Standing Up for Kobe: Cooling Off Yahoo’s Over-Heated Miami Fan


First of all, can I even pick on a Heat fan? Isn’t that like picking on a Bald Eagle? Endangered species are federally protected, no? Oh, Heat fans aren’t on the list yet? Good, good. I feel like I’m slaying a unicorn here at the very least, but whatever.

Walk with me, as we descend into this valley of madness in attempt to bring light to the region which apparently is devoid of actual basketball knowledge.

“In an interview to promote his involvement with the video game NBA 2K11, Michael Jordan ranked Kobe Bryant as a top 10 guard of all time. Many thought this was a defensive and arrogant slight on Kobe, but it’s actually a reasonable assessment. In light of the criticism Jordan has endured recently, and the upcoming Heat-Lakers game tomorrow night on TNT, I’d like to take to take this opportunity to side with MJ, and dethrone Kobe Bryant as the best player in the NBA and a top five player of all time, and suggest that those are distinctions he never deserved.”

See, I agree with Jordan on Kobe Bryant. He is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the Top 10 guards to ever play the game of basketball. What Jordan said was a factual statement, nothing more, nothing less.

Now, if you were going to tell me: Kobe Bryant is the 8th best guard of all time; I’d obviously love to take you up on that opinion.

Personally, I think Kobe Bryant is better than Michael Jordan. I believed that Kobe would be everything Michael Jordan became. MJ was simply the right person at the right time for the league.

I’d also love to see Jordan in today’s NBA, because I promise you—he’d be remembered much differently.

These are arguments for another time; however, what guards are you going to put over Kobe Bean Bryant? I mean, all personal beef aside, who has his repertoire and skill-set? If you’re talking strictly shooting guards—it’s hard for me to think of THREE people I’d POTENTIALLY take over Kobe Bryant.

If you honestly believe Kobe Bryant isn’t a top four shooting guard in NBA history, well, our schools of thought are way too far apart to ever be reconciled.

Next: Kings Have Rings – But That Doesn’t Matter?
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Alrighty, first let me say that you answered his garbage – thinly disguised as poetry due to a use of big words – with fact. I enjoy that. It’s easy to spin a yarn and tell a great bedtime story for the children of South Beach. It’s another to back it all up with fact.

Speaking of fact, I’d like to point out that it took a former Laker head coach stealing another man’s job for Wade to get his ring. However most of my commentary to your article is going to focus on one thing, the Olympics.

At the beginning of the Games commentators and sports pundits pointed out things such as “Isn’t Kobe giving away his secret? These guys are gonna see what makes him Kobe, they’re gonna see how hard he works and they’ll emulate that work ethic.” Before Chuck could choke on a donut from the thought I was screaming “bullshit!” for one reason, just because they’ve seen it doesn’t mean they can do it. When you talk about Kobe’s need to win it’s like he’s affected, like it’s the driving force for the very fiber of his being. This isn’t the even the main point to be made here.

Coach K took stock of his Olympic team and saw that he was SO saturated on offense he needed to focus on defense, he chose to use Kobe as the NBA All Defensive Team member he’d been named to 6 times at that point in his career. He CHOSE to have Dwayne Wade shoot the ball, and keep Kobe on defense.

Coach Krzyzewski had the ultimate hypothetical situation of this era of the NBA come true in front of him in the final minutes of that gold medal game. He needed one man to dominate the game, he had Lebron, he had Wade, and he had Kobe. In Coach K’s OWN WORDS after the game, in that pivotal time out against Spain he looked at Kobe and simply said “Do your thing.”

There is no argument here, that moment says everything. People had been theorizing since the draft class of 2003 landed the concept of “You’re a coach, you’ve got these two kids and that guy….which one takes the last shot?” He decided for us. End of argument.

  • I love Austen’s response almost as much as this article.

    Good job knocking this out. PER has its place, for offense only. And I’d expect Kobe to take more shots. Seriously, how many shots have Kwame and Smush taken since playing with the Black Mamba? The only way that team makes the playoffs is Kobe leading the offense.

    Charlie forgot one other small factoid: MVP: Kobe 1, D-Wade 0.

    Other fun fact: People rag on Kobe only being able to win the first 3 with Shaq. D-Wade hasn’t moved anywhere in the playoffs since Shaq.

  • This is one the best response I have read. That includes the comment from Austen. I am sick of the so called “columnist” bringing up stats to back their theory. Will they ever learn that using stat to back your theory only applies in fantasy sports? and last time I checked we aren’t talking about fantasy sports.

    Anyways, to reiterate what Byrnes said – there is no comparison between Kobe and Wade. I think Wade is a phenomenal player, I really like his play but Kobe is just another in dimension. He is just in another level Wade may or may not be by the end of his career.
    The only comparison right now is they both are shooting guards. and Yes Wade is no Kobe Bryant.

  • What an excellent article/rebuttal! I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought you did a fantastic job of taking that writer to task. Whenever I try to argue for Kobe, people invariably bring up stats/Shaq/Phil Jackson and it drives me crazy. Like you said, basketball is so much more than stats. Plus every successful championship team had at least one other star and/or amazing coach to help them along. The Olympics argument is one of my favorites, I remember watching that game and loved how the entire team deferred to Kobe in the closing minutes…as it should be. While his talent is otherworldly, it is his drive and knowledge that truly sets him apart. Again, fantastic article =)

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