Thus far, I would say that Lebron has underachieved a bit (in my eyes the most blessed and talented basketball player I've ever seen)
Not saying he wont be legendary one day, and there's no doubt the guy is GREAT. But I still rank Kobe as the best player to come straight from HS to the pros.
Lol I mentioned KG as a HOF'er. Meaning a hall of famer....
Of course LeBron still has work to do, but he'll get it done. The dude is still improving. He's a student of the game still and he got that first ring. And he is still on a team with Wade and Bosh. LeBron has the talent to go down as the best ever. Don't think he will though. I do think he can surpass Kobe though.
For me, Kobe is behind Michael. Not sure if I can put him behind anyone else. Just watching him, even this late into his career, its really a treat. I love watching the guy play. Yeah he won his first 3 titles with Shaq as the main piece, but they don't win without Kobe either. Youngest by over a year to 30k points? Ridiculous.
Obviously Kobe is a great player, but what exactly has he done without riding on Shaq/Gasol's back? Even today when he's still playing at a high level, if Gasol can't produce the team will amount to nothing. His point averages were insane during his prime, but again, he would never make the Finals. Yes his team was garbage, but Lebron led his useless team to 60+ seasons and a Finals appearance...
tl dr; probably low top 10
And you can't compare Lebron's "sad" teams to Kobe's.
Mo Williams >> Smush Parker
Kobe Bryant>>>Anthony Parker/Larry Hughes/D. West
Lebron James >>>>Luke Walton/Caron Butler
Lamar Odom > A young Anderson Verejao
Zydrunas Illgausgas >> a young Bynum, Chris Mihm, Kwame Brown
Cavs also had a better bench.
Kobe's teams were one of the worst assembled teams for those few years.
i'd say around 20th. if he were charismatic & likable, top 5 probably
Yeah looking back LBJ's Cleveland team was better, (but god damn how the hell did he lead them to 60+ wins with Mike Brown??! lol). I guess I've just always thought that Kobe, while remarkable, has been blessed with amazing teammates time in and time out.
My question is, is he even the best Laker ever. Some of you have him close to 2 all times (and that's fine), but I don't even think he's the 2nd best Laker. Magic, Kareem are easily higher. And then it's a mash up with Shaq, West, Elgin Baylor (perhaps the most underrated Laker), and even Wilt played there for like 5 years. Kobe in my opinion is somewhere between 3rd and 6th best Laker, which has to put him between 8th - 15th range in the all-time discussion at best.
Side note: God have the Lakers been blessed with basketball talent.
Kobe is closer to Pippen than MJ, and if it wasn't for Shaq he would just be another Dominique Wilkins.
Magic played with Kareem, Worthy, and Wilkes
Jordan played with Pippen, Rodman, and Kukoc
Not everyone there is a HOFer, but most of EM were realllly good.
Kobe's played with Shaq and then he played with Pau. Those are the ONLY two HOFers(potential in Pau's case) that Kobe has played with. Maybe he was second to Shaq, but there's no way in hell he was ever second to soft as Charmin Pau Gasol. Idc how skilled he is, Kobe was the man on that team.
Kobe to me is like K. Malone. He had a long career and in kobe's case he had a lot of career accomplishments. But no one considers K. Malone the greatest Forward ever or even in the top ten of all time.
Legends that will never be passed.
Bill Russell, when you have more rings than fingers, as the man well you are the MAN.
Wilt, check the record book.
Mj, well its MJ enough said.
Bird and Magic, if you think Kobe is better than either one of these then you never saw them play.
Kareem, well its Kareem. enough said.
In no order
I have him at 11 myself, he could get as high as 8 or 9. No way he is ever in the top 6.
Probably not even in my top 15. One of the more overrated players of all time in my opinion. He belongs in a top 20 or so discussion, but in no way is he a top 10 player.
Oh Hakeem is definitely over him. I forgot about The Dream.
At least top 10
Whenever I hear people talk about Kobe's "legendary" status I always think back in my head to game 7 of the 2010 finals. He was wretched that game. 6-24 on FGs and 0-6 from the 3 PT line. 4 TOs and 2 AST. He ended with 24 that game but 11 of them were a gift at the free throw line. With as many shots as he took he should've ended the game with 40. If the refs hadn't bailed out L.A. to the tune of 20 extra free throws they would've gotten blown out by Boston in that game. I'm still not convinced there wasn't some shady officiating going on in that game. I don't know the actual numbers, but I feel like Kobe went to the FT line about 4 times in the last 2 minutes of that game. You can watch all his screw ups below. A legendary player doesn't play like this in a crucial game. Yeah they won, and I understand that sometimes you have to take over the game and all that, but when you are getting double/triple teamed and continue to shoot fadeaway 3's are you really a legend? The lack of basketball IQ in those clips is astounding to me at times. Especially at about 45 seconds into the video when Ray Allen completely puts the clamps on Kobe and his turnound fadeaway jumper hits the side of the backboard. That play to me is the very essence of Kobe Bryant.
Try this list on for size. I don't have Kobe in the top-10, and I don't necessarily see James making the top-ten either. Neither of them were centers, and there are already too many non-C's on this list for my taste...
I think LeBron is better than Kobe and right there with Bird and Magic. LeBron is a better basketball player than Kobe. He's not as skilled as Bird and Magic though, which I think matters a bit more than physical ability. In terms of strength, speed, etc., he's a smaller version of Chamberlain.
Michael Jordan was unstoppable. He was unstoppable whether he had Pippen on the floor or not. Kukoc wasn't that great and wasn't there much of the time. Rodman came late, although he made it impossible to beat the Bulls. The Bulls could have won 8 or 9 straight championships in the modern era if they wanted to do it. MJ was unstoppable when a typical foul by Charles Oakley might mean broken ribs. He was the greatest competitor and the most effective and amazing basketball player of all time IMO.
Controversial opinion alert: Wilt Chamberlain is overrated. In interest of full-disclosure, I never saw the man play - way before my time (like, I presume many others in this thread). I would merely suggest that had he played in an era with Shaq, Kareem, Hakeem, even a guy like Ewing, many of these All-Time Greatest lists might look very different. He was a 7'2 giant playing in an era when the average height of a starting center was 6'7. Also, any list with Russell over Wilt is nonsensical. I understand the argument that Russell played on vastly superior teams, but 9 championships to 2 pretty much speaks for itself.
Maybe one of the old-timers on here can set me straight, because I just don't get Wilt being a top 5 player all time.