Don't Call It Hate, Call It Being A Realist

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IOctober 5, 2009

EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Lakers media day at the Lakers training facility on September 29, 2009 in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

I find it highly illogical that when someone puts up an argument in regards to Kobe Bryant and it's not one that's going to shine a light positively on Kobe Bryant, his fans in a rush to pass judgment over you begin by calling you a "hater."

Their beliefs are that you do not believe that Kobe is a great player, which isn't the case. It just happens that after watching Kobe the realization is the fact that he'll never be what the media portrays him as.

It's not Kobe's fault. It's the media's fault for trying to push this idiotic notion that every talented player needs to be compared to Michael Jordan. Before Kobe it was Jerry Stackhouse and Vince Carter.

Why were Stackhouse and Carter compared to Jordan? The answer was that they were both extremely talented players who came out of the same college as Jordan—the University of North Carolina—but even though Stackouse and Carter have had solid careers, they truly were never going to be Jordan.

Remember Harold Miner? He was called "Baby Jordan" because of his ability to dunk the basketball, but Miner never did anything impressive except for dunking the ball. 

At the time these players came out, it was about the athletic ability and dunking the ball. Not much else. It was like the other accomplishments of Jordan were thrown out based on Stackhouse's, Carter's, and Miner's ability to dunk the ball.

When Kobe came into the league he was also another player that was considered the next Jordan. Arguably there are similar characteristics between the two, but there's never going to be another Jordan.

Bryant is going to be Bryant, Jordan is going to be Jordan, Miner is going to be Miner, Stackhouse went from athletic scorer to role player, and Carter...well Carter is Carter.

Recently, there was a slide show titled "5 Reasons why Kobe's the GOAT." I followed with more of a sarcastic slideshow stating the "5 Reasons why Kobe's not the GOAT."

Kobe fans are about to put Kobe on a pedestal of greatest player in NBA history, when his numbers don't add up to it. I'm pretty sure a lot of Kobe fans are Laker fans in general as well, so they choose to ignore the rich history of the Laker franchise.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and Wilt Chamberlain played for the Lakers franchise. You can take the name Chamberlain out because he played only a few years for the team, but he still is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history regardless of his team afiliation.

Even with the current crop of players that have been around with Kobe ,there's an argument that Kobe would be tough to be considered the greatest of his era as well. There are Tim Duncan, Shaq (who was a teammate), and Kevin Garnett.

We've learned not everything is about the number of championships a player has. Karl Malone is one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history and he has no rings. That's because there's a difference between player stats and team stats.

Even though Bill Russell has 11 championship rings he is not considered to be the greatest player in NBA history. He was also blessed with having a great supporting cast as well so his numbers aren't as impressive as Chamberlain's or Abdul-Jabbar's!

When you look at Kobe, he is just 31 years old, so he's going to keep up putting up great numbers individually. Yet, if we're talking right now, Kobe's not the greatest and it will take a while for him to even get to that point.

Could Kobe become the greatest? Time will tell and other factors are involved as well. In time will people remember Kobe for his immaturity when he first came into the league, his lack of leadership skills, his questionable shot selections at time, and his inconsistent jumper? 

The answer is no, fans are going to look at numbers. The numbers will not lie. There's a reason why NBA fans don't think John Havlicek is better than Kobe. His numbers aren't on par.

It's also time to set personal feelings aside and just look at the numbers. Although, Mark Twain did say there were three types of lies. "A lie, damn lie, and statistics."

Yet, when comparing players those numbers are really what proves who were the better player. It doesn't take into account other factors like rule changes, types of defenses, less skills involved, expansion teams, etc....

In this the most common comparison between Bryant is Jordan. So, let's take a look at the numbers both regular season and in playoffs.


Regular season stats

He has played in all 82 games three times in his career so far, has never lead the league in minutes, has lead the league in field goals three times, has also lead the league in field goal attempts three times, twice lead the league in free throws, lead the league in points four times, and twice lead the league in points per game.

Going further into the stats Kobe has averaged over 30 points per game three times.

His career stats are 45.5 percent from the floor, 34.1 percent from beyond the arc, 84 percent from the free throw line, an average of 25.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.

In terms of individual awards Kobe has a MVP and a Finals MVP.

For All-NBA selections he has two third teams, two second team, and seven first team.

All-Defensive Selections he has two second team selections and seven first team selections. Also, Kobe has 16 career triple doubles.


Playoff stats

Twice lead in minutes played, lead three times in field goals made, lead four times in field goals attempted, lead three times in free throws made, lead once in free throws attempted, one time leading in steals, one time in fouls committed, three times in points, and three times lead in points per game.  

His stats for his playoff career thus far are at a 44.7 percent shooting, 32.9 percent from three, 81.1 percent from the free throw line, he averages 25 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, 4.7 assists, and 1.4 steals.

Bryant has been a member of four championship teams with the Lakers.


Now it's time to look at Jordan's stats in the regular season

Five times played all 82 games, three times lead the league in minutes played, 10 times lead the league in field goals made, nine times lead the league in attempts, twice lead the league in free throws made, three times lead the league in steals, 11 times lead the league in points, twice lead the league in minutes per game, 10 times lead the league in points per game, three times lead the league in steals per game, and seven times lead the league in player efficiency rating.

Career wise his numbers are 49.7 percent from the field, 32.7 percent from three, 83.5 percent from the free throw line, averaged 30.1 points per game, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.3 steals.

In terms of averaging over 30 points per game eight times.

Awards are: Five MVPs, six Finals MVPs, and one Defensive Player of the Year Award.

All-NBA selections are: one second team selection and 10 first team selections.

All-Defense selections are: Nine first team selections.


Playoff Stats

Three times lead the league in games, three times lead in minutes played, seven times lead in field goals made, eight times lead in field goal attempts, three times lead in free throws made, lead three times in free throws attempted, twice lead in steals, eight times lead in points, one time lead in minutes per game, and 10 times lead in points per game.

For his career he averaged 48.7 percent from the field, 33.2 percent from three, 82.8 percent from the free throw line, averaged 33.4 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, 5.7 assists per game, and 2.1 steals per game.

Jordan won six titles with the Bulls. Also, Jordan had 28 triples doubles for his career including a stretch of seven straight.

So, for people calling me a "hater" look at the stats they do not lie. How can it be said that Bryant is better than Jordan when looking at the most looked at stat Jordan is clearly better in? That stat is points per game!

Jordan averaged 30.1 for his career while Kobe's at 25.1. So, Jordan averages five more points per game than Kobe does for his career.

In the playoffs Jordan averaged 33.4 points per game and Kobe is at 25 points per game. Jordan nearly averages nine more points per game than Kobe has done in the playoffs.

Career wise in the regular season and in the playoffs averaged more rebounds, more assists, and more steals, he also had a higher field goal percentage. Bryant's only numbers that he has on Jordan are free throw percentage and three point percentage.

Also, going further as in an article I wrote in regards to Jordan and Oscar Robertson. Kobe has two seasons of having 30 points, five assists, and five rebounds. Jordan and Robertson have six seasons of at leats 30 points, five assists, and five rebounds.

As it clearly shows Kobe does have a lot of work to do before he can be even considered better than Jordan and even then there's arguments about other players like Chamberlain and Abdul-Jabbar as the greatest of all time.

So, let's be honest right here it has nothing to do with Kobe Bryant. It has nothing to do with the fact that at times Bryant has been a less than stellar teammate, a less than stellar role model, a whiner to the refs, has taken some cheap shots at teammates or opponents,etc...

Going further and looking at stats in terms of most times leading. Chamberlain played in five seasons of all 82 games, he also lead the league eight times in minutes, seven times in field goals, seven times in field goal attempts, nine times in field goal percentage, nine times in free throws attempted, 11 times in total rebounds, seven times in points, nine times in minutes per game, seven times in points per game, and 11 times in rebounds per game.

In terms of points per game there are eight players ahead of Bryant. Jordan, Chamberlain, Lebron James, Elgin Baylor, Allen Iverson, Jerry West, Bob Pettit, and Oscar Robertson.

In terms of steals per game Jordan is number three all-time where as Kobe's at number 39 all-time.  

What it has to do with is reality. The reality is Kobe's not at the level of being the greatest of all-time and the numbers prove it.