As I stated, it was hard to decide where exactly to rank each of the top 3 players I had. Shaquille O'neal was my original pick for number 2, but after really evaluating each of their decades, Kobe Bryant clearly has had a better and more consistent decade than Shaq.
For the past 9 years, Kobe Bryant has been the best, most skilled, most complete and most dominating player on the perimeter on both ends of the floor. What Kobe has done for this 9 year stretch is absolutely amazing. Alongside with Shaq, Kobe Bryant helped lead the Lakers to three straight Nba championships.
In only a four year stretch, Kobe Bryant did not only break 33 Laker franchise records, he set scoring records only comparable to Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan.
This year, Kobe Bryant cemented his legacy by not only leading a young Lakers team to back-to-back Nba final appearances, but by winning it this time and leading the Lakers franchise to banner 15. Kobe bryant won his 4th championship ring as well as his first Nba finals Mvp award.
Kobe Bryant is only 31 and he has already had a better career than most players that has ever played this game. So more success is to be expected from this man.
Accomplishments from 2000-2009:
4 Nba Championships
1 Nba Finals Mvp
1 Nba league Mvp
2 Scoring titles (2006,2007)
3 All Star Game Mvps
10 All Star game appearances
10 All Nba team selections (7 first, 2 second, 1 third)
9 All Nba defensive team selections (7 first, 2 second)
Statistics from 2000-2009:
31.1 ppg, 5.8 apg, 6.5 rpg, 1.8 spg, 0.6 bpg 46 fg%
Kobe Bryant has averaged 31.8 ppg, 5.8 apg, 6.2 rpg, 1.6 spg, 0.7 bpg 48 fg% in the playoffs.
Records broken in this decade:
- Scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second-highest number of points scored in a game in NBA history, behind only Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point performance.
- One of only two players in NBA history to score 80 points in a single game (the other is Wilt Chamberlain).
- One of only two players in NBA history to score 35-plus points per game for 13 consecutive games (the other is Wilt Chamberlain).
- One of three players in Nba history (including Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor) and the first player since 1964 to score 45 points or more for 4 consecutive games.
- Only player to outscore an opposing team through three quarters.
- One of only four players in Nba history (including Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Elgin Baylor) to score 60+ points multiple times in his career. Has done it 5 times.
- One of only two players in Nba history (incuding Wilt) to score 50+ points for 4 consecutive games.
- Only player in Nba history besides Wilt Chamberlain to finish a season with ten 50+ games.
- One of only three players in Nba history (including Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain) to score 40+ for 9 or more consecutive games.
- Averaged 43.4 ppg for a single month and the highest for any player besides Wilt.
- One of only two players in NBA history to average 40-plus points per game for an entire month on three separate occasions (40.6 ppg in February 2003, 43.4 ppg in January 2006 , 40.1 in April 2006) (the other is Wilt Chamberlain).
- Only player in NBA history with at least 2,800 points and 180 three-point field goals made in one season.
- One of three players in Nba history (including Michael Jordan and Jerry West) to average at least 31.0 ppg and 7.0 assist in the Nba finals. Only player besides Jordan to average at least 30.0 pppg, 5.0 ppg, and 5.0 rpg in the Nba finals.