Monday, October 20, 2014

A Brutal, Brutal Beat Down of Kobe

and how everyone hates him.

There is an old quote that I cannot seem to find, but the gist is, "It is easy for a dog to bark at a dead lion."  In other words - you may not be much yourself, but you all of a sudden have a lot to say about someone who was once great and who has fallen upon hard times.

But since it is Kobe, let me pile on......

No one has ever really doubted that Kobe was a terrible guy.  I mean, he maybe raped a hotel employee, and he defended his actions by saying that he came in her face and then told her to get the hell out, "It is my thing".  That, he fears, may have offended her.  When questioned by the cops he went out of his way to say that Shaq does similar things all of the time.  OK - so if adversity reveals character, you know what Kobe's character is.

From a basketball on-court standpoint,
Kobe is a 36 year old shooting guard, who really never has been a winner without Phil Jackson.  I mean, let's be blunt.   He won 3 titles as Shaq's Scottie Pippen (Shaq was Finals MVP all 3 years).  Congrats.  Then he went into a complete funk when Phil left and didn't reach the second round of the playoffs for four years. Then Phil came back and they had Pau Gasol who was either first or second team all-NBA.  Then Phil left, and Kobe's teams can do nothing again.

He is a one-time MVP.....same as Derrick Rose, same as KG, same as Dirk, same as Barkley.  He is not Kareem, or Wilt, or Russell, or Jordan or LeBron.  He has never been recognized as the consistently best player in the NBA over a lengthy period of time.

Pull up a list of the best of the best:  Kobe's career .182 Win Shares Per 48 is an excellent mark.  But it only ranks him 24th out of 32 guys who have had over 100 WS and a WS/48 of over .150. 

Kobe is 9th on the Minutes Played list, but 16th on the Win Shares list.  There is a chance that Kobe will end up with the 4th most minutes of anyone to play the game.  That would take 3 seasons at 2,000 minutes a season.  He has logged a lot of minutes, he is gonna put up some raw numbers. 

There are 17 guys with at least 20 Playoff Win Shares and a playoff-only WS/48 of at least ,150.  Of those 17 guys, Kobe ranks 3rd in minutes played, 8th in total WS, and 17th (DEAD LAST) in WS/48.

Kobe's fans (and there are many) say he is the greatest Laker of all-time.  This is an awful statement to make.  Kobe, even on a playoff performance basis, is no better than the 6th best Laker of all-time (Kareem, Wilt, Shaq, Magic, West all better).  And what about Mikan and Baylor?

Perhaps the love of Kobe is driven by the irrational need of people 30 and younger to have their own Michael Jordan.  I mean, you always hear, "Kobe is the next Jordan."  "Kobe may be better than Jordan."  These are just the ramblings of people who know little about the history of basketball and who do not have access to a computer.  There is simply no comparison between the two men statistically  And then evaluate their "MVP Award Shares" -- Jordan has over 8, Kobe just over 4.  So Jordan has nearly DOUBLE Kobe's output.  And Jordan basically disqualified himself for 2 years during the prime of his career.

Kobe's career tracks very closely to that of John Stockton.  Great players.  (In fact, if you take Kobe's 18 best seasons and put them up against Stockton's 18 best, Stockton wins 17-1 - he has more Win Shares in 17 of the 18 comparable seasons, ranked best to worse).

So this is not to say that Kobe is not a top 20 player of all-time.  He is.  But he is not any of the guys at the top of the list (Jordan, Kareem, Wilt, LeBron) or those with a similar claim to greatness (Duncan, Magic, Mikan, Karl Malone).  He is fighting it out with the David Robinsons and Hakeems and Stocktons and Moses Malones and Larry Birds and Durants and KGs in the argument to be toward the top of the 10-17 range.

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