So: Is he? Is Kobe Bryant, right now, the best basketball player alive?
He is, without question, a very good basketball player. He is tall. He runs fast, and he SLAMonline Top 50: Kobe Bryant, no. 1jumps high. He makes a lot of baskets, and he possesses a “high basketball IQ.” Among the rest of the basketball players playing basketball in the NBA today, his “skill set” is arguably unsurpassed. He does, in other words, most of the things involved in playing basketball better than do most other basketball players. No. 1 seems about right.
Who might be better? Probably no one. There are only a handful of basketball players in the “who’s the best basketball player” conversation, and arguably only one in legitimate contention, but the case for that basketball player has had numerous holes poked in it. A lot of those pokes have been valid. So, maybe consensus is easily reached: There is no basketball player who is clearly better at playing basketball than is Kobe Bryant.
Ergo, Kobe Bryant is the best basketball player.