Apparently Kobe Bryant is not the best player in the NBA hes not even the best at his position, this is crazy at least people who say Lebron is better then Kobe have a point but Wade better then Kobe?
10. Kevin Martin(notes), Houston Rockets (last year: ninth)
Healthy, playing for a coach who knows how to get him open, and working with a team that will depend on him for scoring, Martin should have a bounce-back season in 2010-11. Martin's numbers with Houston last season were nearly identical to his pre-trade numbers with the Sacramento Kings, but he's just 27 entering the season and could start to ring up a series of career years.
9. Jason Richardson(notes), Phoenix Suns (last year: 13th)
Richardson played absolute knockout basketball for the Suns in the playoffs last season, averaging nearly 20 points on 50 percent shooting while making 47.5 percent of his 3-pointers. And while a 16-game sample size is nothing to bank on, the 29-year-old could come home with the best season of his career in 2010-11. With Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) in New York, Richardson's all-around gifts will be badly needed. And a silver lining for Suns fans? I don't recall many of Richardson's threes coming from some amazing extra pass tossed out by a double-teamed Amar'e.
8. Stephen Jackson(notes), Charlotte Bobcats (last year: 11th, but as a small forward)
He passed less and shot more, per possession, but I was struck by the way Jackson handled the trade that sent him from the Golden State Warriors to Charlotte last year. Going from one of the fastest teams in the NBA last season to one of the slowest, Jackson's defense improved, his scoring (21.1 per game) stayed strong (though, for all those minutes and shots, it should) and his defense was fantastic despite his 31 years of age. I'm guessing one more of those years before the drop-off, though I concede that might be too optimistic.
7. Tyreke Evans(notes), Sacramento Kings (last year: unranked)
Tyreke handles the ball a ton for the Kings, but he also lines up in the starting five alongside Beno Udrih(notes). And unless you want to start calling the 5-11 Udrih a shooting guard, Evans gets the call as a ball-dominating off-guard. Some didn't like the way Evans and the Kings shot for that 20-point, five-rebound, five-assist average last season, but it was really all Sacramento had going for it, and I didn't think the attention too unseemly. Evans is a special talent, and his next trick is going to be learning how to mesh those all-around talents in a five-man pro setting.
6. Andre Iguodala(notes)
So, here's where we get to the mea culpa.
For every 30 players I put up, I write bios for about 33 or so for contention, decide on the placement and then rewrite the bios according to the placement. And right before I posted the 30-through-21 list, I chickened out regarding Evan Turner's(notes) placement (or, non-placement) on this list and substituted him into the lower rungs while rewriting his descriptive paragraph -- with the understanding that everyone else would move down a spot.
The problem is that I didn't move everyone else down a spot. I just substituted Turner for Marcus Thornton(notes), and forgot to lose Thabo Sefolosha(notes) along the way. And, really, Thornton will be much, much better than Turner this season. Most likely better than a few of the guards ahead of Turner on the 30-through-21 list. It was insecurity that led to an unprofessional late switch -- the reason the post went up at five minutes after 10 a.m. ET on Thursday and not 10 -- and I was wrong to do it.
On top of that? I originally had Andre Iguodala as a shooting guard, going back and forth as to whether or not he should be a two or a three, thinking that -- in Doug Collins' system -- Iggy will guard small forwards while Turner will be shoved to the side as a small forward on offense while A.I. handles the ball. But I shouldn't go there, and should rank Iguodala as an all-out wing. So this would be Iggy's place as a shooting guard, but he's not one, and you'll read about him on the small forward list.
If anything else, I hope that these screwups give you a little insight as to how nutty I am about getting these rankings right. Even if they go way, way wrong
4. Joe Johnson(notes), Atlanta Hawks (last year: fifth)
I called his contract extension "the worst contract in NBA history," and I meant it. A $120 million contract that will pay Johnson from age 29-35? Terrible.
But for this season and the next, Johnson will be a sound all-around wing player for the Hawks. Yes, he needs the ball and plenty of minutes to drop his (over) 20 points and (nearly) five assists and five rebounds, but he's also a lower-rung All-Star who can be counted on to sop up minutes (and for that yearly January swoon, as the minutes catch up to him), and that's enough for a top-five ranking at this position.
3. Brandon Roy(notes), Portland Trail Blazers (last year: third)
Roy took a bit of a step back in 2009-10, but, if anything, it pointed out that his all-world play in 2008-09 might be a bit of an aberration and last season is more of the norm. But what a norm it is -- 26 other teams would kill for that "norm." Roy averaged 21.5 points and 9.1 combined assists/rebounds on a team with the fewest possessions per game. The injuries worry the heck out of me, but let's not get into that until we have to, OK?
2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (last year: second)
You can rant and rail and tell me once again that I'm looking for attention or trying to create waves, but Kobe Bryant is coming off a year that saw him drag an injured leg and back around, and he's still got a bum index finger on his shooting hand. He's played over 45,000 minutes in his career counting the playoffs and he turns 32 on Monday. Dwyane Wade(notes) shot better, turned the ball over fewer times, assisted more despite terrible teammates, picked up more steals and blocks -- and he's four years younger. And he'll have the better season in 2010-11.
The Lakers are still the favorites in my eyes, and Kobe Bryant should be respected more than any other player in this league, but he's part of a great team now. And he passed the torch last season. Really, he passed two seasons ago to those who were playing attention.
1. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat (last year: first)
Nobody wants anything to do with Wade, his teammates and the unseemly mess that produced what will be the 2010-11 Miami Heat, but you can't argue with Wade's production from last season. Constantly double- and triple-teamed, with some defenses sending trap defenders to get the ball out of his hands 30 feet from the hoop, Wade still put up 26.6 points per game on 47.6 percent shooting, with 11.3 combined assists/rebounds. He also averaged 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks. At age 28, this guy is just hitting his prime, too.
Yeah I respect wade as a player he is great and is a 1st ballot hall of famer no doubt but kobe is the best sg and best player in the nba regardless of his age. Im not saying that cause he my favorite player either
Which one player do you want on your team when you are in a must win situation and which player do you want taking the last shot to win the game? I feel confident in saying that the majority of objective NBA fans would pick Kobe over anyone in the leauge, including Wade.
Kobe is the most complete offensive player in the league. Triple team or double team and he'll drop 35 on a bad night.
Funny thing is, people talk about how consistent KD is, Kobe is the most consistent player in the NBA, he's been averaging over 26ppg over the last 10 years.
Defensively he won't quit.
The ONLY downside of Kobe is his ego, but when you're the best basketball player in the world and you've been that for the last decade, it's only reasonable to have an ego.
All this, coming from a Kobe-Hater.
I don't know if its as clearcut as it would have been in Kobe's prime. He isn't quite the dominant all around player anymore that Wade is. He is the better shooter and clutch player of the two, but Wade is a better rebounded, slasher, and stat sheet stuffer.
Kobe has never made a run by himself through the playoffs like Wade did when he dominated the entire NBA in 2006.
Id say its Kobe by a nose right now, but I think that untill the massive hype this summer, Wade was the most criminally underrated player in the game. Everybody has been saying that its Kobe and Lebron as 1a. and 1.b at the top, but for years except the year he was hurt, I have felt like Wade is right there with them.
By far, Wade is the best slasher in the league, and probably the best I've ever seen. He probably isn't the best all-time, but I challenge other posters to come up with a true slashing scorer who was better than wade. Keep in Mind, most would consider a jump shooter first. Not to say he couldn't slash, but I felt like Jordans Jumper set up his drive.
you know the writer of this article knows he is gonna get heat becasue Wade gets nothing but positive reviews, but almost everything he wrote about Kobe was negative. He has to do that in order to justify his stance on kobe not being number 1.
Wade is real great but Kobe is still the best player in the league, so it's kind of impossible that Wade is ahead of him at shooting guard.
@canesboy- Allen Iverson
And I agree with your analysis, though I think Wade is probably a little better as of *now*. Also, he has always been criminaly overrated, lik you said.
That was the worst rankings ever. They had JJ Reddick over Vince Carter, Jason Terry, and Jr Smith.
IMO, Dwyane Wade is habitually under-rated. I think he is the #1 best player in the league. He's got the killer instinct, he does it all on the court, he keeps his team together and his ego in check by staying focused on winning, he is one of the top 3 in the league at getting to the basket, he has a solid jumper and his 3 is rapidly improving. Not only can he get to the basket but he throws defenders so far off on the way there that he usually has a pretty clear lane (or at least a teammate does), and even when he doesn't he is GREAT at adjusting for a clearer shot or picking up the foul. He blocks, he steals, he passes, he hits his FT's, he rebounds, and he is very clutch, no doubt. He gets the fans in the seats by racking up the highlight footage and he also plays under control (I know he averages a bunch of TO's but he has the ball in his hands so often and is such a heady and creative playmaker you have to expect some mis-communications and mistakes).
He commands double and triple teams and can and will take over when needed. Obviously Kobe is crazy clutch but Wade is up there too.
NOBODY has EVER done what Wade did for his team in the finals.
I think its about time Wade gets credit for being the top SG in the league. Kobe used to be (like the author said, a couple seasons ago) but he is past his prime (although he is aging gracefully).
Still, with all that said, I would only pick Wade over Kobe for the first 47:50 minutes of the game.
It's true that Wade is four years younger than Kobe, but he isn't exactly a young 28. He's been injured A LOT. Wade has been injured more in only seven seasons than Kobe has in 13. Other than his wrist, Kobe has never suffered a significant injury during his entire career.
It's well documented just how great Kobe takes care of his body. He had knee surgery this summer to clean up loose cartilage, so the knee won't bother him. I just don't expect there to be a drop off in his game, especially considering he doesn't rely soley on athleticism.
Wade is phenomenal, but Kobe is still the most complete player in all of basketball. The fact that a 32 year old Kobe that's past his prime, is still arguably better than Wade/LeBron in their primes is just a testament to how great of a player that he is.
How is Kobe better than Lebron when Lebron has done way more with a worse lineup?
mark my words... kobe will the best player in the nba until hes about 34 or 35 imo... dude has unreal skill, yeah true kobe isnt even a great athelte anymore, but still a darn good one, very few players have his killer instinct and the desire to rip out the oppenets heart.
lebron can be argued for better then kobe. BUt you have to come up with more then he has done"way more" with a worse lineup. WHat all exactly has he done more then kobe? You surely cant be talking about things like playoff success or championships?
Lebron led a team with a lineup of an aging Shaq, a defensive liability in Antawn Jamison who did nothin in the playoffs, and mo williams who the past two years has done worse in the playoffs to the best record in the NBA. I don't think Kobe could have done that and even if he would not win any championships or come as close as Lebron, Lebron even led a bad team to the 2007 NBA finals past a good Detroit team
Lebron's just been better the past two years
People like you are why I'm happy LeBron joined Miami. That excuse is now history. People can no longer blame his teammates.
@andxxx... becuz lebron gets better stats than kobe doesnt exactly mean he does more for his team.. both guys do a lot for their ball clubs, think about it... lebron has the ball in his hands 90% of the time.. kobe doesnt, kobe has better scoreres around him, therefore he doesnt need as many shots to score.. lebron needed to put up shots for the cavs to have a chance to win... lebron gets more rebounds obvs., true, but look at him!!! hes a tank and hes plays SF, dont ever expect a 6'6'' SG to get like 8 or 9 RPG, lebron better get 8 or 9 RPG with that frame of body... and having the ball in your hands 90% of the time.. yeah, ur gnna get some assists along the way, kobe a great passer himself... but u cant say lebron does more... they both do a lot, lebron was more valuable to the cavs than kobe is to the lakers is more like it..
im not ridin kobe's dick, those r just facts
Has Lebron ever had a player the caliber of Pau Gasol u could argue Gasol is now a top 3 power forward in the NBA, much less a dominating Shaq in his prime
Wade still has no consistant 3 Point shot so everything you said is garbage. Lebron and Kobe are more complete players and you can't be the best without being the most rounded.
the 2007 finlas was solid. BUt they were the easiset series san antonio had in the playoffs. The west was significantly better then the east that year and i seriously doubt that cavs team would have gotten out the first round in the west.
As for the best record, i heard cavs fans saying all year that lebron finally had his teammates to win it all. BUt when they lost, it was lebron didnt have any help. Jamison was a 20-10 player last year before arriving in cleavland. Maybe lebron and the coach didnt know how to utilize him properly. Mo will is a better pg then kobe had. The cavs had pieces and lost in the second round and lebron didnt exactly tear it up.
So your telling me in the playoffs that you'd rather have Mo will than Derek fisher? And you'd rather have Antawn Jamison than Pau Gasol who is a much better defender and from watching them both more efficient especially when being the second man
lebron played in a weak ass eastern conference in 2007 and 2008, kobe played in a wildy competive western conference... kobe plays more superior teams, lebron plays less superior teams, that matters, and im not lookin at stats either...
THANK YOU LLPEREZ.... TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUTTA MY MOUTH... lol
Thank God LeBron has two great teammates now and a decent supporting cast. I am so sick of the "LeBron didn't have good teammates" excuse. You never hear that during the regular season... Just after they get elliminated in the playoffs.
even you gotta admit the playoffs are a different animal when compared to the regular season in the NBA. I just wanna finally c what Lebron does with a better than decent supporting cast which Kobe has had for every ring he's won. If Lebron doesn't win it this year and the Lakers three peat Ill admit Kobe's the better player but till than Lebron's been better the past two seasons
@andxxx, if i was any team other then the lakers, yes i would absolutely rather have mo will at pg. And no, jamison is not close to being better then pau. Yes kobe does have a better team. BUt considering kobe is winning titles with his better team and lebron is losing in the eastern conference 2nd and 3rd rounds, im not sure you can make the argument that lebron is doing "more" with less which is what you said.
The Celtics took the Lakers to 7 games even with their better TEAM, it would have been very impressive if Lebron beat the Celtics
The stats clearly show Wilt is the best to ever play the game
^^^^PHUCCCKKKIN' EXACTLY... LEBRON DIDNT RISE TO THE OCCASION, SO ITS HIS FAULT TOO... JUST CUZ EVERYTIME LEBRON GETS A GOOD SCORER TO CLEVELAND THEY DONT LIVE IT UP..
LEBRON ISNT... ISNT BETTER THAN KOBE... IF LEBRON WAS BETTER THAN KOBE, HE WOULVE WON THE 09 FINALS AND THIS YEARS FINALS, AND DONT GIVE ME THAT "NOT AS GOOD TEAMMATES" BULLSHI+, THE CAVS STILL WON 60 PLUS GAMES WITH A DAMN GOOD DEFENSE TOO... IF LEBRON WAS BETTER THAN KOBE ,AND YES ITS A TEAM GAME, HE WOULDVE BEATEN KOBE IN THE FINALS.. BUT DID HE??? NO!!!!!!!
Lebron lost to a better Magic and Celtics TEAM!! Honestly if u put Kobe Bryant on the cavs he would have lost the games too I remember Ariza, fisher, odom, artest, Gasol, Vujacic and other players stepping up and being the keys to those championships u have to admit name a guy in the playoffs who has stepped up for Lebron
The Celtics took the Lakers to 7 games even with their better TEAM, it would have been very impressive if Lebron beat the Celtics
not sure what you mean by that?
I mean thats Lebron winning a championship basically by himself which has rarely been done I can only think of Hakeem Olajuwon winning his championships with a lineup not very talented
4 years ago no one would of said Jamison is better Gasol Jamsion was an All Star and Gasol was putting decent numbers on a bad Grizzlies team, Odom was seenhot head with bad attitude by the Clippers and Heat he turned into a vversatile playmaker on Lakers, Ariza couldnt get off the bench on Orland he became one of the better defensive stoppers in the league Kobe makes his teammates better and gets the most out of them
Jamison was an allstar on a bad team and Gasol led that bad Grizzlies team to the playoffs once if I recall. Mo Williams became an all star with Lebron and replace jamison with Gasol the cavs win a championship. You need defense which Gasol has and jamison doesn't the reason the celtics won a ring 2 yrs ago was because of the defensive intensity provided by KG
Lets just say if the Lakers bet the Heat in the Finals that means that Kobe is better than Lebron n Wade thats all I got 2 say!
Wow why do idiots keep saying lebron had a bad team &$#%#&@! if his tramwas so bad y can't he score 81?
bad team compared to the Lakers oh yeah it sounds crazy but I'm a Wizards fan but I like Dwade
He didn't shoot well enough against Boston to justify his playing time. Jamison choked in the playoffs, which is what we are talking about. He was brought in to relieve pressure from LeBron and help the Cavs win in the playoffs, but against Boston he did the opposite by playing terrible defense on KG, missing open shots, and rebounding poorly. So what he did in the past during the regular season is irrelevant. LeBron created open shots for him, he just missed them. Gasol would have hit most of those shots.
Thats what I keep saying Kobe's teammates stepped up while Lebron's teammates choked
tell me the last bad team that had back to back 60 win seasons
You mean that hasnt won a ring? 06 Mavs lost in the finals to heat (60-22)
07 Mavs who lost to the Warriors in a first round upset (67-15)
After Kobe bailed them out with 7 game winners this year they owed him lol
Not that hasnt won a ring but has been good enough to win a championship
First thing I'd like to point out: these rankings are very opinionated and very debatable.
D Wade might be 28, but it should be obvious that Kobe has way more mileage than D Wade does. Kobe has been in the league since he was a teen whose parents had to sign his contract because he wasn't old enough. D Wade has had some injuries, but he has bounced back exceptionally well from them, so really that isn't even an argument. Kobe has done a lot in his career, and there is always and will be debate on who is better than him. The thing is, Kobe has always been in the debate, and it has been a new guy in the debate almost every time. It has been like that for the majority of his career.
Personally I thought Kobe was the best player in the league from 06-08 but Lebron has passed him for the past two seasons when you look at Lebron's number for the 09 playoffs they were Jordanesque when looking at the ppg plus the effieciency
To be Jordanesque there would need to be a championship trophy involved. Stats are for losers who can't learn to play as a team.
So your telling me a guy who's averaging 35pts 9reb 7asst with a 51% field goal isn't doing good? Kobe has never even got up to making 50% of his shots in the playoffs and has never averaged at least 35pts its called having a better team which Kobe has had for most of his career discounting 05-07
Kobe averaged 35 ppg in 06
Not in the playoffs those are his regular season stats he averaged 27.9ppg in the 06 playoffs
This year we will see. Lebron/Wade has no excuses. Kobe has no excuses. LA has more depth MIA has more star power. Whoever wins is better.
Right now it's
They are not like Jordan is what I would tell you. He was about winning championships... not looking good on the back of a baskball card.