Do You Have A Problem With Kobe Bryant Landing At No. 93 On ESPN’s #NBArank List?
When Sports Illustrated released their annual NBA player rankings over the summer and listed Kobe Bryant at No. 54, it raised a lot of eyebrows. Kobe clearly isn’t the player he once was, and it’d be silly to rank him anywhere even remotely close to the top 10 heading into the 2015-16 NBA season. But 54? That seemed awfully low to a lot of people. Are there really 53 NBA players better than Kobe at this stage of his career?
So imagine how surprised those same people were last week when ESPN came out with their rankings and agreed with SI saying that there are 53 NBA players better than Kobe. They took it a step further, though, and said that, in addition to those 53, there are 39 players on top of that better than Kobe right now. That’s right. ESPN ranked Kobe all the way down at No. 93 on their list. As in, there are 92 players better than Kobe right now in ESPN’s opinion.
When he was asked about where he fell on the ESPN list this year—Kobe landed at No. 40 before last season—Kobe downplayed it. He told reporters that it’s “silly” and refused to expound on it much. But it’s clear that Kobe isn’t happy with his ranking and that his fans are upset with ESPN for where they listed Kobe. But does ESPN actually have a point?
The thing about rankings is that, by nature, they are designed to spark conversation and debate. So if Kobe was, say, No. 12 on this year’s list, there would be a bunch of Kobe haters who would be up in arms about that. And yet, you could probably argue that Kobe could be ranked that high if you factored his entire legacy into it. But when you think about the injuries that have sidelined Kobe over the last two seasons and you consider the fact that he’s 37 and well past his prime as of right now, it’s hard to argue giving Kobe a spot closer to No. 100 than to No. 1.
Where do you think Kobe should have fallen on the ESPN list?