L.A. Lakers: Does Kobe Need a 6th Ring to Be a Top 5 All-Time Player?

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of Lakerland who feels star guard Kobe Bryant is a top five all-time player. In fact, there are some who would argue that Kobe is not even worthy of being considered as a top-10 player.

Some of the confusion about Kobe's status as an all-time great is due to the subjective nature of the distinction. Most of it, however, is fueled by pure hate.

How else would you explain the refusal of some people to consider Bryant as a candidate for the NBA's legendary "fab five" after his sterling career?

In my opinion the top five NBA players of all time are Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell in no particular order.

Bryant's five championships, two NBA Finals, MVP awards, league MVP award and numerous selections to various all-NBA teams and all-defensive teams is certainly comparable with anything the players mentioned above accomplished during their respective careers.

And Kobe measures up pretty good historically as well.

Bryant has scored more than 29,000 points in his career, which is the fifth best in NBA history, and there is a good chance that Bryant will pass Jordan for third place in the next two or three seasons if he remains healthy.

And while surpassing Kareem's career scoring total of 38,387 points would be extremely difficult for Bryant to do, it's not impossible.

Even if Bryant doesn't catch Kareem, there is still a very good chance that Bryant will finish his career as the league's No. 2 scoring leader of all time, but unfortunately, for Kobe, it will still not be enough. At least in the court of public opinion.

Bryant's list of career accomplishments is longer than train smoke, but Kobe doesn't get judged by the player that he is; he gets castrated for everything he isn't.

Magic, Jordan, Wilt and Kareem were...

About the Author