1996 nba draft grades
Kobe has 5 rings, Iverson has 0. Iverson's not even in the NBA anymore.
You draft specifically on who will make your team better, and propel you towards a championship. I'll concede that Iverson is one of the best to ever play, but the guy never won any rings and burned a lot of bridges with teams.
And this whole second fiddle thing is bs. Yes Kobe was option number 2 on that team, but majority of the NBA would have been anyway with a Shaq in his prime.
no way is their even an argument about nash would be taken over allen as for ai and kobe couldnt complain either way both are two of the best of all time ai if not the best not far from being the best little guy ever and kobe yea hes had shaq and gasol but hes still that specail player that makes everyone around him better like mj did and something the bnoat lebron will never do
I think if we could do the draft over iverson still goes #1 and it has nothing to do with stats or wins and losses, When Iverson came into the league he had a Micheal Jordan type impact as in the culture of the game how many little kids looked up to him wanted to be like him, even while the NBA really didnt like what he was about he did it his way, Iverson was the most influential player after jordan and his tickets sales and jersey sales would make kobes laughable now kobe is selling jerseys now but cmon son when iverson was playing superstar ball kobe's sales couldnt sniff iversons shorts let alone jerseys, and yes kobe is the winner BUT you cant honestly sit here and think philly would have drafted kobe over iverson i think kobe is good where he got drafted just off the fact that if he woulda went 2 he woulda been drafted by toronto and then we wouldnt even be having this debate
Such as how good they were throughout their career, than this is what it probably would have looked like in the lotto:
1. Kobe Bryant, Philadelphia 76ers: No contest.
2. Allen Iverson, Toronto Raptors: He and Damon would have made a small backcourt, but it would have been fun to watch.
3. Ray Allen, Memphis Grizzlies: Super consistent and would have gone to a Memphis team in need of help at any position. Abdur-Rahim was better at the start of their careers, but Allen finished far ahead due to Shareef's injuries.
4. Steve Nash, Milwaukee Bucks: They chose Steph, who they immediately traded for Ray, but Nash's longevity and overall consistent play warrants him the choice.
5. Stephon Marbury, Minnesota Timberwolves: First pick that would have brought a player to the actual team they played for in their rookie year, and as much as Stephon finished his career in strange times, he also had flashes of why so many people thought he was such a special player.
6. Jermaine O'Neal, Boston Celtics: Started his career off slowly, but he would be the best choice of those who were still around due to the value of a good Center.
7. Shareef Abdur-Rahim, LA Clippers: May not have overwhelmed people with his career achievement, but he was consistently at an All-Star level for a large portion of his career. Stojakovic and Walker are close as far as numbers and such, but Shareef was a beast during his early years in Memphis and on Atlanta.
8. Antoine Walker, New Jersey Nets: Probably best known for chucking up a ridiculous amount of trey's, but was a great All-Around player and a constant match-up problem. I honestly thought of putting him higher, but he really never lived up to his vast potential.
9. Peja Stojakovic, Dallas Mavericks: Had years on Sacramento where he was considered the most dangerous shooter in the game, but since his trade to Indiana, his career has been derailed. He has been around longer than the two forementioned players, but also has played fewer games, and has been injured just as much if not more than both of the above. Had 3 great years, and was a bigger threat at a time than either of them possibly, but I take the other two for the overall contribution.
10. Marcus Camby, Indiana Pacers: Ilgauskas made All-Star teams, but was injured far more than even Camby, and never had the same contributions as a rebounder or defender. For my money, I take Camby, who has not lived up to expectations yet has been a Center for a number of play-off teams, one of the best shot blockers in the league and has averaged a double double up to this point in his career.
11. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Indiana Pacers: Definitely a gigantic step over Todd Fuller, the original draftee, a Center from North Carolina State who is basically known as the Warriors Sam Bowie to the pick of Kobe Bryant only 2 spots later. Z could have been much higher on the list, but again it is injuries that have brought him to 11. Seems to be a common theme for this draft class, which was very deep but also has a number of unfortunately shortened careers.
12. Derek Fisher, Cleveland Cavaliers: He won 5 chips, and while his role was quite big, you have to give a lot of the credit to some of the more formidable players on those teams. Has always been solid, a nice shooter, knows his role and a great leader. Would he have won championships on Cleveland? More than likely, no, but he would be around for longer than anyone left and would have been a step up over any player left.
13. Kerry Kittles, Charlotte Hornets: The infamous Kobe spot goes to the man who inspired the way I wear my socks (one high, one low). His career lasted a little more than 6 seasons, but he posted pretty impressive career averages, surely worthy of being picked somewhere near the lottery. Some may wish to take someone who played longer, but Kittles spanned the average NBA career and played pretty well doing so. I take him to finish off the 1996 lottery re-do.
Allen Iverson brought that street/Hip Hop swag to the NBA.. The tattoos, talk, cornrolls, attitude, and "street game." AI crossover changed the rules of the game... Personally AI changed the culture of the league, it seemed like he came right off the playground right into a NBA arena... I would have also taken AI with the 1st pick he was an unreal entertainer and was one of the most intense competitiors ever...
okay, lets look at stats, accomplishments and facts between the two:
points: iverson, 24,368 (26.7ppg)......kobe, 25,790 (25.3ppg)
fg%: iverson, 43%........kobe, 46%
assists: iverson, 6.2apg..........kobe, 4.7apg
rebounds: iverson, 3.7 rpg..........kobe, 5.3rpg
all nba 1st teams: iverson, 3...........kobe, 8
and since so many think he was such a better scorer then kobe:
games over 50: iverson 11 (high of 60).........kobe, 24 (high of 81)
and please lets not even begin to discuss defense on this one. Add in the fact iversons nba career is probably a wrap while kobe is still going strong. Add in that kobe helped lead usa to gold while ai led usa to bronze. And then theres the whole championships thing. If you guys would take iverson number 1 over kobe, whoever picked second would be absolutely thrilled to have gotten the better player.
mikeyvet, i think ben wallace has to be on there somewhere.
Sometimes its NOT about the numbers...
your right, so is your argument about leadership? Work ethic? Marketability? Cause so far the only thing i have read that supports iverson going first is that he was a revolutionary for being one of the first street players and many young fans gravitated towards him for that and it sold jerseys and shoes. Is that really worth taking him over kobe?
I guess it's unpopular to pick Kobe in this thread, but it's not that close between he and Iverson in my opinion.
Iverson was a phenomenal talent, had the heart of a lion and left it on the floor every night, BUT... He didn't have the complete game that Kobe has. He didn't have the size that Kobe has. Other than playing the passing lanes, Iverson was a defensive liability. Kobe on the other hand was the premier perimeter defender in the league. Kobe was a superstar player at both ends of the floor, while Iverson never was even considered to make an All-NBA Defensive Team.
I thought Iverson was coo too when he had braids, crossed over Jordan, crossed Lue and stepped over him, use to do the dunk where he held it with one hand and dunked/hung on the rim with two... I had like every pair of the Answers lol... BUT... Kobe is the second best shooting guard ever... And his career is still going strong.
I was going to say of players drafted man, but Ben Wallace would more than likely be somewhere next to Marcus Camby. I was trying to factor out as much as possible as to who they were playing with and such, because while Ben was the heart of that Pistons team, he basically had an All-Star at each position. One year 4 of them made the ASG, and to me, while Tayshaun has yet to make an All-Star team, his length and versatility always made him an integral part of the Pistons being such a strong team. But, Ben Wallace was a great player for a number of years, and he would be right in the running along with Marcus Camby, Peja Stojakovic and possibly even Antoine Walker. I do not think he was ever the shut down defender people credit him to be, but nonetheless his rebounding and shot blocking statistics over his years as a Piston were pretty awesome. Where would you rank Ben amongst these players? I would probably have to put him at 11. I am reluctant to do so, as he was at a time far above Camby when it came to the games Centers, and made numerous All-Star teams, won even more defensive accolades, but his lack of an offensive game is what it would come down too. Plus, his career basically shut down once he left Detroit, he had limited effectiveness in Chicago, and even backed-up Ilgauskas in Cleveland. Maybe it is my recent memory of Dwight Howard whupping him in the 2009 ECF that has made me put Ben this low, but you are right, he would be somewhere in that lottery list.
To me its close between Iverson and Kobe, real close. First off I think that it needs to be re stated, that Kobe while in his prime, had the most dominant force of this generation on his side at the time, Shaquille O'Neal. No matter how many stats you guys put up, how many All Star teams each guy made, Kobe had Shaq...nuff said. I don't think Kobe would have won any championships with that Laker team, if Vlade Divac was still the Center over there (had he not been involved with the deal and certainly no disrespect to Vlade). It needs to be pointed out that you really can't lose either way. Each man brings a lot to the table. Iverson was a scorer in a PG's body, he also could distribute the ball well for a guy who had that shoot first mental make up. Kobe was probably the most versatile scorer coming out of that draft (said in retrospect of course), he's really matured past the Shaq years (which is why when people compared their leadership qualities, I balked at it because I don't think people really remember the arrogant little shit Kobe was when Shaq was there.) and has in fact become a role model for kids everwhere.
In terms of basketball, you really couldn't lose, but I do think that it needs to be said that given the supporting casts, its easy to say that Kobe is the more logical choice now. I think if you put AI on that Laker squad, they would have won just as many championships. It needs to be remembered that when the 76ers and the Lakers did meet in the finals that year, The 76ers were the only team that did not get swept by the LA Lakers.
I think Iverson and Kobe are both fantastic. Iverson is probably the quickest player in NBA history with the ball, while Kobe is one of the best all-around players of all time. Statistically through their careers they have been pretty close, but obviously Kobe has had far superior teams to help win titles. I would personally go with Kobe, but you can't go wrong with either one.
I would definitely take Nash third, Allen fourth, and maybe Peja fifth over O'Neal. I know O'Neal put together some pretty good seasons, but he was a slow starter and isn't much of an interior presence any longer. I guess it really depends on team need between the two.
Iverson was more of a generational icon, yet Kobe is still on commercials, winning NBA championships, scoring 27 ppg in 2010, and Iverson is playing in Turkey?? They were drafted the same year, they are the same generation, Iverson had a good run, but Kobe is WAYY more of a generational icon than Iverson. You can tell an icon by non fans knowing who they are. I bet if you stopped 10 non basketball fans on the street more would know who Kobe Bryant is than Allen Iverson.
I think it would be extremely hard 2 find anybody tht doesn't know who allen iverson is
I guarantee you most, if not all of the women in my family have no idea who Allen Iverson is. They've never watched a Sportscenter or an NBA game in their lives. I think most men would know who he is, but most women and children under the age of 10 probably wouldn't. His name and face aren't pasted all over the TV like Kobe's.
I dnt know where u live but all tha kids under 10 nd every woman knows who allen iverson is n my neighborhood granted it is compton nd just about nobody likes kobe but love tha lakers everybody knows who he is too
Its funny I saw an interview with Billy King than sixers gm at the time about 4 or 5 years ago talking about the draft saying that A.I was the right pick but that he had a trade in place with the honets to get the 13th pick & Kobe but they wanted jerry stackhouse who at that time he would not part with, could you imagine if the sixers got A.I & the hometown kid Kobe,idk if there would be enough balls to go around but it would have been fun to watch.
Of course this is a hypothetical topic, and there was a very limited research base on HS players entering the NBA, but if you look at the two players in general, you have to go with Kobe. Being the best pound for pound player, which many people claim Allen Iverson is, would only be a great title if AI had won a championship. Yes, he never had Shaquille O'Neal, but I even feel Kobe reached his prime after Shaq had left, maybe even the last year or so the two played together. Kobe Bryant has so much better of an All-Around game than Iverson it is indeed ridiculous. Yes, AI was an extremely popular player, ridiculously quick, fun to watch and only 6 foot if that, compared to Kobe being prototypical wing height (6'6-6'7). But, honestly, what Kobe has done since Shaq has left is the reason why he truly has seperated himself from Iverson. But, even before than, Kobe has been a better player than Allen Iverson probably since he was around 22-23, and that takes into account that AI won an MVP. Call Kobe selfish, but who took more ridiculous shots than Allen Iverson? If Kobe were drafted by his hometown 76ers, believe me, they would not have booed him at the ASG when he won MVP. They would have embraced Kobe as much as they would have embraced AI. I think part of the reason people hated Kobe was due to his perceived arrogance, such as demanding a trade upon being drafted and playing for a Lakers team that had just signed the most dominant force in basketball. But, even today, I will admit that over their respective careers, Kobe Bryant surpasses Shaquille O'Neal, who just crushes Allen Iverson.
If you say the numbers mean nothing, that is your perogative, but I think they are maybe the only case Iverson could possibly have against Kobe, in his points and assists, maybe even steals per game. But, Kobe was a much better shooter, from the field and the line, was a far superior individual defender and as much as AI could get off his shot with amazing regularity, he has nowhere near the ability of Kobe when it comes to clutch shooting. AI had an amazing game against the Lakers in his only finals appearance, and seemed to carry a team on his shoulders, but to me he was also an incredibly selfish player who was just as if not more arrogant than Kobe. It had to be Allen's way or else. He went through second option after second option, never finding the right fit, and upon being traded did little to change his attitude. Even if you throw out his time with the Pistons/Grizz/return to the 76ers, he was really a rebel without a cause. People say the NBA picked on him, but if anything that just made him more recognizable and a bigger presence with more sympathizers. Allen Iverson proved throughout his time in the NBA that he cared more about AI than he did about winning, and as much as Kobe may be an egomaniac, he has shown time and time again that winning is extremely important to him. Kobe has made concessions, but overall, he has always done what is necessary to win. If Allen Iverson were to do the same thing, he would still be in the NBA.
When Allen Iverson played for Georgetown, he quickly became my favorite player. I was really happy when he went first in the draft, and for the longest time, he was my favorite player in the league. I constantly took his side and loved to see him cross people up and score big. He was the rebellious leader of the NBA's hip-hop generation, and the first time I had ever seen a player wear cornrows was when he donned them in the rookie game. Soon, it became the trend, almost the same as people getting rid of them once he decided they were not his thing anymore while on the Pistons. My ultimate hope was that he would get better teammates and would be able to challenge for championships, and while I still liked the Lakers more than his 76ers, I definitely liked Iverson more than Kobe. That is, until 2002, when I was staying at a hotel in Seattle. Little did I know that the 76ers were in town to play the Super Sonics. While I had honestly no idea they would be there, I had on that day an Allen Iverson baseball cap and an Allen Iverson football jersey I had just bought at Foot Locker (Reebok made them of course). As soon as we checked in, we saw their team bus and decided to wait a few minutes to see if players walked out. The first player we saw was Allen Iverson. He walked through the lobby, oblivious to the world and totally ignored the maybe, 5 people there. Not to mention, he was the first person on the bus by 20 minutes (I guess he was at least punctual than). He had all in all, pretended to talk on his cell phone, but even if he really was, he hung it up the moment he stepped on the bus. Same drill the next day, except there were more people and he was last person on the bus. Now, I am not a big fan of bothering athletes for their autographs, and I do understand that they are human beings, who have good days and bad days. I also get that it is not their obligation to sign them, I only think it is nice when they do so. But, lets just say, we got a bunch of other players signatures, and Allen Iverson clearly could not give a care in the world about us. It was kind of revelatory, and from that moment, I kind of stopped caring about him. I still thought he was a great player, but he was no longer even close to my favorite. I was no longer a fan of his teams and I came to believe more and more the bad things people might have been saying about him.
The final thing in looking at these two players is what they both did with what they were given. Allen Iverson was an anomaly, he was a 6 foot shooting guard who was at times indefensable with his speed. He posted incredible scoring numbers and carried a franchise for years, posting scoring numbers up there with the all-time greats (For a long time only Jordan and Wilt were higher in PPG). But, with all of the talent he was given, I believe he had nowhere near the work ethic of Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant lived and breathed the game of basketball, and I think as much as people may have disliked him as a person, this rubbed off on his teammates a great deal. Kobe lead by example and by showing an amazing work ethic, which is pretty much as close to Michael Jordan as you can get. Allen Iverson goes beyond his now famous "PRACTICE" rant. Granted, that rant makes him look like a total moron, but the rumors of his dogging practice, spending it in the bathroom or eating breakfast burritos instead of working out, they could only be rumors, but you never heard, "Well AI is working his butt off this off-season to add something new to his game". So, like Iverson more than Kobe, that is fine, you can say you would have rather had Iverson for more of a duration of his career (like, maybe liking him for the first 8 years over Kobe, though I do not get past maybe 4-5), say that Allen Iverson is more marketable and sold more jerseys (at a time of course, though Nike sure makes a lot of Kobe stuff now, and even with my extensive AI collection, my Kobe stuff far surpasses it, but I digress) but do not say that it is a close call between these two players. Knowing everything we know now, Kobe Bryant is 100% the first pick in the 1996 draft, and it is not even close. If the 76ers did indeed draft Allen Iverson, saying that the two GM's travelled back in time and knew what they had seen before the 1996 draft, than the Raptors would be an eternally thankful team picking Kobe Bryant. If the 76ers did indeed pick Kobe, that Raptors, as I said in my breakdown, would be fun. I am pretty sure people can see the difference in this reaction and know the difference between these two players.
it is true that kobe has had a better career, but AI might be the greatest scorer of this generation, and he did age alot faster than kobe has and it probably has some to do with how small iverson is and he plays harder than anyone else on the floor and he was a good team player he just didnt have enough left in the tank when he got to finals (it is kinda like lebron against the spurs he singlehandedly got them to the finals but it just seemed like they ran out of gas and didnt have enough left to finish) and if you put most people with shaq in his prime u would win championships no doubt. But I just dont think kobe can do it by himself like AI. When Kobe got his own team, they played awful and they were nothing until gasol got there.
wht did kobe do tha 2years after shaq left nd before pau got there? he didn't seem to carry those teams very far
I'd still take Kobe first. Based on how Iverson's career went down the drain like how it has in the past couple of years, it is hard not to go with Kobe. In comparison to what Kobe had to do alone, Iverson's competition was pretty weak in the eastern conference when he made that run. Kobe had to compete with the Spurs, Mavericks, and Suns with pretty good playerS (emphasize the S) who were at the peak of their careers. Those teams were complete teams back when Kobe was alone in LA. It is just hard not to go with the guy with the more complete career and more complete player. A.I.'s mentality is just the fact that he is a selfish player, and not just because he didn't have help. He was still selfish even when he had help. Kobe has evolved from that, and he actually relies on his team mates. There were times where he had to score a lot to win. Also, Kobe having help is definitely not a detriment to his ability as a player just because he had help, and Iverson didn't. So what if Kobe had Shaq. You think Shaq would have won so many rings without Kobe? I certianly don't remember Shaq winning any until he got to LA. And no one actually thinks that Iverson's attitude would have not butted heads with Shaq's IF they played together?
"Iverson killed Kobe everytime they went h2h. If Iverson had Shaq and Kobe had Iverson's team I think Kobe would have 0 rings whilr Iverson would have 5 or so too."
What does head to head have anything to do with being the better player? That is like saying Paul Pierce is better than Kobe because he outplayed him in the 2007 finals. I fail to see the line of argument in that logic. Saying IF Iverson had Shaq only proves what? It only proves that Iverson, at best, was Kobe's equal when he was along with Shaq. Kobe wasn't even in his prime yet when he was playing with Shaq. Moreover, don't you think saying Iverson would have won 5 or so is exaggerating way too much? That is a ridiculous statement. That statement is basically saying that Kobe would have been a different player if he didn't play with the Lakers which I find it hard to believe. Kobe still would have been the more complete player than Iverson even if they did swap teams. The main reason why Shaq and Kobe won those championships is mainly because of the role players on their team anyway. There is not telling how a team would be with Iverson on it. Very hard to sit up and say that if they swapped teams, X, would have happened. People are underrating everything Kobe provided for those teams outside of just scoring.
How much Iverson could have done with the team Kobe was on "alone"? See how easy questions like that can be turned around?
Kobe is the better all-around player,but the talent that Kobe played with is uncomparable to the talent or lack there of that A.I played with. E.Snow & Aaron McKie dont compare to Shaq,Pau,L.O,or even Horry & D.Fish. A.I did the most with the least,Iknow he played with Melo for 2 or 3 years but AI wasnt the same AI at that time he lost a step & his body started to catch up to him & that was the begging of the end for him, but in his prime AI was the most exciting & the most popular player in the league.
why do people keep making a big deal about who they played with? If the only argument for kobe was rings, then sure bring up the talent they had around them. But pretty much everyone backing kobe on this are not simply using the ring argument. We are saying kobe was just flat out better. Iverson would have been a second option too along shaq. And iversons supporting cast was probably never as bad as what kobe had those 2 years after shaq left.
Supporting Cast was about even they both had terrible teams the difference is Iverson carried his terrible team to the finals. Kobe didnt do that. Iverson is 5'11 Kobe is 6'6,Kobe never took the beating Iverson had to take, iverson had nobody his whole career until the latter stages.
Iveron also averaged more minutes played per game then anybody in league history.
For his career including the last few years where his played time dropped Iverson averaged 41 MPG.
Iverson Average over 40 minutes a game over 13 times in his career. Including 9 straight where he averaged over 42 minutes per game. Can you comprehend how insane that it. Of course his 5'11 160 pound frame caught up to him playing the way he played.
His MPG are a huge reason why he aged so fast.
@mbd, kobe only had 3 years of having a bad team. Iverson had many, so making one deep run doesnt caompare becasue we have no idea if kobe could have made a deep run. They were one game away from knocking off the suns in round one and who knows what could have happened that year. And no, the year iverson made his run, his roster was actually quite solid. Lots of great defensive minded role players. And look how NO solid number 2 option ever excelled with him. Stackhouse, coleman, glenn robinson, kukoc, none of them could mash with iverson. Whats to say iverson could have meshed with other great players when he was a ball dominant volume shooter who never did mesh with anyone other then guys who would defend and give him the ball and get out of his way?
Yeah, I don't understand either what is the point in bringing up who they played with. You can measure how good they are by looking at them individually. Clearly, we've seen the best of what Iverson had to offer because he ball hogged his career. Who's to say Kobe couldn't have averaged some ridiculous numbers without sharing the main scoring behind Shaq, and he was already scoring ridiculous amounts with Shaq. Kobe has just more to over than what Iverson brung. I can't believe we're comparing Iverson to Kobe and there is actually debate about it.. There shouldn't even be a debate.
i hear you steroid. I mean even the people who say iverson was a better scorer, lets look at facts: total points scored(kobe), highest ppg in a season(kobe), most 40 point games(kobe) most 50 point game(kobe) most 60 point games(kobe) most points ever scored in a game(kobe) best fg/ft/3pt% (kobe, kobe, kobe).
Even the assists, iverson only averaged 1.5 more for their careers. And defense is kobe in a landslide. I keep hearing how kobe had better teammates, forget teammates. Take teams, wins, rings out of the discussion.
Also, look at longevity. Iverson hasnt been a factor for a year or two and kobe is still playing at an all-nba level and argubly the best player in the game. I would love to hear the answers from actual GM's who do this for a living who they would take if they could do it over again.
True, it was never great, he never really had the horses to surround himself with that Kobe had in Shaq and later on in Pau/Company. But, look at Kobe and Shaq's three title teams. Go ahead, look at that roster up and down. Not the strongest roster, was it. They had Glen Rice for that first one, who by than was on the downside of his career, and some nice role guys, but, yeah, it was not a great team. Shaq and Kobe carried those teams, and to me that is pretty impressive. They were a duo that were probably as heavily relied upon as any in history that both of them produce for them to win. You may say that their were better duo's, but to me, as far as duo's being damn near equals, I rank them as the best. I read someone say that everyone is saying Iverson would have done the same thing on the Lakers, and at best that would make him Kobe's equal. I totally agree with that, and probably like that person, I do not think the Lakers would have been as good with Iverson in for Kobe. It is true, we do not know what Kobe would be without Shaq those first few years, but to say he would not have been close to the same player he has become just does not seem to make sense. The team you end up on does have a great deal of what a player may become, but I think both of these players would have been successful regardless of which team they were chosen too. They were both that good really, they were going to succeed regardless of squad. To the people that say Kobe did not carry a team the way Iverson did, that may be fair enough, but I personally do not agree with that statement. How could you expect those Lakers teams to compete once Shaq left? They lost every starter from the year before and Kobe had the worst supporting cast of his career. The very next year, Kobe averages 35.4 ppg, takes his team to the play-offs and nearly gets by the Suns. I think it is safe to say that in the 3 obvious rebuilding years after Shaq was traded, Kobe was playing with players that resembled the supporting casts Iverson had in his first few years in the league.
But, for those that point to Shaq as the one thing that became Kobe's saving grace, and than also point to Gasol for Kobe's resurgence, just know that Iverson was not as helpless as everyone thinks. He never had a great second option in his prime, but he had some very solid teammates that never seemed to fit with him. He had Toni Kukoc, Chris Webber, Keith Van Horn, all versions of Lamar Odom in a way. His best team, the 56-26 team that went to the finals the year Iverson won MVP, that team was full of incredible defenders. Eric Snow even said that everyone wrote off that team as being carried by Iverson, but that team had to sacrifice quite a lot to go by Iverson's standards of Bubba Chucking up 25 shots per game. They had Aaron McKie, Dikembe Mutombo, George Lynch, Raja Bell, Eric Snow, Tyrone Hill and Jumaine Jones, all great defensive players. They also had the privilege of playing in an Eastern Conference that was incredibly inferior to the Western Conference that Kobe was playing in at the time. With all of that, Iverson made it out of the first round 3 times, and to the Finals once. For a team leader, that is still impressive, but what is to say that Kobe could not have done close to the same if not better? What is to say that Kobe would not have made life a little easier for those guys and play defense up to their level of intensity? Would Kobe not have shot the ball a little better from the field, spread the floor and maybe have Chris Webber getting a couple more buckets per game? The thing is guys, that Kobe in his prime was every bit the scorer and player Allen Iverson was, and AI never had the season that Kobe had in 2005-06. You can always pick on Kobe for not having suffered the struggle of Iverson never having that player to help him guide his team through the promised land, but I think that Kobe has shown all the proof he needs that he is one of the best to have ever played the game and a winner. Why has no one commented on the work ethic between the two players? If Iverson had been on the Lakers, would he have just improved his work ethic? Would Phil have gotten the best out of him? He probably would have been somewhere in the school of Larry Brown. It just kind of boggles my mind that people would think that after everything Kobe has done, that the 76ers would still have gone with Iverson just because he did not play with Shaq or Pau Gasol. Would you not have at least been interested to see where Kobe could have taken you? Please, break down their games and teams and tell me how Allen Iverson is a better player than Kobe Bryant, because, I do not see it in the least.
You guys are also failing to mention when the Bulls dynasty disbanded the East was extremely weak. You can compare the rosters of the 76ers and Lakers and compare supporting casts, but it took 6 years after the Bulls disbanded for another East team to win a title. I think Kobe could have taken a a sub par team to the finals in the early 2000's like Iverson while playing in the east. There were 7 teams in the East in 2000-2001 that had a sub .500 record and 5 of those won 30 or fewer games. You stick Kobe on that same 2000-2001 76ers team I think they'd win 56 games and after seeing clutch Kobe playoff performances I don't doubt that he could get past the Pacers, Raptors and Bucks to make it to the finals. I'm not discrediting what Iverson did in that playoff run, but they were the best team in the East. They may not have been good on paper, but they won 56 games, it's not like he willed a 7 seed like a lot of people act like he did. The best team in the East that year made it to the NBA finals. I think Kobe in the same situation would have taken that team to the Finals as well.
If the Sixers knew how good Kobe and AI were going to be, I think they'd go with Kobe. Iverson had much less size and Kobe was a hometown product.