Kobe Bryant: Best Basketball Player Ever

Adeyemi AdediranContributor IMarch 25, 2010

LOS ANGELES - MARCH 21:   Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles during a time out in the game with the Washington Wizards on March 21, 2010 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 99-92.  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 Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

I have watched and read closely the misguided idiots commit blasphemy against a basketball god that is Kobe Bryant.

These people have claimed that Lebron James is better than Kobe Bryant. Funnier still, some of these folks have claimed that, in fact, Kevin Durant is better than Kobe Bryant. Add Charles Barkley to the list of these misguided idiots; he too believes that Lebron James is better than Kobe Bryant.

I refuse to wait until Bryant retires or is put into the Hall of Fame to recognize his greatness. I refuse to wait until he grows old and dies at 100 to say how good of a basketball player he was. I will do it now once and for all—KOBE BRYANT IS THE GREATEST PLAYER TO EVER TOUCH A BASKETBALL.

He is the reason why people love basketball. All over the world, people worship Bryant—as they should.

The guy is simply the best.

If you saw the Olympic Games in China where Kobe is revered as he should be, he got the loudest ovation out of all the thousands of athletes from all around the globe. This is because people recognize skill and talent when they see it.

I moved to the United States in 2000. Having played soccer for most of my life, I had an idea of what basketball was, but Kobe Bryant made me fall in love with the sport. The way he plays with grace, talent, speed, and determination reminds me of soccer stars like Jay Jay Okocha of Nigeria, or Ronaldinho or Pele, both of Brazil.

We are talking of an all-time great here, not just the best in the league now.

As Kobe would say, “You guys are playing checkers, I am playing chess,” or the more famous, “I have bigger fish to fry” in reference to Raja Bell’s little tantrums (by the way, where the hell is he now?).

I have been quoted as saying, “If everybody does their work with the type of determination that Kobe employs at basketball, the world will be such a better place.” 

I have since watched lots of videos of Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul Jabbar and the other all-time greats.

I have reached a conclusion—none of the all-time greats are better than Kobe Bryant.

His skills, his determination, dribbling skills, pump-fakes, passing, ability to deliver in clutch, and, in general, his all around game are second to none.

I can understand if those who were born in the last decade think Lebron is the best for they don’t know any better. But for anyone who has watched basketball for the past 10-12 years to say Kobe Bryant is not the best player to ever play basketball either does not understand basketball or just has an agenda.

Bryant does not have to be your role model. He does not have to be the guy you want to share a beer with.

But, know this: That man is the best basketball player to ever play this game.

I’ve seen Jordan’s best games. He did not, I repeat, he did not do anything that Kobe cannot do.

This guy is the epitome of a basketball player.

He is neither bigger nor stronger than others like a Lebron, nor is he much taller than others like a Wilt Chamberlain— what he has is pure skill, which has made him the best player to ever play the game of basketball.

Jordan gained most of his popularity because folks liked his charisma, and he was popular with Nike ads and his signature shoes.

But I do not watch basketball so I can “like” a player or be able to “share a beer” with a player. Rather, I watch to see the best do what they do.

Bryant is the best player to ever touch the round ball—the current NBA players agree, and the opponent’s fans certainly agree (you have more Kobe Bryant jerseys than anyone else at  Lakers' away games).

The only people who don’t agree are those who lack basic basketball knowledge or for some reason or the other want to push Lebron James into superstardom that he lacks the skill, experience, or determination to handle.

Obviously, it is easy to win 60-plus games if you get to play the Wizards, Nets, Pistons and the rest of the college-type teams that make up the Eastern Conference of the NBA four times during the season.

If you do the math, that’s 16-plus automatic wins.  In the end, the conversation is not if Kobe Bryant is the best player currently playing, it is if he is the best basketball player  ever.

I can go on listing all of his achievements, but you know his work. If you need a “reminder” like the Jay-Z song, you should Google Kobe Bryant and see what he has done in his career.

Make no mistake—Shaq would not have won any championships without Bryant.

I still remember watching those Shaq/Kobe championship-winning Lakers when, during crunch time, the other team employed a hack-of-Shaq strategy, and Shaq then proceeded to miss free throws. Other times, Shaq just simply fouled out of games, and of course, the basketball god named Kobe took over the games and brought them home.

We know of the 81 points where it felt like God himself was playing against mere mortals. So for those who choose to go on with the blasphemous statements about a basketball deity, feel free to go on.

For those of us around the world (by the way Bryant has the highest selling jersey everywhere in the world, including the United States), let us keep enjoying Bryant, because there will only be one Kobe Bryant. He is the best to ever play the round ball.

If he is not much better than Jordan, then Kobe is No. 1 and Jordan is No 1a.  

All hail Bryant—The Best Basketball Player Ever.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.