Since Kobe ‘Bean’ Bryant joined the 30K club, the debates have not stopped. Does this make him the greatest Laker of all time? Is he in the top 5 players of all time?
That second question really is a tough one to answer, with so many great players to have graced the court how do you narrow it down to a top 5? And Does Kobe belong in that group?
He has done phenomenal things since coming into this league, winning himself 5 NBA Titles – 2 Finals MVP’s – 1 Regular Season MVP, also countless times as an All Star, All NBA First Team, Defensive First Team. I mean the guy has a hell of a resume, but does that put him in the rarefied group of the 5 greatest players.
I am going to offer up my 5 Greatest Players of All Time, let me know what you think. Better yet show me what your top 5 looks like.
1) Michael Jordan
Complete game changer, brought worldwide interest to this game. An absolute beast night in and night out, yes he was surrounded by very good players but he was always the one to make the last play or knock down the important jump shot. He was and forever will be the greatest basketball player to ever step onto the floor.
2) Bill Russell
If it all comes down to who has the most titles then Bill Russell wins easily, only played 13 seasons in the NBA but managed to win 11 titles! Unbelievable numbers for the big man, he revolutionized the position as a dominant defensive big man in the paint. Was more noted for his defensive efforts (career average of 22.5 rpg) and his blocking abilities, which back in his day were not counted. Truly special player who had the wood over Wilt his entire career.
3) Oscar Robertson
Only managed to win 1 title but what he could do on the court was nothing short of amazing, know obviously I never saw this man in action but I have seen enough footage to warrant putting him in this position. The only player in NBA History to average a triple double for an entire season, that in itself is just truly remarkable. In his last season he took the Bucks to the NBA Finals (they lost in 7) but the following season the Bucks fell to last place in their division, thus showing the importance of this great player. (Still holds the triple double record at 181)
4) Wilt Chamberlain
Here is all you need to know, for his entire career (14 seasons) Wilt averaged 30.1 ppg & 22.9 rpg. He was a truly unstoppable force on the court, standing at a monster 7ft 1inch he was as close to unstoppable as you can imagine. He still to this day holds countless NBA records – most points in a game (100), most rebounds in a game (55), and most points in a season (4,029). He was a stat sheet stuffer and will always be remembered as one of the greatest.
5) Earvin “Magic” Johnson
The Magic man was a truly breathtaking player to watch, ran the point guard position like no player has ever done before. Had remarkable career statistics of 7.2rpg, 11.2apg & 19.5ppg, he was a constant triple double threat (second only to Oscar on the all time triple double list – 138). Had so much flair and imagination with the ball in his hands the opposition (and sometimes his teammates) had no idea what was going to happen next. Tragically his career was cut short due to HIV, it will always leave that lingering question of “Would he have been the greatest if he hadn’t of been cut down in his prime?”
Well there you have it, I effectively answered both questions – Kobe doesn’t make the top 5 (yet) and he isn’t the greatest Laker of all time (again, yet).
Feel free to show me who I got wrong and enlighten me with your own top 5.