Kobe Bryant: Disrespect Him, Call Him Older, He Wants You to

Oct. 18, 2011. 9.31 p.m.

It was this instant at which ESPN sowed the seeds for what would be quite the uproar.

We all know what the issue at hand is.

Over the last few weeks, a panelist of 91 journalists and basketball experts have been ranking NBA players on a scale of one through 10 based on overall ability. Needless to say, the list was rather boring and tedious when we were in the earlier stages. No disrespect to the man, but I don’t think many fans were interested to see Eric Dampier judged as being the 325th best player in the NBA.

Things began to get interesting as we got to the top.

Was Kendrick Perkins, possibly one of the top three post defenders in the league along with Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah, and the anchor in the middle of the best young team in the Western Conference, really just the 95th best player in the league?

Did a few playoff games in which J.J. Barea lit up poor defensive point guards like Derek Fisher and Mario Chalmers put him at 92, ahead of someone like OJ Mayo who’s shown us that he is capable of scoring 20 points a night regularly?

Even these were not such travesties.

People got very antsy when Blake Griffin came in at No. 10, though.

One season. One whirlwind season of highlight-reel dunks, scoring binges, no postseason and a 23-12 average was apparently enough for the columnists to justify ranking him over the likes of proven playoff beasts Carmelo Anthony and Steve Nash?

This was all fine. We could deal with it. Each to their own.

That attitude came to an end when the players ranked six through 10 were released.

According to the writers, Kobe Bryant is the seventh best player in the NBA.

No, you don’t need to go to your optometrist. You did read that correct.

What is to follow is not a frustration-filled rant of hatred by a clueless Laker fan. No,...

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