Kobe Bryant Isn’t Like Mike, He’s Just the Most Overrated Player in NBA History

With the NBA playoffs right around the corner expect to be bombarded with articles chronicling Kobe Bryant’s quest to win ring No. 6 and equal Michael Jordan’s ring tally. Expect nonstop comparisons between the two. Expect Kobe to be crowned the greatest Laker of all time and the greatest player of all time behind Jordan.

Well, not so fast. While Kobe is without a doubt a great player, he does not belong anywhere near Jordan, Magic, Bird, Kareem, Russell and all the other truly elite players.

While fans and analysts have often described him as the best player in the game, he has never even been the best player during an entire season. During his early years in Los Angeles, Shaq was without a doubt the best player on the team, as Kobe took a back seat to the most dominant center the NBA has seen since Wilt. But since Shaq left, the Lakers have been Kobe’s team and despite the stats and championships he has never been the best player in the NBA for a whole season.

Let’s recap Kobe’s career post-Shaq:



Kobe averages 27.6 PPG as the Lakers finish 10th in the West, a year after they go to the NBA Finals with Shaq. Steve Nash wins MVP and is the best player in the league along with Shaq.



Kobe drops an amazing 35.4 PPG and leads the Lakers to a 45-win season, good for seventh place. Steve Nash again wins MVP, but LeBron was without a doubt the best player in the league.



Averages 31.6 PPG as Lakers win 42 games, enough for seventh in the West. Dirk wins MVP, though Nash was the best in the league for the year.



Wins his only MVP award as LA takes the first seed in the West thanks to the acquisition of Pau Gasol. Both Chris Paul and LeBron had much finer seasons. Bryant's regular-season MVP award is almost ...

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