Is Derrick Rose Really Better Than Kobe Bryant Right Now?

If you haven't heard, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant once again failed to crack ESPN' s top five in their player rankings, but what makes this year's list even more interesting is that Bryant is rated behind a player who may not even suit up until sometime after the New Year. and the TrueHoop network ranked Bryant sixth, which is a one spot improvement from his ranking last year, but how do they explain rounding out their top five with Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose?

The same Rose who is currently recovering from a major knee injury and will probably not be available until late in the 2012-13 season. And even then, it's doubtful Rose will look anything like the NBA's 5th best player when he does return.

Athletes recover from ACL injuries all the time, but in Rose's case the injury specifically affects the part of his game that makes him special.

Rose is one of the quickest and most explosive guards off the dribble in the NBA, but unfortunately, knee injuries can potentially rob a player of those attributes while affecting other things like lift and lateral movement, as well.

Hopefully Rose has a speedy and successful recovery, but ESPN's list is supposed to be based on the top players entering the 2012-13 season and right now Rose does not fit the description.

Maybe ESPN didn't want to stack the top five with players from Los Angeles since Bryant's new teammate Dwight Howard was ranked third and Clippers' point guard Chris Paul claimed the 4th position.

If that's the case, ESPN should have chosen someone else to round out their top five, because it's border-line disrespectful to rank a player who will start the season on the injured list over a healthy Bryant.

Especially when you consider that it would be difficult to call Rose a better player than Bryant even if he was healthy.

Last season, Bryant averaged more points a...

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