Top 25 Greatest NBA Players of All-Time: 8
8. Kobe Bryant 25 PPG 5.2 RPG 4.7 APG 44.7 FG%
18x NBA All-Star
5x NBA champion
2x NBA Finals MVP
11x All-NBA First Team
2x All-NBA Second Team
2x All-NBA Third Team
9x NBA All-Defensive First Team
3x NBA All-Defensive Second Team
2x NBA Scoring Champion
3x Gold Medalist
Los Angeles Lakers All-Time Leading Scorer
3rd NBA All-Time in Points Scored: (33,643)
“The Black Mamba” , “Vino”, Kobe Bryant at number 8, does it get anymore fitting? Kobe busted into the NBA in 1996 straight out of high school. Kobe would become the sidekick to Shaq during his first three titles with the Lakers, but nonetheless he showed that he was an elite player in the game. Post Shaq is when Kobe truly came into his own, despite several years of the Lakers being a low end Western Conference playoff team. Kobe would put on a scoring clinic night in and night out, his most memorable, 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second highest scoring game of all-time.
Kobe would then find his way back into championship contention heading into the 2007-2008 season. Now wearing “24” Kobe would go on to win his first MVP and head to three straight NBA Finals, winning two of them. Kobe has been known throughout his career for being an elite scorer and many knock him for the fact he scored so much by shooting so much. Now, yes, Kobe has missed more shots than anyone ever to play and yes, he averaged just under 20 shots a game. Some seem to forget or ignore that Kobe Bryant is the all-time leader in assists among shooting guards. That’s right the guy who took more shots than any one leads at his position in assists with (6,306).
I myself am a “90s kid”, so I missed out on seeing Micheal Jordan in prime action. Luckily, we had Kobe, as close to Jordan as it can get. I’ve always admired the mentality and the assassin like drive of Kobe, he went out there and he played as if he was the best player to ever play and for the time he was on his way, but in the end he came up slightly short. Kobe inspired me and I credit him for instilling me with my love for basketball. Kobe Bryant retired in 2016 following 20 years in the league and he went out like only he could, by scoring 60 points in his final game.