efficiency to being less selfish, so I’m done with that. Kobe is ranked fairly here. He is not top 10 all time. I’m ok with Oscar Robertson being higher. I’m assuming ESPN was using advanced metrics like PER and win shares to rank him, which arent favorable to him, which is why he’s ranked even lower than I expected. It also explains why Iverson and Isiah are ranked lower because those are 2 other players that are very overrated by the public because of the ‘eye’ test, leading you to believe a player was better than they actually were.
Sorry to say it, but its the truth. Kobe has many accomplishments and he is a top 12 – top 8 player all time, but he will never get ranked above that. Why?
-A top 5 player of all time should have more than 1 MVP. Kobe only has one.
-A top 5 player all time should be the alpha dog for almost all his career. Kobe was not the alpha dog or the best player on his team until 2004-ish. Shaq won all three Finals MVPs (deservedly so when you look at his stats) during the first part of his career.
-A top 5 player all time, especially if he is to be considered the best “mid range shooter ever” should be more efficient than shooting 45% from the field and 33% from 3 point range. For comparison, Larry Bird and Dwayne Wade shot 4% better than Kobe from the field, and Adrian Dantley (probably the most efficient mid range shooter I think) shot an astounding 54% from the field, a whole 9% better than Kobe!
-Because of how inefficient Kobe shoots, his advance stats suffer. A top 5 player of all time would never have a PER of a measly 10.7 (Kobe during 2014 season), or produce NEGATIVE win shares for his team (as he did in 2014 and 2016).
-on top of that Kobe isn’t really as clutch as people think. There are numerous articles that prove this. here are just a few:
Kobe might be the least clutch player in the NBA
The truth about Kobe Bryant in crunch time
LeBron May Be The Most Clutch Playoff Shooter Of His Generation
In the Playoffs, LeBron James Is More Clutch than Kobe
-a top 5 player all time is a good teammate, like Lebron, or Russell, or Wilt/Jordan later in their careers, or Bird, or Magic or Kareem. Instead, Kobe chased Shaq off the team, had numerous locker room issues, chased away free agents during the later part of his career, took a massive salary (the highest at the time) after he got injured, etc
-Kobe in his prime never took his team past the first round of the playoffs until he got Pau Gasol on the team, who I think doesn’t get enough credit for helping the Lakers out. People don’t realize that Gasol was the leader in win shares in 2010 even though Kobe got Finals MVP that year. For all the hate Lebron gets, he took his team all the way to the Finals. It was probably one of the worst teams to make the Finals (yes even worse than 2001 Iverson’s team). Without Shaq/Gasol and Phil Jackson, Kobe couldn’t take his team anywhere. Thats not top 5 player material.
-He doesn’t have any definable moments. Lebron scored the last 29 out of 30 points against the Pistons in 2007, averaged a triple double in the Finals etc. Jordan had numerous great moments. Kareem had that clutch last minute skyhook to force double overtime in the 1974 Finals. Magic had that clutch baby skyhook in 1987 against the Celtics, and that amazing Finals performance as a rookie in 1980. Kobe has that 81 point game going for him – but that’s a regular season game, and it was against a terrible team. that’s about it.
For all the reasons above I don’t think Kobe is a top 5 player all time. (and no I’m not a Kobe hater, I’m just stating the facts. Kobe ranks #9 all time for me).