Kobe Bryant’s all time rank after 5th ring
“If anyone asks you who I am, just stand up tall. Look em in the face and say I'm that STAR. Up in the sky. I'm that mountain way up high. Hey wait a minute, I'm the world's greatest. Kobe Bryant... The world's greatest ever to play ball in this world.” – written by huge Kobe fan. I don’t know what to say about that. Wow. A poem? Haiku? The hell is this? The world’s greatest? R. Kelly has something to say about that.
Let’s go pundits. Let’s go! Kobe Bryant has just won his 5th ring after defeating the Boston Celtics. He shot 6 for 24, which is 25 percent in a deciding game 7. For the 2010 NBA Finals, Kobe shot 66 out of 163 attempts, which is 40 percent. Black Mamba also shot 24 percent in the 4th quarter for the entire series. Congrats Kobe and the Lakers on repeating as champs, but Air Jordan >>>>> Kobe.
Kobe Bryant proves again that he is still the best NBA player today. The Lakers wouldn’t have been in any position in winning another championship if not for him. Player number 24 is arguably in the top 10 amongst other all time greats at number 10. We get it. I get it.
To Kobe fans and Laker fans in general, Kobe did not play “out of his mind” during the Finals. The only time Kobe went ballistic was during the 3rd quarter in game 5 at Boston where he pumped out 19 points. He was chucking in games 3 and 7. He got superstar numbers with averages of 28.6 points, 8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 2.1 steals. Those are great numbers.
However, he shot 40 percent, averaged almost 4 turnovers, and was only 30 percent from three point land. He went 1-7 from three point land in game 2 and 3. Also, Kobe was abysmal in game 7 going 0-6. His turnovers negate the assists, too. How did Bryant manage to add and hurt his legacy at the same time? That defies logic. What really happened was that he stayed neutral overall.
He added another ring, which makes him crack the top 10 all time greats list, but he hurt his credibility as a closer shooting only 24 percent in the 4th quarter throughout the series. Kobe was nowhere near Michael Jordan realm for the majority of the time – nowhere near it. That’s a huge no-no in the epic MJ versus Kobe debates. Black Mamba almost cost the Lakers the title with him chucking and trying to win the entire thing by himself yet again. Yes, Lakers won. That’s the point.
But it’s how Kobe got there. At times, he looked downright awful. He was nowhere near “great” against Boston. To be able to close the gap between him and Jordan, he had to perform at that MJ level. He didn’t do that. The gap just keeps growing despite winning another ring. He really did hurt his closer reputation. Admit it.
Another thing for perspective – The 2004 Detroit Pistons and 2008-2010 Boston Celtics are the types of defenses Michael Jordan played against regularly in the regular season and playoffs. The 1980s-1990s playoff defenses were much more physical than either of those teams because of hand checking and the lack of ticky tack foul calls. Jordan was still a proven beast under that environment.
Kobe was “meh” under these conditions. He’s a mountain while MJ is the Grand Canyon. One is Black Mamba. The other is the Black Shadow; the Golden Standard. Details, details, and more details. For the Nth time.
Bryant is the second best shooting guard of all time. There is no debate about that although he’s not the greatest Laker of all time either. No die hard Laker fan, or even Kobe riders, should be putting him over Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. That’s a flagrant foul.
Greatest Laker of all time? No.