Blog Entry

Kobe Bryant - Best Player in the NBA

Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:12 am
Edited on: January 15, 2012 11:17 am

I am having problems with many other NBA fans that I talk to in regards to who the best player in the NBA is. To me the answer to that question, and it comes as an automatic response, is Kobe Bryant. This has nothing to do with the recent 40 point scoring outbursts that he has been accomplishing at age 33 and with a sore wrist. This has more to do with his body of work, accomplishments, and most of all that "killer instinct" that he possesses. These attributes to me, make Kobe the consensus, hands down best player currently in the NBA. Yet, lately, when the conversation of who the best player in the NBA is comes up, it seems like that is not the case and it really disturbs me. In fact, ESPN recently launched a poll ranking the players in the NBA and Kobe was seventh on that list. Seventh best player in the league? To me that is just disrespectful to Kobe. Even more disturbing is that people seem to rank LeBron James ahead of him. That just makes no sense to me and brings up the notion that Kobe, may in fact be underrated.

For starters, here is a list of some of Kobe Bryant's accomplishments:

5 time NBA Champion(2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010)
2 time Finals MVP (2009, 2010)
2 time Scoring Champ (2006, 2007)
NBA MVP (2008)
13 All Star Apperances
4 time All-Star Game MVP (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011) record tying*
2008 Olympic Gold Medal winner
13 All NBA selections (9 times All-NBA first team)
11 All NBA defensive team selections (record tying 9 first team selections)
Second all time in history for points in a single game (81 points)
Sixth, currently, on NBA all time scoring list and climbing (Has opportunity to become #1)

These are the obvious career highlights that make Kobe great, however, it goes beyond that. What really separates Kobe from the rest of the pack is his "killer instinct". Kobe has that "it" to his game where even at this stage of his career, he can simply take over a game and seems almost unstoppable. He has to be the most feared player the NBA has seen since Michael Jordan. When he gets that feeling or is given any type of extra motivation, opposing teams in most cases face severe consequences. Kobe has no limitations to his game. He can get to the basket whenever he wants to, has an unstoppable jumpshot with no range (Kobe does have the record for 3 pointers made in a game with 12), great free throw shooter, excellent defender, and most importantly he comes up big in the clutch. He is known as the best closer for a reason and is probably right up there with MJ as far as closing out games. He could be having the worst shooting game ever, yet, when the game starts ticking down, that "killer instinct" kicks in and when that happens there is almost no hope for opposing teams. He gets into zones which most basketball players never experience and it is just unbelievable to watch. I'm sure everyone remembers the 81 point game, which was unbelievable to accomplish in the NBA in this era, but there were so many moments in addition to that where it seemed that Kobe wasn't even an earthly being as far as what he does on a basketball court. In addition to that, Kobe gets better as the stakes get higher. He is no doubt, one of the best Playoff and NBA Finals performers in the history of the game. His competitive fire just burns and burns regardless of how much he accomplishes. He still works harder than most even when he is at the top and never resorts to being content. That is simply admirable and puts him in a class that very few players are in. While there are many great players in the NBA currently, none have proven to be in that class.

When the topic of who the best player in the NBA is, it seems like most people list LeBron James as #1. This drives me wild. LeBron is a great player and is one of the most gifted athletes in all of sports. There is no doubt that he can do so many things on the court that most human beings could never dream of doing. However, we are talking about a player that has never won a championship (lost twice in the finals) and is becoming known for disappearing in the clutch. How can a player that struggles to close out games be considered the best player in the league? LeBron has not shown that he has that unique "killer instinct" trait and has a lot more to prove before he can even be considered for that crown. I do not even believe that he is even the best player on his own team (Dwayne Wade holds that title) let alone best player in the league. I do not want to turn this into a LeBron bashing, otherwise I could go on and on. The point I am trying to make is that NBA fans need to be more informed and understand what it takes to be the best before they put any player ahead of Kobe Bryant. I hate the fact that this even needs to be pointed out because when Michael Jordan played there was never a question whether he was the best player in the league . I believe that Kobe Bryant has earned that status. Not only that, it also makes the nickname "Black Mamba" (the most deadly snake in the world) most appropriate for Kobe. This is Kobe's league until somebody takes it from him. What is scary is that, due to his great conditioning, he probably still has 4 or 5 good years left in him to add to his already amazing resume.

NBA fans are obviously free to have their own opinions. However, when considering who the best player in the NBA is; it is a fact that Kobe Bryant has a stranglehold on that title. I will go a step further by saying that he is not only the best player in the NBA today but he is second all time behind only the great Michael Jordan. No disrespect to Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson, Hakeen Olajuwon or any other former players. But Kobe's greatness on the basketball court has put him ahead of everybody except Jordan. In fact when his illustrious career is over, he might be the only player who can ever even threaten Michael Jordan's status as the greatest of all-time. For me as a basketball fan, it has been an honor to say I was able to follow the careers of both players.

In closing, to everybody out there, make no mistake Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA. Period.


Since: May 14, 2012
Posted on: May 14, 2012 5:30 am

Kobe Bryant - Best Player in the NBA

When it's all said and done history will note that the GREATEST NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER EVER IS none other than Kobe Bryant. Yes, even better than Jordan.  The truth is you all know this but you love to hate Kobe.  He was robbed again at 33 he should have been MVP.  He dominated the sport the last decade, filled stadiums that otherwise would have been empty and kept the sport alive and well.  How will they answer when the question arises and is asked "why didn't Kobe have more MVP awards, why."  I am not going to mention another player in todays game in the same breath.  If he wins a championship this year then what.  Hater, you who have the votes, Haters, you know that Kobe deserves at least 5mvps.  Haters, but something tells me that the poision from the Black Mamba will kill the haters again.  5, count them 5 and isn't that what it is all about.  

Since: Mar 14, 2012
Posted on: March 14, 2012 10:26 pm

Kobe Bryant - Best Player in the NBA

Sometimes I wonder! But I still choose to  Sometimes I wonder! But I still choose to believe that more time!

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 11:30 pm

Kobe Bryant - Best Player in the NBA

If Kobe's resume doesn't qualify him as the best player currently in the league, then what is your criteria exactly? Because the 2 names you brought up (Howard and LeBron) have done nothing in comparison to Kobe. "LeBron would easily be the best but because he has a tendency to choke he is a close second." Let me explain something to you: THAT IS A BIG PROBLEM. He has no edge or "killer instinct" and that's why he chokes and thats why LeBron will never be the best. In my opinion he is second best on his own team behind Dwayne Wade, who can produce in the clutch. Dwight Howard is a great player but he is nowhere near someone who can be discussed in this conversation. Contrary to your opinion, Orlando actually has some good players on that team behind Dwight. I'm not saying their great without him, but I think they would do better than a lot of other teams if those teams also had their best player removed. 

By the way, when I talk about that "killer instinct" trait, it describes more than just taking the last shot. Kobe is known for being clutch because he can be counted on to make those shots. Sure he gets a lot of opportunities but that's because he has earned them with his history of making them more times than less. If you think Kobe being a ball hog is why he gets those opportunities, then you are sorely mistaken my friend. Take a look at LeBron's career and see how he has fared in the clutch. If you really knew your history you would know that there are very few players in league HISTORY that have made more clutch shots than Kobe, in fact he may have the current players in the league combined beat as far as shots made to tie or win a game. It takes guts to want to be the guy who takes those shots and Kobe lives for those moments and has thrived in them while LeBron tends to hide from them. Dwight Howard, by the way, cannot even be on the floor sometimes in the clutch because of his extremely poor free throw shooting. How does that qualify him as the best?

Since: Feb 13, 2012
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:14 am

Kobe Bryant - Best Player in the NBA

First of all, accoplishments has zero in determining if you are the best player.  If you retire and look at your career and think you are the best that's a different story. Kobe will go down as one of the best players and this year I believe he is the best.  Lebron would easily be the best but because he has a tendency to choke he is a close second.  Now if you want to talk about the most valuable player that has to go to Dwight Howard because without him the Magic are a under 500 team. By the way "killer instinct" is stupid, If you take most of the shots at the end of the game you are going to be seen as having killer instinct,  Kobe is a ball hog and you can see it in his face when other people shoot and miss late in games.   

Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:02 am

Kobe Bryant - Best Player in the NBA

No one can fault your argument and you make a solid case.  I think people can make a solid case for Lebron James also. 

Since: Feb 13, 2012
Posted on: February 13, 2012 1:24 am

Kobe Bryant - Best Player in the NBA

Kobe wasn't drafted to the lakers he was traded to the lakers. Just a FYI.

Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: January 31, 2012 1:26 pm

Kobe Bryant - Best Player in the NBA

i definitely agree that Kobe is the bst player in the NBA, look what he has done for the lakers since he has been drafted by them.

Since: Feb 4, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:45 pm

Kobe Bryant - Best Player in the NBA

I say LeBron James is the Best Player in the NBA of all time in history.And i dont think its Kobe Bryant the way i see it.

Since: Jan 1, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2012 3:57 pm

Kobe Bryant - Best Player in the NBA

Here's a quick comparison of Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant in four key categories.

Michael Jordan is the all-time scoring leader in with a 30.12 points per game average. That's just ahead of Wilt Chamberlain's 30.07.

Kobe Bryant's career scoring average stands at 25.34 points per game. That is 11th best in NBA history. So Michael Jordan has a career scoring average that is 5.78 points per game higher than Kobe Bryant's. Jordan's scoring average is almost 20% higher than Kobe's.

Michael Jordan won 10 in his career. That includes winning seven straight scoring titles from 1987 to 1993. Jordan also led the NBA in points scored as rookie in 1985, but Bernard King won the scoring title that season.

When Michael Jordan came back from his first retirement in 1995, he only played in 17 games and averaged 26.9 points per game. won the scoring title that season with a 29.3 points per game average. Jordan then won three straight scoring titles from 1996 to 1998, at the ages of 32, 33, and 34. No other NBA player has ever won a scoring title over the age of 31.

Kobe Bryant has won two scoring titles so far in his NBA career in 2006 and 2007. Kobe also led the NBA in points scored in 2003 and 2008, but didn't win scoring title those seasons ( won in 2003, and won in 2008). So Michael Jordan has won five times as many scoring titles as Kobe Bryant has.

Kobe is leading the NBA in scoring so far in the 2012 season at age 33. If Kobe wins the scoring title this season, he will be the only player other than Michael Jordan to win a scoring title at his age.

Michael Jordan won six NBA Championships in his career. Jordan was the NBA Finals MVP championships.

Kobe Bryant has won five NBA Championships so far in his career. Kobe was the NBA Finals MVP twice, in 2009 and 2010. Shaq was the NBA Finals MVP in the other three years Kobe and the won championships from 2000-2002.

The most points that Michael Jordan ever scored in a game was 69, which he on March 28, 1990 vs the .

On January 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant scored in a game vs the . That is the second highest number of points a player has ever scored in a NBA game, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain's 100 points game.

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are two of the greatest scorers in NBA history. But Jordan has a career scoring average almost 20% higher than Kobe's, and he won twice as many scoring titles.

In terms of championships, Jordan has one more than Kobe does. So Kobe certainly has a chance to match and even surpass Jordan in that category, though he will never win six NBA Finals MVP Awards.

The one scoring mark Kobe has over Jordan is most points scored in a game. With 81, Kobe's highest points game is 12 points higher than Jordan's 69 points.

Overall though, Kobe Bryant really doesn't compare to Michael Jordan statistically. Jordan just has too much higher a scoring average and won too many more scoring titles. From a sheer will and determination to go into games and score points though, I think Kobe Bryant does compare to Michael Jordan.

Regarding that though, I have to admit that after a while I just took for granted what Michael Jordan was doing in his NBA career. I mean, I just expected him to do it because he was so great. I've never really felt that way about Kobe Bryant for most of his career.

When Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a game, many players, refs and fans said they were not surprised and Wilt to do it. That is the type of greatness Michael Jordan achieved in his NBA career. I think Kobe Bryant has gotten there at times during his career, but not to the extent that Michael Jordan did.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or