Friday, June 13, 2008

Kobe Bryant <, >, or = Michael Jordan

So apparently, prior to the NBA Finals everybody was ready to put Kobe Bryant and the same dinner table as Michael Jordan in terms of greatest ever in the NBA. People were ready to assume he was going to go into Boston and take the title and let Phil also make claim as the greatest coach of all-time, surpassing Red.

Coming off of his MVP season, and relatively easy playoff run to the finals, who was going to doubt Kobe Bryant? The team had taken a relative 180 since opening night when he was shown the boo's from the home crowd, that was until they ran into Boston.

I will admit I was one of the first to doubt how successful the Celtics would be going into the season and again going into the playoffs having never played with each other before. I also did feel that they were significantly underrated going into this series. The Celtics were not 25-5 against the West by accident or 2-0 against the Lakers.

The main point here is that Kobe Bryant still does not deserve to be in the conversation with Jordan as the best ever. Considering a lot of opinions the list reads something like this...

1. Michael Jordan

2. Wilt Chamberlain

3. Bill Russell

Do not get me wrong, Kobe is the best current player in the NBA today, but I would like to see him with this title before people start giving him it without playing the series. Sure, he has not gotten a lot of help from "Mr . Softee" Pau Gasol or until last night Lamar Odom, but we are talking about the MVP here. His shooting so far has been dismal, in Game 4 he shot 6-19 and Game 1 09 of 26. To his credit Kobe did have 10 assists in Game 4. From what I gathered in last night's game it just seemed like Kobe was not getting involved early on and tried to turn it on to late, something similar to what Jordan would do. But if your team is up by 24 points Kobe, you should be trying to put the nail in the coffin and make sure your team does not lose that game! Was it not only 2 games earlier where the Lakers came back from a 24 point deficit to get within 2 points of leading the game??
Oh yes, and this supposed corner that Kobe has turned, let me point out that he was the one who left the court last night with 3 seconds left in the game and also made comments after the game saying, "A lot of wine, a lot of beer, couple shots...maybe 20 of them, digest it and get back to work".
What are your thoughts on Kobe Bryant? Where does he rank in terms of all-time greats?

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