The most overrated player of all time is Kobe Bryant.
I’ve written about Kobe extensively. The reason why he’s so overrated comes from the marketing and mystique that he garners, his flashy style of play, and from having the largest fanbase out of any basketball player.
His tragic death just added to his already deified status and the constant positive media attention (when was the last time you saw the media post a negative Kobe article?) just adds to his hype and his legend. Now, you see his fanboys putting Kobe in the GOAT conversation, and there’s still a substantial portion of them who think he is right behind Michael Jordan.
Now all people remember are Kobe’s positive moments, his legendary moments. The 81 point game. Outscoring the Mavs in 3 quarters. Winning 5 rings. Having ‘Mamba Mentality’. The fierce competitive drive that he had.
Now Kobe is an all time great player, and those are some of the things that made him great, but we shouldn’t forget the guy had negative moments in his career too. ALOT of them. Let me list some of these:
-In the 2000 NBA Finals, Kobe only averaged 15 PPG, and only had substantial contributions to one of them, Game 4. All people remember from this Finals is the Game 4 though with Kobe coming in clutch at the end after Shaq fouled out. However, they do not take into consideration his performance in the other games in the series, as he was either injured or underperforming.
-In the 2004 NBA Finals, Kobe averaged 22 PPG on 38% shooting for one of the worst Finals performances by an all time superstar. Sure, you can chuck it up to the Pistons defense, but Shaq was hitting 62% on his efficiency even on Ben Wallace – Kobe should have passed to Shaq more that game, and this Finals is one of the biggest upsets in NBA history.
-In 2005, Kobe missed the playoffs right in the middle of his prime. This was after he chased Shaq out of town and had his rape trial, both stains on his career. Even if he was innocent in the rape trial, he was still cheating on his wife, and he got a standing ovation after the ordeal. Why?
-In 2006, Kobe was up 3–1 in the First Round versus Nash’s Suns (who Kobe fans always say ‘stole’ the MVP from him). He had Lamar Odom on his team averaging 19/11/5 that series (Not just Smush and Kwame like Kobe fans like to say). However, Kobe stopped shooting in the second half of the Game 7 to spite his coach, and the Lakers lost. Maybe this was a point Kobe was trying to prove about his ball hogging, but to do it in a Game 7?
-In 2007–2008, Kobe begged to be traded to other teams or until the Lakers got someone for him. This is in contrast to what people think of Kobe now, that he ‘bled purple and gold’. After the Lakers got Gasol, they went straight to the Finals. Shouldn’t that be telling? It’s not like Kobe improved his performance from 2007 to 2008 – but Kobe couldn’t get past the first round until he got Gasol. And Kobe fans all want to say that Gasol was the one who needed Kobe? The evidence says the opposite.
-In the 2010 NBA Finals, Kobe had a horrible Game 7 performance hitting 6 out of 24 on his shooting and needed Gasol and Artest to save the game. The Lakers barely beat an aging Celtics team with post surgery KG and Kendrick Perkins out for a game. This was the same team that Kobe fans like to point out Lebron lost against, except the Lakers barely won with a much superior team than Lebron’s.
-In the 2011 WC second round, Kobe’s defending champion Lakers get swept by the same ‘senior citizen’ Mavs that Kobe fans always chastise Lebron for losing against. Except Jason Terry did even better against Kobe. Lebron gets criticized all the time for Jason Terry ‘outplaying’ him. Well Jason Terry averaged 20 PPG on a ridiculous 75% TS% against Kobe’s Lakers! Whereas Terry had 18 PPG on 60% TS% against Bron’s Heat. Oh and JJ Barea did better against the Lakers too than the Heat. So if people want to make fun of Terry outplaying Lebron, then they should definitely be saying that Terry outplayed Kobe that series.
-In 2013, Kobe’s superteam still with a productive Gasol, adding prime Dwight and aging Nash got bounced out of the first round. After Kobe tore his achilles, he received a massive contract from the Lakers that prevented the Lakers from signing any star free agents for the rest of his career.
-2014–2016 – Kobe had the worst years of his career with his efficiency, PER, win shares, stats everything dropping across the board, and the Lakers with an all time worst record.
So these are all the negative aspects of Kobe’s career, and people just kind of sweep them under the rug and pretend they didn’t happen or make excuses for them like Kobe was injured or had drama or something, but then turn around and scrutinize every little detail of Lebron’s career. They say Lebron brought this upon himself because he’s in the GOAT convo, but then put Kobe in the GOAT convo as well without a fraction as much scrutiny on his career. This is why Kobe is the most overrated player ever. His fans just pretend his negatives never happened or make excuses for them, and extoll his scoring prowess as second to none, and put him in the GOAT convo without any merit.
Oh yeah – and Kobe isn’t that clutch either. He averages 40% shooting in the Finals, his record in elimination games is 8–11 scoring 22 PPG on 44% shooting, and he’s 7/28 in clutch playoff moments. In comparison, Lebron is 12–9 in elimination games, and averages 33 / 11 / 7 on 48% shooting. He’s never had a playoff moment even close to Lebron scoring last 29 out of 30 pts versus Detroit in 2007 or Lebron putting up a 45/12/5 stat line on the verge of elimination versus the Celtics in 2012 or that huge block on Iggy in the 2016 Finals or averaging a 30 point triple double in the Finals like Lebron did in 2017 Finals or having a 40 point game on a ridiculous 73% shooting like Lebron did in 2020 Finals.
Oh yeah and Lebron averaged 38/8/8 in 2009 against the Magic including a buzzer beater and Kobe fans say Dwight Howard outplayed him? How?
And yet everyone thinks he’s all time clutch, more so than Lebron, despite the stats and record.
Also Kobe is listed as an all time defender too, despite never shutting anyone down. Kobe’s off ball defense is nearly non existent, and his on ball defense is inconsistent. I’ve never seen so many contemporaries getting theirs on Kobe. Gilbert Arenas, Allan Houston and Jeremy Lin all hit their career highs on Kobe. Allen Iverson, Ray Allen and Brandon Roy would routinely get 30+ points on Kobe. There’s an even a game where Steve Francis + Cuttino Mobley got 73 on Kobe.
So Kobe is overrated on defense too, the All-Def selections he got were totally undeserved because he was always at the bottom of the league in DARPM.