Around this time last year I posted a thought about Kobe Bryant as he rather silently makes his case as the best player in NBA history not named Michael Jordan.
I say that Kobe is on a silent mission because despite that fact that he could be appearing in his third consecutive NBA Finals, most of the historical comparisons have been reserved for that guy in Cleveland who hasn’t won anything.
I’ve had this discussion in many places, most recently on the internet and I’ve come to the conclusion that Kobe Bryant is one of the most under-appreciated and underrated players in NBA history.
Sound crazy? I’m sure it does. I also believe that Jay-Z is underrated but I digress.
I say that Kobe is underrated because, in my opinion, the skill and grace in which he plays with is lost on the average basketball fan.
It doesn’t take much basketball knowledge to be able to appreciate a high flying dunk or a spectacular block.
It does, however, require a certain amount of understanding to appreciate the subtle nuances Kobe’s game. The spin moves, the pivots, the mid-range, the jumper, the ability to close a game, and not to mention the leadership.
There’s a reason that when Sporting News assembled Hall of Famers, major award winners, executives, current players and coaches and other basketball experts to vote on the top 50 greatest players in the league, Kobe received 62 first place votes to LeBron’s 34.
That’s almost twice as many. This wasn’t a fan vote. The names on this list of voters reads like a who’s who of basketball dignitaries that includes: Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor, Joe Dumars, Hubie Brown, Dr. Jack Ramesy and others.
The Kobe/LeBron discussion shouldn’t be a matter of personal preference. Unlike a Jay-Z/Nas argument, there are actual and quantifiable determining factors in the discussion.
Just watch the video and try to see why NBA players, coaches, executives and writers overwhelmingly vote Kobe over LeBron.