Quote from CBA expert Larry Coon from Hoopsworld in regards to the ranking.
"I was one of the voters for NBArank. I can’t speak for everyone who voted, but I can speak for how I voted.
It’s important to clarify that the voters didn’t individually rank the players from 1-500. We rated each player on a 0-10 scale, with a 10 being best. The average rating for each player is sorted, and that determines his NBArank. So I had no control over say, where Kobe was ranked relative to Chris Bosh, except through rating one higher than the other, and my vote being one of many.
The voting criteria was to rate the overall level of play predicted for the player in 2013-14, including both QUALITY and QUANTITY of his expected contributions.
With Kobe you have a guy who’s coming off one of the most devastating injuries a basketball player can sustain — especially when the player is in his mid-30s. The typical recovery time is a full year, and even then, history shows that players usually come back as a shell of their former selves, and it takes much longer than that to recover to whatever their new baseline is. We have a player who sustained this injury just six months ago, who isn’t running yet (except on the Alter-G), who isn’t cutting yet, and who certainly isn’t playing yet. We also have no timetable for his return. When he does return, even if 100% healthy, he has to re-gain his conditioning and timing, and he & the team (who will be used to playing without him) have to acclimate to each other.
That’s a different situation than either Westbrook or Rose. Neither of those players had an Achilles tear, and neither of those players is 35.
And before someone responds that this is Kobe, and he’s always been an animal when it comes to coming back from an injury, my response to that is that sometimes the past is a good predictor for the future, and sometimes it isn’t. Kobe’s Achilles tear is unlike any injury he’s had in the past, and that makes the past a poor predictor of how well he’ll come back from THIS injury. You can say he’s ahead of schedule right now, but there’s still a long way to go before we know when he’ll actually be back on the court, and how well he’ll play once he gets there.
I gave Kobe a 10 in the last three NBAranks — including the midseason NBArank last season. But given the uncertainty over his injury and the fact that he’ll likely miss a good portion of the season (which affects the quantity of his contribution), I gave him an 8 this year. This turned out to be above-average (his average score was 7.78), but seeming in-line with the other voters’ thinking.
Overall, the voters took a look at the situation and voted a 35 year old coming off a devastating injury as 25th in the league, which means borderline all-star. I think that’s reasonable. Plus, the reason for the lowered rank isn’t an expectation that he’ll play like the league’s 25th best player, it reflects uncertainty over how well he’ll come back. If he does come back strong and healthy he’ll be a lot better than 25th once he’s got his conditioning and timing back and he & the team are used to playing together. But if he’s still severely hampered he’ll be worse than 25th. His ranking merely reflects that uncertainty."