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Community Shootaround: Kobe Bryant’s Legacy

Kobe Bryant‘s storied career came to an end Wednesday night with the Lakers’ 101-96 victory over the Jazz in Los Angeles. The veteran shooting guard scored an amazing 60 points while shooting 22 for 50 from the field. Bryant’s remarkable career includes 18 trips to the All-Star game, where he won the MVP award on four occasions, one NBA MVP award, and most importantly — five NBA titles. The 37-year-old’s final career numbers are 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals over a total of 1,346 regular season contests. His slash line is .448/.331/.816.

Bryant had the reputation of being one of the fiercest competitors to ever play the game, a trait that didn’t always make him the ideal teammate. The Mamba reportedly scared away a number of the Lakers’ free agent targets over the years, and one can only wonder how many more titles he and Shaquille O’Neal could have snagged had the pair been able to coexist amicably. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Bryant was one of the greatest to ever step onto the hardwood, and the league won’t feel the same next year with him no longer a part of it.

This brings me to the topic for today: Where does Kobe Bryant rank among the greats who have played the game?

Give us your opinions on where Bryant lands in the all-time rankings, share your fondest memory from his career or take one last parting shot at the Mamba if you don’t count yourself among his fans. We look forward to what you have to say.

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23 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Kobe Bryant’s Legacy

  1. nsmith12641

    2nd, only behind Kirk Hinrich

  2. ahale224

    He comes in around 8 all time for me. It would be tough to leave him out of the top 10 no matter what. One of the most intense competitors in sports history.

  3. 1-Jordan
    2-Abdul jabbar
    Makes the top 10 barely

    • jrwhite21

      This is a super interesting list. I don’t even think Duncan is in my top twenty.

      • 2 time mvp. 15 time Allstar. 15 time all nba player. 5 time nba champion. Averages 20 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks his career. Best power forward of all time without a doubt. Created a dynasty with the Spurs. And he doesn’t make your top 20?

        • Arthur Hill

          Duncan gets underappreciated because there’s nothing flashy about his game, but he’s definitely an all-time great. Arguably top 10, definitely top 20.

    • SoCalBaseballDude

      I have watched and attended NBA games since 1957: The only players ahead of Kobe are: Jordan, Magic, Bird, Abdul-Jabbar, Russell, Wilt and the Big O. So….he comes in at #8. Shaquille is #9 and Duncan #10.

      • SoCalBaseballDude

        Correction – I meant to say since 1967.

  4. Chuck Myron

    He’s top 10, for sure. Maybe top five, but who do you bump? There’s no question in my mind that the three greatest players are Jordan, Wilt and Russell. So was Kobe better than Oscar Robertson, better than Kareem, better than Shaq, his own teammate? Will he be better than LeBron once LeBron is finished? So hard to say.

    • hill
      daren hill

      I never thought I’d say this but….ESPN had it right.
      Kobe at #12 just behind Big O and just ahead of Jerry West and Dr. J.

      link to

  5. ahale224

    Only Kareem has more all star appearances. 3rd all time scorning. 9 first team NBA defensive selections(which matches Michael Jordan). I don’t want to be his team mate, but loved watching him play. Look at the list of players to score 60 in a game. Only Wilt did it more I believe.

    • ahale224

      Lebron is not top 10. Gotta win championships.

      • How many NBA championship games in a row has he gone to? With 2 different teams…Who else is doing that? LBJ will be top 10 eventually just not yet.

  6. Italian Stallion

    I have Kobe at 7 or 8


    Has anybody ever heard of Karl Malone? Or maybe the guy on the nba logo Jerry West? Not sure how the could not possibly make your top 10. Bill Russell should be better than a 5. I’m a lifetime lakers fan and loved Kobe but all time he doesn’t make top 10.

    • Hard to crack the top 10 in the NBA. West is like a Top 25, Malone is Top 15.

    • Connorsoxfan

      Karl who? ;)

  8. prosportsisentertainment

    Top 10:
    Big O

    BTW Why is no one mentioning his rape case as part of his legacy?

    • Connorsoxfan

      Because this is basketball related.

      • prosportsisentertainment

        well played Connor

  9. Here’s my top 10 based on 1 (# of times in the top 10 points, rebounds, steals, assists, blocks per game, PER, True Shooting PTC, Defensive Winshares, Total Winshares, and Value Over Replacement) + (Number of Championships) + (Number of MVP Awards). The “True Top 10” stops at David Robinson.

    1. Kareem – 20
    2. Russell – 19
    3. Jordan – 16
    4. Duncan – 12
    5. Wilt – 11
    6. LeBron – 10
    6. Magic – 10
    7. Kobe – 8
    7. Shaq – 8
    7. David Robinson – 8

    The “True Top 10” stops at David Robinson b/c of ties.

    8. Malone – 7
    8. Hakeem – 7
    9. Pettit – 5
    10. Dirk – 5
    10. Garnett – 5
    10. Robertson – 5

  10. Connorsoxfan

    Kobe is second best. Only behind Marcelo Huertas IMO

  11. Jim213

    The regular season isn’t the measuring stone for the all time greats. No set of bigger brass balls than 24, whose played thru painful injuries. IMO, Jordan, Kareem, Magic, Russell and Duncan top the 5. These players have won numerous titles aside of having the biggest impact to their teams on the court.

    Altho Kobe has had a bigger impact globally and on the current youth over Duncan, Timmy’s been more consistent than 24. I’d put 24 6th/7th given LeBron may finish ahead. No diss to Wilt or big O but they didn’t play in an even par/competitive era as it’s been for the past 40 yrs. They’re great players but the elite of the elite also get the job done too =titles/rings.

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