Do You Agree With ESPN Ranking Kobe Bryant As The 40th Best Player In The NBA Right Now?
Last year, ESPN placed Kobe Bryant at No. 25 on their annual #NBArank list of NBA player rankings. And people were not happy about it. Even though Kobe was coming off of a major injury, they thought that it was very disrespectful for The Worldwide Leader in Sports to rank Kobe that low—and they took to Twitter to bash ESPN for doing it. So can you even imagine what they’re going to do this year now that ESPN has ranked Kobe at—get this—No. 40 on their #NBArank list? There’s going to be rioting in the streets! Angry Kobe fans are going to take over ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn. and take the network off the air! Kobe is going to refuse to talk to ESPN ever again! It’s going to be…now, just wait a second.
The truth of the matter is that the #NBArank list does not rank players based on their entire careers. The people who put it together don’t factor Kobe’s five rings into the discussion or look at the big picture as it relates to Kobe when they do their rankings. Rather, the rankings are based on this year and look to project which players will have the best seasons and which deserve top billing over others. And when you look at it that way, doesn’t No. 40 sound right for Kobe? In fact, you could argue that Kobe deserves to be lower on the list, not higher, because of where he’s at in his career.
Last season, Kobe played in less than 10 games for the Lakers because of injury. He’s not as young as he used to be, and his body can’t handle the grind of an NBA season. That’s not an opinion, either. That’s a fact, based on his last two seasons. And nothing that Kobe has done in recent years leads us to believe that he can take a mediocre Lakers team and lead them to an NBA title this season. It’s why he deserves to be at No. 40 instead of No. 35 or No. 30 or even No. 25 where he landed last year—and why people need to stop acting so shocked when Kobe falls so low on annual player ranking lists. He’s clearly not the same player he used to be. And while he deserves to be respected, he also deserves to be treated fairly on ranking lists. And No. 40 is fair for the 2014 version of Kobe Bryant, whether you like it or not.
Do you think Kobe Bryant deserved to be ranked higher on ESPN’s #NBArank list this year? Let us know.