Kobe Bryant’s Numbers Make It Hard To Deny His Place in Lakers’ History

When Los Angeles Lakers great Jerry West called Kobe Bryant the greatest Laker in history, he was only validating a thought many had felt would become an eventuality for Bryant.

Bryant was already the career scoring leader for Los Angeles in the regular season and playoffs, and when he helped the Lakers clinch the NBA title against the Boston Celtics, he tied Magic Johnson for most championships won as well.

Bryant's five championships to go along with his numerous other accolades would appear to level the ground on which he and Johnson stand, but character traits and an unwillingness to let go of the past has hampered his ascension.

For many people, myself included, Magic will always be the greatest Laker of them all, but to deny Bryant a spot in the conversation is similar to continuously walking into a wall that you know exists.

The Lakers are of the NBA's greatest basketball franchises, and even people who show no allegiance to the purple and gold have an opinion on who the franchise's greatest player is, and the list usually includes West, Magic, and Kareem-Abdul Jabbar.

That holy trinity of players has accounted for 10 NBA championships for the Lakers, and are all regarded as some of the best players in the history of the game at their respective positions.

Bryant's 14-year career has been just as decorated as any of the players mentioned, and if he were to win another championship Bryant would stand alone at the top of the list in two of the most important categories.

Only those stuck in denial or in the past would argue Bryant's merits to be included in this group, and the charisma of Magic should not be a deciding factor on whether Bryant attains the top spot.

Magic's impact on the game of basketball in the 80s cannot be under-valued, but what he and Larry Bird did to save the sport is unrelated to the Lakers' franchise in general.

Magic and Bird's d...

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