Kobe Bryant vs. Blake Griffin. That is what it comes down to. Chris Paul is the more talented player on the Clippers but the true headliner in the franchise is Blake Griffin. Must we truly debate the validity of the statement that Kobe Bryant is the Lakers’ headliner? I did not think so. Let’s move along.
Kobe Bryant is and always has been great. But he has an infallible nature that makes him less and less interesting to talk about. When he has 40-plus-point games, the world stops and takes notice.
When LeBron is crowned the best player in the league, the world stops and takes notice. When his wife gives him a kiss after filing for divorce in the middle of his season, the world takes notice.
However, when Blake Griffin puts seven-footers on posters, the universe stops to listen. When Griffin dunks over a Kia leading to a hefty endorsement from the automotive company, the universe stops to watch.
When Griffin’s rookie season is one of the most impressive, individually, the league has ever seen, the universe stops to check the stats.
Kobe Bryant has five rings. When speaking in light of overall career greatness, there is absolutely no comparison. Bryant can shine his five rings in Griffin’s face to shut down any argument that Griffin is even close to his level professionally.
That is looking at Bryant’s entire career. Griffin has yet to be in the league, active, for even two seasons. Therefore, we are judging each man in the now. Right now, Griffin is winning the foot race as far as notoriety and potential.
The NBA operates off of the mentality that if your ceiling is no longer high, your value has ultimately depreciated. Bryant has been an immaculate player and has changed the game in so many ways, but right now, Griffin is one of the headliners of the future of the league.
As one of the youngest members of the Western Conference All-Star lineup, Griffin has won the Rookie of the Year award and single-handedly gave the LA Clippers a spot in ESPN’s rotation, with two All-Star selections.
His potential is steadily climbing, while we have seen everything that Bryant has to offer and maybe we have seen the height of what he is capable of. Griffin is still developing and everyone loves a tantalizing project. Griffin’s talent level and demeanor is in. He is a much hotter topic.