Why Kobe Is Still The Best?

Samuel BazemoreContributor ISeptember 4, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Kobe Bryant #24 holds the Larry O'Brien trophy as he rides on the top of a double decker bus at the start of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship victory parade outside the Staples Center on June 17, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

    Kobe is still simply the best. I mean come on people. He did what he was supposed to do...win the championship. I could see if he fell short of anything less. "Kobe Haters" are still trying to make a case for King James and sometimes even D-Wade for the title of being the best in the world. But honestly what did they do to prove they were better than the Mamba really? In King James' claim to the throne of the 08-09 season he drops both games to Kobe, including his only legitimate home loss. Not to mention Kobe had an injured pinky in the first victory and the flu in Clevelands home defeat. In both victories, Kobe did a fairly good job on the King, while schooling LeBron in the 4th like he was a rookie.

    All the talk about LA as a whole being a more talented team than Cleveland need to cease and desist. Big Z is the second tallest player in the league behind Yao and can shoot from anywhere on the floor. Delonte West is better than D-Fish and tougher than Farmar defensively. Wally has playoff experience with KG. Andersen V is tough and doesn't back down from anyone, ask KG. Ben Wallace is a multiple time DPOY award recipient. Not to mention Big Ben helped Detroit embarrass Shaq and Kobe's Lakers back in 04. Mo Williams was an all star. Need I say more. What?! Mo lost confidence in the playoffs playing next to "the best in the world? Shannon Brown, who played with LeBron also, excelled in the playoffs next to KB24.

    Now lets talk about the best team in all of basketball. Are the Lakers more talented than the Cavs overall? The answer is yes. Phil and Kobe have a lot to do with that though. Kobe's all so talented team was exposed last year in the finals versus the more tough and talented Celtics. Can we admit that Pau is way more tough since joining forces with Kobe. Kobe draws more attention than anyone in the NBA which makes life harder for Kobe and way more easy for his teammates. Especially for Pau because Gasol is the second most skilled and talented big man in this league, behind Dirk. Bynum has been nothing but injured and in foul trouble. Sasha struggled all season. He wasn't the machine we're used to seeing. But I still wouldn't trade Sasha for anyone.

    Farmar didn't play great either. Fisher is old but is still clutch. Fisher can't defend the faster and much younger guards. Farmar can't defend the stronger guards. Kobe deals with that when he has to. Trevor Ariza has been sensational. There's no doubt about it. But he gets most of his open looks from who? Sasha gets most of his open looks from who? None other than Kobe. Also lets realize that Odom just started playing like the most underrated player in the NBA. As the second option he(Odom) was just dismal. Kobe virtually almost beat the Suns in that 7 game series single handily. Luke Walton is a good playmaker but can be very clumsy and can't defend.

    That's just a little food for thought. People keep comparing LeBron and Wade's seasons to Kobe's 05-06 and 06-07 seasons. There's no comparison to be made. Kobe averaged 35.4ppg and 31.6ppg. Nine straight games with 40+ points. Four straight with 50+ points. 81 points in game vs Toronto. 62 points to Dallas' 61 in 32 minutes. Now that's what the most dominant and feared scoring force looks like. King James and The Flash score a couple 40 and 50 point games and hit 1 or 2 game winners and now they're the best. James averaged 28.4 points and D-Wade averaged 30.2. Wade's season was actually comparable to Kobe's 06-07 season. I'm only talking about offensively. Not talking about assists and rebounds.

    But since I mentioned the two categories, lets compare.  On the Lakers squad, everyone is a playmaker. Fisher brings the ball up, Walton brings the ball up, and so does Farmar, Brown, Sasha, Ariza, and yes, so does Odom. Pau even sometimes brings the ball up in a fast break situation as seen when Gasol put his talent on display with the razzle dazzle under the leg no look assist. Kobe has the ball in the clutch most of the time where he is force to put the ball in the basket. James and Wade have the ball in their hands at least 75% of the time. Which is why the have more dimes. That's why I say most of King James stats other than scoring, steals, and blocks are amazing but silly when compared to Kobe's. When King James played at MSG he literally snatched the rebound from his teammate just to get a selfish triple double and to so called "outdo" Kobe's 61 point, 19-31FG, 20-20FT, 3-6 3pfg, in 36 minutes performance. And that was with ease for Kobe and his Lakers without Bynum. LeBron and his Cavs were lucky they escaped with a win.

    Kobe doesn't rebound as much because of Gasol who averages at least 8 or 9. Odom is one of the best rebounders in the league. Bynum is a natural rebounder so that takes away from Kobe's rebounding. Rick Kamla do us all a favor and hush the stupid talk about stats because they only prove who has the ball more. Lets not forget LeBron and Wade has played in the weak East all of their careers. Before Boston and the big three and the Magic there was only one team that people had to really prepare for in the East and that was the Pistons. LeBron got past them and was crushed by a Western conference juggernaut in the Finals known as the Spurs.

    In the West Kobe faced the Spurs, Mavericks, Suns, Nuggets, Hornets, Rockets, and the Jazz. Kobe still managed to win 42 in the West. People say CP3 should've won the MVP but I come to believe that that's a little unreasonable. I mean can Kobe have anything that you'll actually believe he deserves. CP3 probably should have won it but he did have David West, Peja, and Pargo who all can create shots for themselves. But if Paul should've won it over Kobe because of importance to the team, then Kobe should've won it over Nash and Dirk because they had a ton of help. Would I take those MVP trophies from Nash and Dirk, give them to Kobe, and say they didn't deserve it? No because they are two hell of a players and both deserved the honor given to them. But because it's Kobe it's a problem.

    Kobe is the most double and triple teamed perimeter player in NBA history. Almost all of his shots are impossible. He has mastered the jumpshot like no other. Yes including the man who shall remain nameless who mastered the fadeaway. Kobe has mastered that too. Ask King James. He knows from personal experience. When comparing Kobe to other players I don't compare resumes because that doesn't mean anything either. But to be the best you have to deal with pressure, adversity, and doubt and Kobe has more than enough. This year when he defeats King James and The Diesel in the finals it will be glorious. Kobe will solidly claim his title as best in the World and will be looking to take beeeeeeeeep's title as the greatest ever.

    This article is not a shot at King James or Dwayne Wade. I love both players. I think D-Wade is the closest thing to Kobe offensively because if you take away LeBron's 6'8 260 pound frame, he doesn't have much. D-Wade, like Kobe, can rely more on his skill and fundamentals. But I think King James and D-Wade are a tie. After Kobe becomes the new goat I think James will pass him to become the next new goat. When it's all said and done it won't be a debate about who's the best on Earth. People will argue that King James was the greatest to ever lace up a pair, while others will bolster about how great the Mamba was and that nobody mastered the jumpshot quite like him. Then they will be called crazy for thinking anyone could ever surpass "his airness", I crack up everytime I hear that, Michael Jordan. There I said it. We will see as the 2009-2010 season approaches.