Kobe Bryant’s No. 25 ESPN Ranking Isn’t as Ridiculous as It Sounds

An outrage! A calamity! Preposterous!

I know—I said the same thing when Master P was voted off Dancing with the Stars.

But Kobe Bryant as the No. 25 player in the NBA this season? I can live with that. 

However, I understand the bewilderment Bryant's adoring and loyal fans must be feeling. Especially with Chris Bosh's mug sitting just above their man at No. 24. 

OK, so maybe 25 is a little high. There are a few guys ahead of him I'd pluck out. But the tier he falls in sounds about right when you factor in all the facts and variables. 

And I'm no a Kobe hater. This isn't about taking the chance to diminish his stature or wave the overrated flag. The dude might be top 10 all time. 

Just not in 2013-14. 

It wasn't too long ago that we were wondering if we'd even see him this year following that ugly Achilles injury. Now that we hear he's working out, it's as if many have already upgraded him back to elite status.

I'm aware of the Mamba's special healing powers. I wouldn't even be surprised if he meets weekly with Mr. Miyagi in a remote location.

But the latest reports still have Bryant without a timetable to return. "I have no idea," said coach Mike D'Antoni on Oct. 21 (via ESPN's Dave McMenamin) when asked about the availability of Bryant. 

So come on, fellas. How are we going to go bizerk over a ranking that makes him the No. 25 player in the league—and nobody even knows when he'll be able to play? 

Not only that, but at 35 years old having missed an entire summer of basketball, how are we even sure what level he'll perform at once back? We're talking about a ranking for this upcoming season—not based on what he's done over the past 15.  

The playing field just isn't equal given what's taken place over the last six months. Had Bryant been healthy and ...

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