The Hall of Fame is already calling for Kobe Bryant given his accomplishments during his illustrious career. As great as the Lakers’ all-time leading scorer has been though, he still has a few things he must achieve to cement his status as a top-five player of all-time.
This cannot be stressed enough: Bryant is one of the greatest players of his generation and quite possibly one of the 10 best players in league history. On that front, his legacy is secure.
However, if he is going to enter the vaunted pantheon of the five greatest men to ever play basketball, his body of work needs a couple of additions.
Although it is quite difficult to obtain a consensus on the top five, experts usually include Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell in some type of order. Others,such as Bryant himself, subtract Chamberlain and instead replace him with Larry Bird.
These are the men that Bryant is jousting with in terms of NBA history and overall legacy.
If Bryant is going to unseat one of them, he must hit a couple of historical landmarks and surpass the accomplishments by some of the greats that came before him.
When judging the careers of players, the measuring sticks that are often cited are championships, awards and an ability to consistently raise the level of play when the situation calls for it.
Thus, Bryant must at least be on the same level as those in the pantheon in order to make it in and compare credentials.
So what’s left for him to do?