kobeSince Kobe Bryant’s career will be winding down here pretty soon, as a huge Kobe fan, I cannot help but begin to wonder what Laker-land will be like once # 24 decides to call it quits. I mean, the last time that the Los Angeles Lakers were without Kobe was when Bill Clinton was still in office, Nintendo 64’s graphics were considered to be amazing, and the Lakers’ franchise had (only) 11 NBA Championships.

As of now, I personally cannot fathom what it is going to be like when the Lakers do not have Kobe Bryant, and I’m sure many other Laker-fans concur. As we prepare ourselves to grasp, accept, and embrace this harsh reality, a few questions are still up-in-the-air.

One question that is lingering amongst Laker-fans is: when will Kobe retire? Will he play until the NBA has to practically shove him into retirement, even when his greatest contributions might be coming off the bench? Or, as Michael Jordan should have done, will he hang the jersey up while in his mid-30’s, when he is still good for 25-5-5 and (hopefully) has a few more rings? Where will he finally settle in the list of most points accumulated throughout one’s career? How many more (if any) MVP trophies will he win?

It’s kind of strange to think we will have these answers within this upcoming decade. However, this has to be one of the most intriguing questions of them all: where will Kobe Bryant – after his jersey is retired – finally rank among the Greatest Players of All Time?

In light of the recent 2009 inductees of the Basketball Hall of Fame (mainly Michael Jordan), let’s evaluate what criteria basketball fans and critics consider when assessing a player’s greatness. One obvious aspect of the game that the player must have is great statistics. Even though a player’s statistics does not entirely represent their production on the court, they still give us a good idea of what they’re doing out there and how they are contributing to the team. Also, we must take into account the player’s championships, MVP awards, other accolades (I.E. Defensive Player of the Year, All-NBA selections, etc), and, of course, the legacy they leave behind. Needless to say, players who meet and/or exceed these criteria are extremely rare. Fortunately for us as Laker-fans, we were able to witness a 17-year-old kid fresh from high school grow and develop into one of these players; the beauty of it is that Kobe’s legacy is completely self-made, a la Michael Jordan.

In order for us to determine where Kobe is going to be ranked among the greatest of all time, we must first decide where he is ranked at this moment. From an NBA-analyst’s perspective, last year’s remarkable championship-run instantaneously propelled Mamba into a position as, at least, one of the top-15. From their eyes, Kobe finally won a ring without Shaq and proved that he could do it while being the undisputed leader of the team. In my opinion, Kobe was already up there. In fact, I believe that after last year’s run, we can easily make a legitimate case for Kobe being in the top-10.

In a recent Slam Magazine that I read (issue #130), they had Kobe ranked at #12. Although this ranking was before Kobe’s latest ring, they still probably would not have moved him much higher. To me, some questionable players that they had ahead of Kobe were: Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor. I can argue all day why, at least, Kobe rightfully should be ahead of these three. I could even attempt to make a case for Kobe against the likes of Wilt Chamberlain (Slam had him at #2), Bill Russell (#3), and Larry Bird (#9); but this would mean I would have to go into detail about how the NBA game has changed dramatically within the last 20 years.

I’ll save that for another day.

Instead, I am going to look at what it will take for Kobe to accomplish his own main goal: being #1. Granted, it is going to be very hard to overturn Michael Jordan’s spot at #1, mainly because Jordan’s legacy involved the evolution of the business-aspect of this game. Let’s assess each of their accomplishments. Jordan’s on-court accolades look something like this: six championships, five MVP’s, 14 All-Star appearances (three MVP’s), six Finals MVP’s, one Defensive Player of the Year, one Rookie of the Year, two Dunk Contest Championships, two Gold Medals, ten All-NBA First-Team and nine All-NBA Defensive First-Team selections. WOW!

As intimidating as that looks, Kobe Bryant’s is definitely not-too-shabby: four championships, one MVP, 11 All-Star appearances (three MVP’s), one Finals MVP, two scoring titles, one Dunk Contest Championship, one Gold Medal, seven All-NBA First-Team and seven All-NBA Defensive First-Team selections. Also, Kobe’s career statistics are slightly lower than Jordan’s (25-5-5 vs. 30-6-5).

So far, Jordan has Kobe beat in every category, which brings us back to one of our initial questions: how much longer will Kobe play? If he decides to stick around for five more seasons, then he can surpass Jordan in some of these categories, and make it pretty close in others. But will it be enough for him to be considered greater than Michael Jordan?

My Predictions

I am a realist, and as much as I would want for Kobe Bryant to be widely considered the Best of all Time, I just don’t see it happening. Michael Jordan left a revolutionary imprint on this game that I don’t think will ever be duplicated. Furthermore, Kobe’s accomplishments and accolades will be very close to Jordan’s, but not quite all the way there. One award that especially sticks out that Kobe unlikely will touch: Jordan’s five MVP trophies. Hopefully, Kobe will add at least one or two more, but that could be wishful thinking.

Although I personally think that Kobe is a better scorer than Jordan (best scorer in NBA history, in my opinion – again, reserved for another article), I think Jordan will remain at #1 as G.O.A.T. when Kobe’s #24 jersey is retired (and maybe #8?).

So, where does this leave Mamba? I predict that he will win two more rings, two more Finals MVP’s, and one more Regular-Season MVP, along with All-Star, All-NBA First-Team, and All-NBA Defensive First-Team selections for virtually all of the remaining seasons he will play. These, along with his many other accomplishments and achievements, should be good for a slot within the top-5 Greatest of All Time.

These upcoming seasons will answer many of our questions, and don’t think that Kobe will not be determined to raise his stock either. Laker-fans, we are in for a treat.

My Current Rankings (based off legacy, consistency, dominance, hardware, and statistics)

#1 – Michael Jordan
#2 – Bill Russell
#3 – Magic Johnson
#4 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
#5 – Shaquille O’Neal*
#6 – Wilt Chamberlain
#7 – Kobe Bryant*
#8 – Tim Duncan* **
#9 – Larry Bird
#10 – Oscar Robertson

*Still Active
**This was a tough decision, but Kobe barely edged him for #7.


  • Sopi

    i cant believe theres no jerry west in the top 10………

  • Brandon Beshara

    I would probably place Jerry West at #11 or #12….the NBA icon needs to be updated lol. But really though, winning played a huge part in this decision and even though Jerry West and his Lakers made it to the Finals all of those times, only one season culminated into a championship. The players above him are more deserving, in my opinion.

    • a.vecci

      Well written. You’re undoubtedly going to take a few for you’re choice of openers. that’s just life, kiD “

  • http://hooters.com RonArtestRepeat

    I’m not sure why everyone is writing articles about Kobe being done soon. IMO, he still has a lot more years then we think. However, I think this article does a great job, better than the other ones that are like omg kobe’s done, he’s going downhill. I think Jerry West is surefire top ten. I think Kobe will end up 2nd or 3rd. First? maybe if he gets 7 rings. three more? that’s certainly possible.

  • Monkija87

    I’m sorry but you just lost all your credibility by stating that Kobe should already be ahead of Oscar Robertson. How many of Robertson’s games have you watched? Full games I mean, not highlights. The top 5 players ever to play the game are Jordan, Magic, Russell, Chamberlain and Robertson (not in any particular order). Bird, Kareem, Kobe, Duncan and Shaq come right behind these guys, but none of them (yet?) are in that category. MOST former and current NBA players will say that Oscar is unquestionably, after MJ, the 2nd greatest player ever to play the game.

  • kob24

    Bill russell doesn’t deserve number 2 wilt should be there cause wilt was way more dominant then russell, 50ppg for wilt. just cause russell had like 6 hall of famers with him when there were 8 teams in the nba. kobe will finish top 5 for sure!!

  • kob24

    Bill russell doesn’t deserve number 2 wilt should be there cause wilt was way more dominant then russell, 50ppg for wilt. just cause russell had like 6 hall of famers with him when there were 8 teams in the nba and got all the rings. kobe will finish top 5 for sure!!

  • kid24

    I already know that a lot of people wont agree with me but as far as i’m concern…kb is number 2 right after jordan(only because of Jordan’s legacy not skill wise…) i do respect the other greast tho’ but Kb is right up there in front of them.. he ll probably win 2 or 3 more rings and who knows….

  • T-Dub

    I just don’t understand how you people continue to compare players from differrent era’s? Back in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, most of these guys we playing against smaller, shorter, slower, less athletic white guys…(Wilt, Russel, Baylor, Oscar). So, of course they were going to dominate and get big numbers night in and night out. They were the best guys because there were so few blacks allowed in the league to challenge them. Russel or Wilt would not have dominated Shaq, Duncan, Hakeem the dream! Oscar or West would not have dominated Jordan, Kobe, Pippen, Lebron, etc…You can’t start comparing until the competition caught up inthe late 70’s and 80’s. Magic, Bird, Jordan, Kareem, Hakeem, Malone, Kobe, Shaq, Duncan, Garnett, etc….I would say Kobe is definately in the top 5!

  • Short Dog

    Kobe should be #1 Period

  • http://www.pablasso.com pablasso

    If winning is so important, just put Robert Horry in there. Bill Russell is not the second best ever, not a chance.

  • Ricky

    kobe deserves number one.
    Hes a fighter.
    If You look at how he encourages his team, Doesnt stop workin out in the off season, Never gives up, And always has his head high thats proof.
    Yes, Championships does matter For him to Be in Number 1 and yes, he is possibly able to get 3 or 4 more.
    But Kobe Did lose to NBA Finals Without key tributes from a team.
    Look at the pisons vs lakers Finals Who was missing? (key aspect to the roster) The mailman, Karl Malone.
    Look at the Celtics Vs Lakers Finals Who was Missing? (key aspect to the laker roster) Andrew Bynum and Luke Walton. (I dont want to start TO here trash about Luke Walton He is a fine Nba player and if he wansnt The lakers wouldnt pick him up)
    If these Players werent injured at the time, Im sure as possible that kobe would have 6 Rings By now with Possibley 5 ore to come in the next 5 years. But What question bring us to ask? “If Kobe Should Be Number One, Couldnt he have won himself?”
    Look at the statistics. Yes, Kobe is the best in my opinion in the world at basketball. But, If U watch the Pistons Roster They had a team that didnt have one star But many “average” players.
    Of Course with One star Chauncy Billups.
    Kobe Is only one person Yes He can Gaurd Chauncy But Defesivly without karl malone Defensivly we could not match up to the greatness of Rasheed Wallace. Also Look at The Celtics Game They Had Kevin garrnet Who was mainly Gaurded By the Strong Hold Of Andrew Bynum as well as Pau Gasol.
    All In all I believe With these facts Kobe Should Be placed as number 1.

  • http://www.michaelserna23.com Michael_23

    I stopped reading the article at the first sentence where it said, “Since Kobe Bryant’s career will be winding down here pretty soon …”

    Ca mon now, he’s got a lot of years left, he’s probably got 3-4 years left as the greatest player in the league. And probably another 3 years after that for being a pretty got solid player.

    I still gotta respect Shaq’s game last year being the oldest and best player in that Suns team. But I wont forget he did take some nights off on back-to-back games. Kobe will never do that.

    Did MJ come off from the bench in Washington? I don’t think Kobe will ever come off the bench.

  • ryanleigh

    how is shaq in front of kobe? because hes played longer?


    Hahaha! Obviously, we’re being goaded to give our fiery emotional takes on the situation. I’m not gonna play this game. I’ll leave it up to Kobe to determine where he ends up being on this list. We’ve all gotta remember this… that Kobe does rub some people the wrong way! Whether it’s on the court antics or off the court comments or just pretty much being the most dominating player in the game right now, some people just have a thing against Kobe.

    Kobe’s gonna take this article and his current place on the list as fuel to motivate himself and his team to continue to win championships! He’s continue to show everyone that he’s got plenty left in the tank and that he’s no where near being “done”! He’ll elevate his own stock values and then “they” need to re-evaluated where he places on this list!

    Kobe’s gonna do just fine with or without our opinions on this matter. And since no experts are gonna listen to what we say to sway them one way or the other… I’ll just reserve my comments for a later time.

    Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love a heated debate about the GOAT? But it’s ridiculous for them to come out with this article or others of the same vein, because Kobe’s still active and he’s gonna do more with his career and all this means to me is that it’s summer, we’re hungry for basketball and can’t wait for it to start so they throw this out there for us to chew on until some real news comes out. LOVE WHERE THE DODGERS ARE AT, BUT THEY MEAN LESS TO ME THAN THE PRESEASON OF THE LAKERS GAMES! LET’S GET THE SEASON STARTED ALREADY!


  • gugy

    I think any article taking about Kobe’s legacy now while he still in his prime and possible winning more rings is too premature and exercise of futility.
    Once Kobe get’s on the last legs of his amazing career then fair to judge him.

    He just turned 31, so I would wait at least another 5 years to start writing about his legacy.
    I have the feeling that Kobe might win another two rings before he retires. Wait and see.



  • yourhigh

    you are crazy to think shaq is a better player then Kobe…

  • http://www.richardsonshops.com RockitD

    Kobe definitely is in the top 5 easily. Missing is the 3 All Star MVPs he has (the last co with Shaq). He is definitely the most “Jordan-esque” player there is and will definitely be listed among the game’s elite by his retirement.

  • http://d WOOOOOW

    No, he stated in the article that Kobe has 3 All-star game MVPs…It seems that everyone on here hasn’t read the article thoroughly. Some of you guys leaving the comments are forgetting that this list is comprised with MORE THAN ONE aspect of the game in mind. In other words, he didn’t conjure the list using only statistics, it’s also used with all of the other aspects of the game taken into consideration. READ THE ARTICLE PEOPLE!!!!!

    • daboss1848

      lol – kobe fans dont read any articles that dont start with KOBE is GOAT – this is where the author failed.

      • sureIAM

        The author IS a Kobe Fan! LOL

  • sureIAM

    I agree with WOW. This is the heading on the list: My Current Rankings (based off legacy, consistency, dominance, hardware, and statistics). Some of you guys are jumping the gun…take it easy! LOL

  • awesomerob24

    the day kobe bryant retires

    i dread this day with all my heart

  • ilikebasketball

    larry bird should be above tim duncan

    • 242LakerFan

      That’s a good call. As much as I hated him during the 80’s, I’ve come to respect him as one of the top 5 players ever. Duncan? Really? What’s the biggest shot Duncan ever hit? The one BEFORE Fish’s immortal :0.4!
      Michael, Magic, Larry, Kareem, Russel. Right now, that’s the top 5.
      Right now.

      • Monkija87

        Duncan has hit plenty of huge shots (i.e. the three against phoenix 2 years ago).

        Oscar Robertson belongs in the top 5 and so does Wilt. Without Oscar there is no Magic, and he was a better player than Magic.

        MJ, Wilt, Russell, Oscar, Magic and Bird at # 6.

  • Jordan

    Well I cant get over how people think Michael Jordan is a better basketball player then Magic Johnson to begin with. Magic played all 5 posistions, no one has ever been able to do this. Dont forget as a rookie he stepped in at center for the injured Kareem to knock off Philly. No way could MJ play the 4 or 5. Magic took the Lakers to the finals 9 times in 12 years, thats amazing when you think about it. Never did Magic ever fail to make the playoffs, people forget Jordan without Pippen in Chicago went 26-56. That Laker team Magic took to the finals in 91 had no business being there. Magic made them so much better than what they were. 6’9” played the point better than anyone, court vision was astonishing, smarts was amazing, skill was unlike anyone. Sorry, MJ is not in Magic’s league. Then again, I dunno if anyone is. MAGIC IS THE GREATEST EVER.

    • Monkija87

      Sir, with the greatest of respect what you just said is ridiculous. Oscar Robertson had better court vision and was a smarter player than Magic. And yes, the MJ legacy is very very very over-hyped and over-marketed, but Jordan is still unquestionably the greatest ever.

  • lakers2000

    I am confidant that Mr. Mamba, A.K.A. Mr.81, unstoppable, assassin, Real king is going to amaze everyone once again. This team is going to allow Kobe to be his best. This team hasn’t even put it on the floor together that long. Wishing to see the Lakers bytch slap Cleveland and Boston this year. This is not going to be a good season for haters!!! Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Giu

    Kobe’s in the top 5! c’mon!

  • Monkija87

    I’m sorry I may have been a bit quick with some of you people. It’s more than debatable who the top 2-10 players are. But it is a bit of an overstatement to already put Kobe in the top 5, even if he does belong there and maybe even in the top 1 or 2 if it was based on talent alone.

    This list is supposed to be the greatest of all time, not most talented or best player of all time. There is a huge difference.

    I believe MJ, Magic, Wilt, Russell, Robertson, Bird and Kareem still belong ahead of Kobe. But I think it’s totally legit to say the if he was to quit today, he’d be the 8th greatest player of all time.

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    putting oneal before hakeem means ignoring nba history
    hakeem dominated shaq (even in the finals)
    and all the centers of his era (ewing, mourning, shaq, robinson…etc)
    Hakeem won 2 rings yes shaq won 4 but he had wade and kobe with him, hakeem had nobody the first title (rooky cassell, young horry, mario elie, kenny smith, otis thorpe…i mean come on!) and a washed up drexler the second one
    hakeem was dominating both end of the floor, amazing D
    rebounds and the best most unstoppable and showtime post movement of any center in history
    Russell with his 11 rings is always overrated, he was great but his team was stuffed and was playing aginst only 8 othr teams
    other 2 in contention with hakeem are wilt and kareem
    i still prefer hakeem, wilt did not win as much as he should have (even though is the greatest statistically)
    kareem won a lot when he was not the star MAGIC was
    so hakeem is imo best center

    • Monkija87

      i definitely agree putting hakeem before shaq. but definitely not before wilt, kareem or russell

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    Oscar Robertson had better court vision and was a smarter player than Magic.
    better court vision of magic?
    dude get a clue
    magic had the best court vision of any player of all time
    robertson stacked up his triple double when players were getting 20/25 rebs a game (different kind of ball)
    now he was amazing, no way in hell he would average a triple double now…
    i still debate magic and mj of being the real goat
    mj won 1 ring more, and got so overhyped that for most people really believe he is thebest without ever thinking

    when mj retired first time same team of wout mj went 7 games in conference finals (and lost because a doubtful call) with the team that went to the finals
    when magic retired, same team they year after went from n1 team in west to missing poffs (or being 8th team and lose first round, i dont remember and dont wanna waste time checking)

    do you get the importance of the 2 players?
    bullls team was amazing, and was a gret team also wout mj
    lakers team was amazing and was a mediocre team wout magic…

    so who is the best?

    • Monkija87

      how many games complete games have you seen oscar play? highlights don’t count. the only 2 players getting 20 rebounds a game during that time were russell and wilt. there were also other fantastic centers during that time (willis reed, wes unseld, nate thurmond).

      i’m not defending oscar’s statistics here, yes the same season oscar averaged a triple double wilt averaged 50 points and russell was mvp. it definitely shows that it was a very different game back then, but we’re not comparing their talents versus each other, we are debating who was the greater player of his generation and in the history of the league (in the sense of basketball, not what kinds of marketable icons they were, people tend to confuse this). magic had bigger hands and was better at running the floor than oscar, but oscar had much better court vision in a half court set and was slightly better at defending players (albeit in his own era) versus magic, who had always trouble staying with the smallest point guards (reason why the 80s lakers always had a smaller and quicker SG along magic).

      it is honestly very debatable who was a greater player, oscar or magic, i just always tend to pick Oscar.

      yes MJ, like i said earlier, is very very very overhyped, and yes if you take him out vs taking magic out of their respective teams (especially later in both decades), the lakers would’ve definitely missed magic more than chicago mj. mj, however, played sg which is a position who’s void is much easier to fill. PGs are much more vital in running the teams offense and defense tha SGs. plus the bulls played in a triangle, so the ball wasn’t even meant to (not saying it didn’t) run through MJs hands every offensive shift. it’s that killer instinct and ruthlessness that MJ added that would not let his team lose in the 4th quarter that made him the greatest of all time. not that magic wasn’t ruthless and cluch, but mj took it to another level.

      • Monkija87

        and being ruthless and cluch doesn’t mean always taking the last shot and calculating seeing what kind of a percentage he shot in decisive shots. it means adding that aura to your teams that lets all your teammates know, that you can’t lose. that means being so intense and hungry on both ends of the court, that it sharpens your and your teammates instincts and makes you and your team play that much better every time the game gets close.

        mjs individual accolades also tend to trump magic’s whichever way you look at it, even though magic did play in a time where the competition was better (meaning more even, not more talented). magic himself also tends to make it clear that MJ was the greatest of all time, better than himself and larry. you have to give respect to something like that.

  • Short Dog

    Kobe bryant is THE BEST.
    Some lames show to much respect for these other players.
    Its Laker Nation 24-7. rankers.

  • bblakerstyle

    “Since Kobe Bryant’s career will be winding down here pretty soon,”- dude, pretty soon is incorrect! Pretty soon to me is 2-3 years. He’s got at least 4-6 years left to bring the goods.

    Sure, he’ll be at his peak for only 1-3 more years, but who would you rather have a 80% Kobe or 100% non-Kobe?

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    about being clutch, i fear you just tend to forget how many times magic was clutch
    but seriously, i mean that dude as a rooky, played center in the final dominating scoring 42, 17 reb(if i am not wrong) and 8 ass…
    i mean hello???
    nobody ever talks about that performance
    a pg playing center and dominating? btw winning the title…
    if mj ever did that or lets say even lebron, the fall would sky for how much would be overhyped…

    about court vision, i still strongly disagree with you
    oscar was playing in an era were phisicality was not an issue, nobody was very quick as in magic era…defenses were…well we know how pathetic
    whenever i see magic running the floor of playing half court also his simpler passes were amazing, on the right spot
    but you are right on a thing i definitely watched 100 times more games of magic than big O

    between big O era and magic era there is much more difference in everything that between magic era and today

    so at the end yes big O was amazing, but to me magic is goat

    regarding pg and sg…
    yes u r right pg are in general more important
    but lets say this
    when mj left bulls almost go to the finals
    do you think last year lakers go to po wout kobe????
    not even close

    PIPPEN is the most underrated player of all time, even though yes he is in the top 50, but still whenever you read stuff, he is not even mentioned
    PIPPEN was the reason why those bulls were so amazing also when mj left, and pippen was a huge part of bulls title

    as MJ know very well, in fact he is the only person/player that mj, briefly, recognized in his HOF speech…
    no 6 rings wout pip, and mj knows it

    • Monkija87

      you’re definitely right about pippen. he never seems to get the recognition he deserves. i don’t think he’s top 20, but definitely top 30. well no, the lakers probably wouldn’t make it to conference finals without kobe, but the lakers would still be a very very good team even if kobe got injured or something. the competition in the 90s was honestly very uneven, unlike now or in the 80s.

      it’s also true that physicality wasn’t a very big issue before 1985, players honestly did not work on their bodies as much. it was only about playing basketball and maybe lifting weights, there was almost no coordination or athletic training. this is precisely the reason why comparing players from different eras is so difficult, we can honestly just look at how they affected their teams in the respective eras each player played in.

      even the game in the 80s is honestly light-years away from the nba of today. the ball doesn’t move around nearly as much anymore, but then again, no one seemed to know how to drive left in the 80s. it’s almost comedic to look at some games from the mid 80s, when players sometimes would just force their way with their more dominant hand (looked like a bunch of Manu Ginobilis running around).

      but back to the point, the reason that oscar was such a dominant force is because he was a 6-5 230lb point guard, when most guards in the league were max 6 feet 180lb. he was honestly very much like magic in his era. just like magic he was an over-over-sized point guard who would still be fast enough to keep up with the little guys. i just feel that oscar was more dominant in his own time than magic, but that is honestly just my opinion.

      and also, yes 1980 nba finals game 6 is perhaps the single greatest performance by any player, ever :)

    • Monkija87

      and i could never forget how cluch magic was. one play especially comes to mind, i think it was a conference finals game against either portland or houston, where the lakers were up 4 and the opposition had the ball with about 15 or so seconds left. the team missed, and magic got the rebound with about 8 seconds left. now instead of letting the other team foul him, magic instead quickly threw the ball down the court to the other end (to nobody), but threw it with so much back spin that it took about 7,5 seconds for it up 4-6 points with about 8 seconds left, they were up 4 with 0,5 seconds left. there is a clip of this, i’m gonna try to find it.

      • Monkija87

        *about 7,5 second for it to go out of bounds. so now instead of the lakers being up 4-6 poitns with about 8 second left…. (don’t know how that got cut, sorry)

  • Sports0fan

    Kobes got a long way to go… adn for any idiot here that says KOBE is the GOAT at the moment needs to a get freakin clue… his not the GOAT.. hell, he aitn even the best laker player… he has to suprass both KAREEM and MAGIC first….

    I think after 1 more championship he will suprass Kareem as a LAKER but not as a player….

    But when its all said and done, if kobe gets 2 more rings… he would be tied at 2nd with MAGIC behind Jordan…

    Other than that his a shoe in for top 10 players.

  • Short Dog

    Michelle Jordan played until he was 36. Kobe still has alot more years to dominate. So to all the haters out there. Deal with it. Just because he doesn’t have to score 81 a game doesn’t mean he is slowing down. He has a show time laker team that can put any team to shame. Kobe-On top of the List!

  • I’m Just Sayin’

    Here are the greatest players of all time:

    1. Magic Johnson (Sure MJ had one more ring and had more points/gm, but Magic played 8 times in the Finals during the most competitive era in NBA history (1980’s) and got five rings and made 9 finals appearances total. Higher FG%, free throw%, and more rebounds per than MJ while shooting almost 10 fewer shots per gm than MJ. Also, he had the all-time highest assist average per game. The best and smartest floor general who ever lived. He won early AND late in his career and displayed extreme consistency while making his teammates better more than any player in NBA history. Could have won more rings had his career not been cut short by HIV.)

    2a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Greatest center ever. More clutch than Russel, Chamberlain or Shaq with the most unstoppable shot in sports history (the skyhook) and way better than all of them at the free-throw line, especially with the game on the line. His longevity is unmatched when compared to the greats.)

    2b Michael Jordan (Greatest two-guard ever. Best scoring guard and defensive guard ever. Six rings. No more needs to be said.)

    4. Wilt Chamberlain (Most dominant stat stuffer of all-time. His numbers look unreal, especially the esp. the 61-62′ and 62-63′ season where he averaged 50.4 pts/25.7 rbs and 44.8 pts/24.3 rbs respectively.)

    5. Bill Russell (11 rings in 13 seasons. Would probably play power forward today rather than center due to his slight frame. One of the top two post defenders and rebounders of all time;(right behind Wilt).

    6. Kobe Bryant (Already the second best two-guard in NBA history. When his career is over, he may be the #1 or #2 all-time points leader with possibly 5-7 rings. Perennial 1st or 2nd team all defense every year and a competitive streak that rivals MJ and Magic.)

    7. Shaquille O’Neal (Most dominant modern-day center. Would probably get somewhat close (but not surpass) to Wilt’s numbers had he played in that era, was in better shape and less injury prone.)

    8. Oscar Robertson (2nd greatest point guard in NBA history. Equally adept at delivering the pass at the perfect moment and posting up smaller guards in the lane.)

    9. Larry Bird (Greatest small forward in NBA history. One of the most clutch performers whether he had to make the pass or the shot when the game was on the line.)

    10. Karl Malone (Best power forward in NBA history. Look at his numbers and you’ll see he was slightly better than Duncan; and this is an average of 19 seasons played versus Duncan’s 12.

    11. Tim Duncan (2nd greatest power forward in NBA history. Incredible post-up game and he uses the glass to make his patented bank shot better than anyone in the modern era. Also, one of the top 6 best post defenders in NBA history.

    • Monkija87

      Shaq is too high, Oscar is too low. Even Magic has no trouble admitting that Jordan is the greatest of all time. Tim Duncan should, without question, be above Karl Malone.

      Other than that, not a bad list.

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    i repeat myself
    putting oneal before hakeem means ignoring nba history
    hakeem dominated shaq (even in the finals)
    and all the centers of his era (ewing, mourning, shaq, robinson…etc)
    Hakeem won 2 rings yes shaq won 4 but he had wade and kobe with him, hakeem had nobody the first title (rooky cassell, young horry, mario elie, kenny smith, otis thorpe…i mean come on!) and a washed up drexler the second one
    hakeem was dominating both end of the floor, amazing D
    rebounds and the best most unstoppable and showtime post movement of any center in history
    Russell with his 11 rings is always overrated, he was great but his team was stuffed and was playing aginst only 8 othr teams
    other 2 in contention with hakeem are wilt and kareem
    i still prefer hakeem, wilt did not win as much as he should have (even though is the greatest statistically)
    kareem won a lot when he was not the star MAGIC was
    so hakeem is imo best center
    hakeem had the best, and most showtime post move ever,

  • Short Dog

    KOBES THE BEST. Hes not even done. Watch him score 102 points.

  • Monkija87

    1. Michael Jordan
    There’s no question that MJ wasn’t even close to as perfect as his legacy; the “MJ aura” is, quite honestly, unrealistic. Still, without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest player in NBA history.

    2. Magic Johnson
    Someone who never seemed to make a wrong decision. Unquestionably the greatest point guard and playmaker ever. A winner.

    3. Wilt Chamberlain
    The most dominant player in NBA history. By stats alone, there is no one greater than this man. Would be #1 had he beaten the Celtics on a more regular basis.

    4. Bill Russell
    The greatest winner in the history of the game. Based on talent alone, Russell might not even crack the top 20, but 11 championships puts him in an elite class all his own.

    5. Oscar Robertson
    Statistically, this man should be #1. But he was at his best when he wasn’t the best; got his only ring when he was the 2nd option. Averaged a triple double in the same season when Wilt averaged 50 points and Russell was MVP. As a player, The Big O might have been the superior player compared to Magic, but Greatness is defined by more than just talent and statistics. In this highly competitive group of individuals, you simply have to win.

    6. Larry Bird
    Couldn’t jump and was too slow. Still out-jumped and was quicker than anyone else on the floor. Arguably the smartest player ever (on both ends of the court). Anyone who says that Larry wouldn’t be a great player in today’s NBA doesn’t understand the game in the slightest.

    7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    Tough to put this man below Chamberlain and Russell, but he wasn’t offensively as unguardable as Wilt or defensively as dominant as Bill. He is only 2nd in both categories and the most fundamentally sound big man ever.

    8. Kobe Bryant
    The 2nd best player ever to play in his position, the 2nd most talented player in history and the 2nd greatest player ever in the last quarter of a game. It’s more than likely he’ll end up cracking the top 5, but because of his 2 visits and “chokes” in the finals, topping MJ seems too distant of a challenge. Kobe: “Success is defined by Championships.”

    9. Tim Duncan
    The unflashiest player ever. Will bore 90% of basketball fans to death and still rip their hearts out. The greatest winner since MJ and proof why basketball IQ is infinitely more valuable than athletic ability.

    10. Jerry West
    The only man ever to be named Finals MVP from a losing team. He’s also the sole reason #2 got his 2nd and LA its 1st championship. The best player on the greatest single season team in NBA history, Mr. Cluch and Mr. NBA.

    11. Hakeem Olajuwon
    The best defensive big man since Kareem and part of the worst team ever to win back-to-back titles. People tend to overlook him (#1’s fault), but he is the only player in the modern game to have won the NBA title virtually by himself. And he did it twice.

    12. Shaquille O’Neal
    When he felt like showing up, he was unguardable. Could’ve been the best big man in history if he hadn’t satisfied his hunger and had still kept working on his game and body as religiously as the rest of the guys here.

    this is not my list, but i think it’s the best one out there. this guy definitely did his homework..

    • Monkija87

      this is not my list, but i think it’s the best one out there. this guy definitely did his homework..

  • BenDiesel

    excuse me. you have to take a look at larry bird’s stache when considering the top ten. so move larry from the 9 slot to the 7 slot and bump kobe and duncan back a slot. think about it

  • Lawrence Lin

    It is certainly a debatable topic. It will be a tough decision for the Lakers organization to make and I think they will be trying to postpone the moment when they have to make a final decision as much as they can. In my opinion, I think whether he won the 3 championships as a “sidekick” or 2 championships as the “main guy” shouldn’t be the main argument when deciding which number to retire. When he wore number 8, he had to be mature as a player in the sense by accepting his role on the team and not trying to do way too much. He did his job well, providing the fire-power the Lakers were looking for then when Shaq was in foul trouble or having a off-night. He broke NBA records, he did great and jaw-dropping performances, he won championships, he won Slam Dunk competition, he won an All-Star MVP, he won a scoring title, he was a 8 time All-Star and he was already considered as a future Hall-Of-Famer. With that resume, it is enough to retire any player’s number within any organization and to be considered for Hall-of-Fame.
    Then he started off a new season wearing number 24 and went on to do even more amazing things, adding on to his already mind-blowing resume: winning another scoring title, winning the regular season MVP, winning 2 more championships, 2 Finals MVPs, winning 2 more All-Star MVPs, 4 times All-Star, and breaking more records. Using that as a serperate career, those achievements are enough to hang another’s number up high and putting their name down in the Hall-of-Fame. With number 24, he has to accept his new role on this new Lakers squad where he has to be the leader guiding his team to win. His maturity as a player grew because his job is not just to score but to get his team-mates involved and motivate them to win. He has to raise their level of play to match his rather than making every play in the game by himself.
    He went from a guy who just needed to come in and score to help the team win to a leader who has to lead his team to win. The mentality of the #8 Kobe is different from that of the #24 Kobe. In my opinion, I think both numbers should be retired because Kobe Bryant is in a special situation. He has played with the Lakers his whole career and his accomplisments when wearing both numbers are incredible seperately and when you put them together. There is also always a first in everything so what better reasons are there to retire two numbers for one player than Kobe Bryant’s career? Ultimately if one single number had to be picked, number 24 would be the better of the two numbers only because 8 is the number Kobe Bryant had chosen to leave behind while wearing the number 24 now.