Sunday, June 13, 2010


I suspect Kobe is getting some love on whether he should be on the top 5 of all-time list because he's seen as going head-to-head with LeBron, and people are irritated with James just now.

I don't know as I'd put either of them that high. I don't have either of them in my top ten, though Kobe will likely creep past Baylor and West and get there. LeBron isn't near. It is not only a longevity thing, though a "full body of work" is a big deal. Does he make his teammates better, either on the floor or off? Did his teams win championsips? Was he consistent, was he clutch? The absence of any of those things is not an absolute deal-breaker, but they certainly have to count to the favor of the players who have them. Jordan, Wilt, Russell, Robertson, Kareem, Magic. Is anyone ever going to push one of those guys off the top of the pile? Think what you'd have to accomplish to move one of them. Then O'Neal, Duncan, Bird, and Baylor/West pick-em. Each of those has an identifiable minor flaw in the resume, sure. But so do Kobe and LeBron. Making fans' eyes bug out is cool, but a relatively minor advantage at this level. Once you hit the top 25, we're talking meat on the table for your c.v.


Ben Wyman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben Wyman said...

If the rest of the series goes as I hope - Kobe has another big game, stat-wise, though he has to take 29-30 shots to get there, and the Celtics win Game 6 - there will be constant talk about making Kobe MVP of this series. This is despite the fact that his determination to keep shooting the ball despite Boston's efforts to key on him has doomed the Lakers this series.

People forget the realities and remember the stats, and in five years, if Kobe doesn't win MVP, people will say "How is that possible? He scored so many points!" I tweeted today a complaint of how basketball writers will put together stats to prove their points, and John Hollinger's "Kobe For MVP" article today says Kobe's "true shooting percentage" for the series is 55%, which is shocking, because Kobe's actual shooting percentage is 42%.

But the NBA is a superstars' league, and we don't want to talk about who's winning, we want to talk about who's the best. That's how Kobe can sink his team with selfishness for ten straight seasons and still move into the "top-5 all time" argument.

Since the whole story of this playoffs has been how a team that plays together can overcome their considerable shortcomings, they should give the MVP to the whole Boston team together. That'll send a message.