His 12x All-Def selections would have you believe he was one of the greatest defenders ever. He wasn’t.
-Never led the league in Def BPM
-Never led the league in Def Rating
-Never locked or shut anyone down in the playoffs
-Outscored by everyone from Leandro Barbossa, Cliff Robinson, Jason Terry, Jalen Rose to Aaron Brooks, Ty Lawson, Rasheed Wallace in the playoffs
-Jeremy Lin, Gilbert Arenas, Stephon Marbury, Allan Houston all got their career highs on him
-Phil Jackson said he was an overrated defender in his book The Last Season
-Trevor Ariza and Ron Artest were better defenders on his own team
-He had duels with everyone from Iverson to Tmac to Melo to Ray Allen to Steve Nash. The reason he had all these duels was because he couldn’t shut anybody down.
^ Seriously? Nash a guy who averages 14 PPG is dueling with Kobe supposedly an ‘elite’ defender? See, if Kobe was actually elite, these duels wouldn’t be happening. Did you ever see Michael Jordan having duels with anybody? No? Well that’s because he was shutting them down.
This is the list of Non Hall of Famers that outscored Kobe in the playoffs. Just non hall of famers. I’m not including guys like Melo, KG, Iverson, Duncan, Tmac etc nor his teammates Shaq or Gasol. Tell me how many guys outscored MJ in the playoffs? let alone non hall of famers?
Anybody who really digs into the footage and stats can tell.. he was a very overrated defender. Maybe a solid defender from 1999–2003 but then a very mediocre and inconsistent defender from that time on. I would argue even Eddie Jones was a more consistent defender than Kobe was.