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Who is your least favorite Los Angeles Lakers player of all time?

Kobe Bryant. This dude is so selfish and egotistical, locker room cancer, blames everything on his teammates, hogs the ball, took leagues highest salary knowing he was injured, went on a self gratification retirement tour, and oh also – thinks he’s the GOAT. He’s not only my least favorite Laker all time he’s probably my least favorite player all time, mainly due to the whole “mamba mentality” aspect which is essentially just shooting the ball whenever you get a chance.

Kobe’s style of play is the wrong style of play. It cannot win in this era of basketball where you need to be a team player to win. Nobody wants to play with someone who always wants to shoot the ball. Kobe only won because he was always surrounded by great rebounders (Shaq, Gasol, Odom, Bynum) to rebound his misses and played in the triangle offense which forced him to share the ball. The fact that Kobe inspires so many kids to play the wrong way makes him almost like the Ronald Reagan of NBA players – hugely respected by a certain portion of the fanbase, but did long term damage to the game.

The fact that he has such an ardent fanbase despite his cockiness just makes me dislike him even more. His fans always overrate him and always have to bring his name up or mention him in EVERY conversation. If Kobe’s name is not mentioned, his fans complain “Kobe is disrespected!!!” They blame the NBA for messing up the CP3 trade. They blame Nash for “robbing” Kobe of MVPs. Ruined Dwight Howard’s career. He has probably the worst fanbase out of any player. I know people like to hate on Lebron fans (i.e “bronsexuals”) but Lebron fans do not inject his name into every single conversation, and plus Lebron isn’t as selfish as Kobe is either.

It also bothers me that his fanbase is somewhat lacking of basketball knowledge. They only care about one stat: scoring. They dont care how many shots Kobe took to get there. They only care about one award: rings. And they don’t care that Kobe wasn’t even the best player for the majority of his rings. They treat those rings as all his alone. As a basketball analyst, if its one thing that grinds me up its casual fans using rings + scoring stats as their sole arguments, because just like Kobe himself, those are probably the most overrated parts of a player’s resume.

 

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Debunking NBA Myths: Was Kobe ‘robbed’ of MVPs?

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?

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Why is Kobe Bryant put out of the all-time top 10 every time by these current NBA analysts?

I think he is top 10, but nowhere higher than #9. Why? Because Kobe has always been, and will continue to be, rated much more highly by fans than by analysts. The reason is pretty simple: Kobe is an inefficient player. Besides his rings (which are team awards), his individual awards are lacking (only 1 MVP, 2 finals mvp, 2 scoring titles).

Kobe Bryant – 5 rings, 1 MVP, 2 Finals MVPs, 15x All-NBA, 2x scoring champ, 45% FG %

the 15x All-NBA and 5 rings are probably Kobe’s best awards – but the 5 rings come with an asterisk because the first 3 rings he was not the best player on his team. He has 2 rings as his team’s best player. In the top 10, no other player has less than 2 MVPs and at least 2 rings as the team’s best player except for who you place at the #10 spot which is either Jerry West, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaq or Oscar Robertson depending on the person.

Jordan – 5 MVPs, 6 rings as the best player, 50% FG%

Kareem – 6 MVPs, 3 rings as the best player (1971, 1980, 1985), 56% FG%

Wilt – 4 MVPs, 2 rings as best player (1967, 1972), 54% FG%

Russell – 5 MVPs, 7–8 rings as the best player, 44% FG%

Magic – 3 MVPs, 3 rings as the best player (1982, 1987, 1988), 52% FG%

Bird – 3 MVPs, 3 rings as the best player (1981, 1984, 1986), 50% FG%

Duncan – 2 MVPs, 3 rings as the best player (1999, 2003, 2005) 50% FG%

Lebron – 4 MVPs, 3 rings as the best player (2012, 2013, 2016) 50% FG%

so as you can see, every player ranked ahead of Kobe has more MVPs, more rings as the best player (except Wilt) and better FG% (except Russell). And since FG% is a big deal for advanced stats like PER, TS%, etc thats why analysts don’t like Kobe. Also, 2 scoring titles is a small number (less than Iverson, Durant and Gervin who all have 4 and obviously Jordan and Wilt) when Kobe is often touted as the “most lethal scorer of all time”. These are the reasons why Kobe is often rated much more highly amongst fans then by analysts. Of course, “killer instinct” and “mamba mentality” and “cold blooded assassin” are buzzwords used by Kobe fans but there’s nothing backing it up; even clutch stats show that Kobe is 7/28 in last seconds of 4th quarter which is worse than Jordan or Lebron. And also, Kobe fans like to say that Kobe was “robbed” of MVPs by Steve Nash, but the MVP voting shows that Kobe was not on the MVP voting ballot in 2005 and was only 4th place in 2006. That’s why Kobe is only #9 at best. And sometimes out of the top 10 completely. You could make good arguments for West, Oscar, Hakeem or Shaq over Kobe. Or even Steph Curry – 2 MVPs, 2 rings as the best player (2015, 2018), 48% FG%. You might say its blasphemous but there is actually a good chance Durant or Curry can surpass Kobe in accomplishments by the end of their careers – while shooting much better.

Also I don’t trust player’s opinions either, because they are biased to their position and era. For example, Kobe said the toughest player he ever had to guard was Tracy McGrady. In an overall ranking of shooting guards though, I don’t think Tmac would be in the top 10 though. Likewise Bird said the best teammate he ever played with was Dennis Johnson. Most people would rank McHale ahead of Johnson though. There are biases because certain players play more against certain other players, and only in their own era and position etc Lastly players rely on their own opinion, less so on concrete stats which analysts do.

And also for clutch shots… is Kobe really a clutch killer? Well the stats say otherwise:

Why LeBron James May Be The Most Clutch Playoff Shooter Of ...

Who's more clutch in the playoffs? michael jordan, lebron ...

Who's more clutch: Kobe, Melo, KD or LeBron?

Kobe is not as good as most people believe.

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).