Saturday Special: That Kobe Guy

Darius Soriano —  February 20, 2010

Light day today for Lakers news, so I thought I would try to find something worth watching on Kobe.  Turns out, me and commenter jeremyLA24 were thinking the same thing this morning.  So while I tip my cap to Jeremy, you can grab some popcorn, take 10 minutes and watch this video.  Simply put, Kobe Bryant – Greatness Personified.  Also, if you haven’t done so already, and you’re not all Kobe’d out, go check out the feature in GQ on our favorite #24.  It’s worth the read.

Darius Soriano

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to Saturday Special: That Kobe Guy

  1. Thanks for making a post on this Darius. Glad to see I can go somewhere that constantly has people on the same wavelength as me.


  2. Kobe Bryant is the GREATEST shotmaker of all time. He is probably the most offensively skilled player EVER. He is also one of the best defensive guard of all time, probably in the top 3. And he’s still not done, yet. If he wins another 3-4 titles and adds to his amazing statline, he will be considered one of the GOAT along with Jordan and Lebron. We are so previleged to be watching him. In Magic and Kobe, I think we’ve had 2 of the 5 greatest players in NBA history. I’m so glad to be a Lakers fan.


  3. #3

    did i read that right?
    Jordan AND Lebron??? what happened to…Magic, Bird, Russel, Wilt…

    Right now, Lebron is only as good as a young Jerry West and big O, a stat monster with no ring

    Lebron have the possibility to become the GOAT in THE FUTURE, right now, it is Kobe time.


  4. pb I was with you until you added lebron. I just don’t see how you can say if kobe gets 3 or 4 more titles he’ll considered one of the goats along with jordan(perfectly fine) and Magic? No, Lebron?!?. If kobe retires with 7 championships and 9 trips to the finals then he’ll be up there with lebron? I know you didn’t mean it that way, but before we anoint lebron anything(including best player in the game) lets wait until he gets to the 10 year mark and see what he’s accomplished.

    Its always fun watching these videos because it just reminds us of how great Kobe really is. 14 years in the league he’s not about the flashy play thats going to get on espn top 10 anymore. He’s about pure substance and thats one of the reason why people so easily anoint lebron “king” and just don’t remember everything that lebron is doing now, Kobe has already done it and better. I hate it when people say Lebron invented the chase down block. What? Are you serious? Kobe was doing that 10 years ago. Hell, Dwade was doing it before Lebron invented that. Yes, Lebron jumps higher then kobe and his dunks are a bit stronger. But do we not see the creativity, the difficulty and the posters that kobe dunks made.

    Kobe’s skill level is so far ahead of Lebron it’s not even funny, actually it is quite funny. But Kobe will go down as the greatest laker of all time when he retires. If he brings more titles to L.A. than Magic, we will have to give it to kobe.


  5. that is an impressive highlight reel. i think sometimes we as fans take for granted the greatness that is kobe bryant. we are all truly lucky that he plays for our favorite team and that we get to fully enjoy his accomplishments as well as what he does on a nightly basis…watching this video makes me salivate over the thought of a healthy kobe leading this laker team. hopefully this thought can become a reality as a result of the much-needed rest he has taken.


  6. 7:20 is just sickening


  7. Hahaha…

    Yeah, Lebron is not there, yet, but what he is doing is simply video game level of ridiculousness. I just can’t imagine Lebron NOT ascending to the level of Jordan and Kobe by the time he retires unless he gets seriously injured.

    BTW, my favorite player is Magic. Had he played 3-4 more years without retiring, he could have added at least one more title and maybe 1 or 2 more MVPs. Still, in my mind, Magic, Bird, Wilt, Russell are a notch below Jordan and possibly Kobe, only because Jordan and Kobe are more complete players on both ends of the floor. Wilt, like Shaq, was not as skilled or motivated. Russell’s championship number was inflated due to the era and the team he played on.

    In my opinion, Jordan is #1, Kobe on track to be #2, and Lebron on track to supersede them both eventually.

    Lebron is only 25! Unless Kobe and the Lakers dominate for the next 3-4, there’s a good chance Lebron will add at least 3-4 titles before he turns 31. I sincerely hope he doesn’t at the expense of the Lakers, but I can’t lie. He’s THAT GOOD!


  8. pb,
    Unless I miss my guess, you never saw Wilt, Russell, West, Baylor, the Big O, or even perhaps Dr. J. play.

    There are a lot of great, great athletes in NBA history. It didn’t start with Jordan, or even Magic – it’s just that that’s when ESPN started.

    P.S. Wilt was a Jim Brown level athlete and certainly not as lazy about his craft as Shaq. Don’t ever doubt Wilt’s athleticism unless you saw him play in his prime.


  9. Can’t forget about Kareem. You could argue that he was best and most unstoppable offensive player of all time in his prime.


  10. Craig W.

    While I agree that Wilt was an athlete who would be awesome even in modern game, his 51% FT is just too low to consider him as GOAT. Furthermore, he should have won more than 2 championships to be considered GOAT. Was he DOMINANT like Shaq? Of course. Much more so. Was he an overpowering athlete like Lebron? Probably. Does he have the most ridiculous stats? Clearly. But he played in the era in which good big men were rare and the pace of play inflated his stats quite a bit.

    I’m not arguing with you. I’m just trying to explain why I put Wilt and Shaq in the same boat. Shaq should have put up better numbers and won more championship, but he wasn’t as motivated and worked hard either. While I didn’t see many games of Wilt, I come to the similar conclusion based on his numbers and # of championship rings.

    But I would say any of those old school guys including Mikan could be considered 10 GOAT. We all have our favorites because this is such a subjective matter. I’m just glad that we have one of those on our beloved Lakers right now.


  11. Sorry for numerous posts, but this dialogue really got me thinking about GOAT.

    Just as we have to define what MVP is, I think we have to define what GOAT. I think most people think of GOAT in terms of three categories. Most winning. Most skilled. Most dominant. (At least I do, LOL)

    Most winning…

    1. Russell (11 titles)
    2. Jordan, Kareem (6)
    3. Magic (5)
    4. Shaq, Kobe, Duncan (4)
    5. Bird (3)

    Most skilled…both offensive and defensive

    1. Jordan (better defensive)
    2. Kobe (better offensive)
    3. Kareem-Abdul Jabbar (best skilled big man)
    4. Magic/Bird (passer/shooter)
    5. Big O/Duncan

    Most dominant

    1. Wilt
    2. Shaq/Kareem
    3. Jordan
    4. Lebron/Kobe
    5. Big O

    Elgin might be one of the most dominant players along with Big O.

    As you can see, Jordan ranks high in all three categories as Kobe does. Of course, this is COMPLETELY subjective based on what I’ve seen, so let me hear what you think.

    Based on my criteria, if Kobe surpasses Jordan in wins and puts up more DOMINANT numbers in the next 3-4 years and have better CAREER than Jordan, he should be considered THE GOAT for a short time before Lebron passes him. But LBJ has a long way to go before he gets there. We’re talking another 10 years of sustained excellence without injuries.


  12. Check out The Clinic for awesome KB24 highlights and Return of Kobe for one of Kobe’s last year as #8

    All we need is a top tier mix of 3peat Kobe or Frobe or something and we’re good

    Return of Kobe

    The Clinic

    The Clinic Part II (featuring some highschool Kobe)


  13. Meh. The greatest Kobe video ever made has to be Kobe Bryant Clinic (and it’s in HD!).

    Even though the video is only comprised of two seasons (2008, 2009), Kobe’s body of work is just insane. Oh, and those two seasons were when Kobe was indisputably the greatest player in the world. Everyone crowning LBJ as the best in the world now seemed to have forgotten that Kobe is injured, was injured, and has been playing through those injuries. When Kobe is healthy and injury-free, LeBron doesn’t come close.


  14. Bryant also said Luke Walton suggested he dress in uniform and sit on the bench in the future, even if he is hurt, so the team has the option of putting him in for the final shot. Los Angeles lost to Boston on Thursday, 87-86, when Fisher’s 20-footer at the buzzer came up short.

    “If it comes down to that situation [Walton said] we’ll just send you in like Mariano Rivera and just finish the game,” Bryant said. “That’s the best solution I’ve heard.”



  15. thanks for post darius.

    i was literally crying when i watched this. (i know i shouldn’t but that’s not the point lol)

    unlike any other players, i feel like i can connect personally with kobe.
    he’s making mistakes when he’s young, like most of us.
    he doesn’t have outworldly athletic ability (sure, he has enough compare to the rest of us, but he doesn’t have big hands like jordan, or the kind of freakish athleticism of lebron, or magic’s vision)
    but that’s the reason why i love him.

    he’s so successful beside all of that.
    and he works really hard to be where he is right now.

    he inspires us.
    this article by kevin ding explains it better:

    he shows me that i’m quite capable of more myself.

    i don’t care who will be considered the GOAT, but i know one thing in my heart, i am thankful to have been given a chance to grow up in the same era as Kobe.
    i can watch his play, get excited, get frustrated (with his shot selection, mostly), but mainly, i can learn from him, not just how to play basketball, but also how to be a better human being, and never stop pushing yourself to the limit.


  16. I know this post was about Kobe, but there has been a lot of talk about the other greats (Lakers and non Lakers). I would take the all Lakers lineup (Magic, Mamba, West, Baylor, Kareem) against any other non-Laker lineup.


  17. Does Tmac look good or what?


  18. pb,
    Wilt did not play in an era when great athletes were rare – there were more good centers in the NBA in the 60’s-early 70’s than there are today; by a wide margin. Also, the game was rougher. I’m not saying better, or better athletes, but you really don’t know what you are talking about when comparing today’s big bodies with that era.

    Personally, I think a GOAT comparison is really not valid. The only thing you youngsters have to go on is stats – and, as a Kobe follower, we know how stats can be manipulated to prove a point either way. You have to have watched the players play daily games. That is impossible for most people today. So stop this comparing. Compare with your era, but stop there.


  19. That was a great article about Kobe in GQ for sure, and this is just an awesome thread, thanks Darius and fellow FB&Gr’s, with vids everywhere of Kobe at his best…


  20. P.S.
    Kareem has 7 rings (5 with the Lakers and 2 with the Bucks). One more than Jordan.

    Do you think that definitively proves he is better than Jordan? See, even having rings is dependent upon factors outside your control. The owner, GM, coach, and your teammates have a lot to do with rings – the superstar is just the icing on the top of the cake – not the entire cake.

    There is no single stat or observation that will ever prove the best in any sport – the NBA included. Just be satisfied that pretty much every knowledgeable person considers Kobe among the best to ever play and leave it at that.


  21. where is Horry is the GOAT discussion?

    Most lucky and clutch with 7 rings?


  22. CraigW: Those Bucks only won 1 ring with Kareem (and Oscar).


  23. It’s rare that I get goosebumps for 10 straight minutes. This video definitely did the job. It’s ridiculous how, even with all of the off balanced shots, his shoulders are still square to the hoop on every attempt. That, my friends, is attention to detail. You just have to respect how technically great he’s been over the years. I wouldn’t trade watching Kobe through the years for anything.


  24. Craig W…whoa easy…old timer…

    I’ve actually seen a lot of the old footages of old NBA games. While I’m impressed with old school players such as Maravich, Cousy, and etc., you can’t be serious about comparing their athleticism with the current players. Bill Russell was dominant defensive center at 6’10” 220lb. There’s no way he would be as dominant in today’s game against the players who are bigger, faster, and stronger. To say that there were better centers in 60’s and 70’s seem about as accurate as your memory of Jabbar’s championship ring count. I would argue that the any of the great PFs and Cs in the last three decades will easily surpass the players from that era. Hakeem, Shaq, Moses Malone, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Karl Malone, Kevin Garnett, and even Kevin McHale would be ranked higher from the players from that era. Sure there were some great elite players during that era, but there are a lot better athletes now. They may not necesarily be better skilled players, but they are clearly more athletic.

    I think if you read my subsequent post, you’ll see that I acknowledge Wilt being the most dominant ever (sorry, Shaq) followed by Kareem and Shaq. Were they better than Jordan or Kobe? It depends on your criteria. My conclusion seem to be similar to what you are saying. There’s no way to definitively prove one player was the GOAT, only subjective opinions.


  25. There are too many variables to compare players between eras. Rules have changed. Training equipments and medical treatments are much more effective and efficient now. Also, consider all the different offensive/defensive styles of basketball being played. Ranking players from different eras are subjective but a bit foolish to do in my opinion.


  26. I know we’ve had plenty of these GOAT talks here at FB&G and they never get anywhere. Players of the 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s didn’t have the athletic science or the advance style of play that players of today have. (Call me crazy at any time senior commentors. No offense will be taken from a 20yr old like me.) I would like to list the pioneers of the game that may have been great if they played in a later era but they just were less athletic, dated ball handlers, and not as versitile as the Jordan/Shaq and beyond players.

    Pioneers: (Not GOAT contenders)
    Elgin Baylor/ Oscar Robinson
    Julius Erving/ Wilt Chamberlin
    Bill Russel/ Kareem Abdul Jabar
    Larry Bird/ Jerry West
    I know theirs more like Bob Cousy and John Havlicek but you get the point.

    Point being, these guys changed basketball in their era but the game keeps advancing all the time just like any other American Industry. So I guess you could say these guys are like the typewriter and the pager, great during their time but definately out dated.

    I will go one step further and say that I think that players like T-Mac, Vince Carter, Dwayne Wade, and even old school Clyde Drexler could have done the same thing as the Elgin Baylors and the Dr J’s did to revolutionize the game the way they did back in the day. Someone had to take the game to another level and it just happened to be the Baylors and Dr J’s. Does that make them the best? No, it makes them pioneers.

    As for GOAT, it has to be MJ because he held down his prime decade both with individual accomplishments as well as Championships. He also had no player who matched his skill level unlike the Bird and Magic rivalry in the 80’s. (Not to say their wasn’t great players and teams in the 90’s of course) No other player with a remarkable skill set (definately not Bill Russel) can say that about their era.

    My true opinion is that it doesn’t matter because like I said, the game keeps advancing and one day we’ll be calling Lebron’s moves vintage.


  27. Can you imagine Kobe coming in ice cold with 2.2 seconds left to play… two dribbles squares up fades left to beat the Celtics by one. We just might have to make him dress and sit on the bench.(I just pictured that highlight being added to this video as we speak!!)


  28. pb, just a question, how old are you?


  29. I’m with Craig here. These comparisons are tiresome enough as it is, but when you have people talking about players they’ve only seen in decades-old footage and trying to compare them to Kobe, LeBron, etc – I mean really now.


  30. Joel, so its the decades old film that makes Boston’s all time point guard Bob Cousy look like he couldn’t touch Allen Iverson in his prime, apposed to the one dimensional dribbling and slow pull up game. Oh, I thought it was the fact that Basketball was still in a developmental stage that had not yet advanced to its true potential. I’m sticking with my thoughts at comment 26


  31. “As for GOAT, it has to be MJ because he held down his prime decade both with individual accomplishments as well as Championships.”

    This is the type of comment one can only make if they haven’t lived in the earlier eras. Yes, there have been great advances in 1) diet, 2) exercise, 3) social opportunity and 4) and most important, money paid athletes so they could spend the entire year taking care of their bodies.

    However, when you make these comparisons with today’s athletes you also have to put today’s athletes back into the earlier era and try to extrapolate how they would have done. Most wouldn’t have made it in the NBA because they would just be too beat up and not paid enough to continue. Also, they would have had to play in places like Hershey, PA so that the owners could make a little extra coin. Some would probably not have made it because they died in their surroundings before they came of age – or had to serve in Vietnam (not the 7footers).

    How do you think our current pampered athletes would have managed? Allen Iverson – probable would have been dead, with all the mouthing off and tattoos. Wilt was a cordially hated figure because he loved the flash and white women. There was a lot of stuff going on then that younger people not only have trouble with, but don’t even want to read about.

    This argument goes both ways. That’s another reason why GOAT isn’t really definable. MJ clearly #1?? — as I said, if you didn’t see them play regularly, please don’t downgrade their performances.

    P.S. Wilt came out of games covered with welts on his body. Let Shaq try that and continue for 48.5 minutes per game one season. I pick on Shaq because I think he could have truly been GOAT, but was too soft to make the necessary sacrifices.

    MJ was clearly in the most rarefied air, but clearly GOAT – no!

    P.S. His teammates weren’t chopped liver either — not just Scotty. They were role players, but they were professional NBA players on a professional NBA team.


  32. P.P.S.S
    If we were to place players into the 60’s to play NBA ball, who would you start with? Now that might be an interesting discussion. The person who first comes to my mind is Karl Malone. The mailman takes his lunch every day, plays the game where he has to play it, and always gives out more than he takes – and he takes a lot. Yeah, I know, the crunch time shots, or lack of, but he did produce day in and day out for a lot of years.

    Perhaps, that’s how a lot of those players would have produced in today’s games. If they were here in any number the superstars of today would all have a tougher time getting their stats to match today’s. Lebron sure wouldn’t have been driving the middle without a few visits to the hospital up to this point in his career. I bet his game would change a bit. Of course that would displease David Stern, because the NBA probably wouldn’t be as popular. But it’s something to think about.


  33. 30

    I’m not sure exactly what your post has to do with mine.

    Anyway, with all that you’ve just said, where is the value in comparing Kobe or Wade with Cousy or Baylor?

    Maybe I’m just being cranky because this obsession with ‘ranking’ players across decades is a pet peeve of mine. It’s hard enough to do it with players in the same era, playing the same position.


  34. Considering the live TV telecast of NBA finals didn’t began until 1982, not many people got to watch NBA players regularly before the Magic-Bird era. I’m not so sure how much more the “old timers” watched than some of us have. I’ve watched hours of the “greatest games ever played” videos on ESPN and NBATV to realize that there were great players in the past. However, the league was much smaller and the level of talent was not as deep as it is now.

    Still, as we agree, arguing about who’s the GOAT can be unfruitful, but discussing WHY you or I consider someone to be the greatest isn’t. It’s not much different from writing about what the Lakers should be doing against DEN or CLE because that’s just a fan talk.

    As long as we do it with a certain level of rational analysis, I don’t see any harm being done with comparisons of greats of present and the past. I’m merely trying to show how “GREAT” Kobe is compared to the greats of the past.


  35. Joel, your final thought that the GOAT talk is futile concurs with mine but for different reasons. (I just believe the GOAT is going to be dated every time the game revolutionizes or someone tops the last best performance of the era. i.e M.J topping the 80’s boys or maybe KB or LBJ one day.)

    As for comparing players:
    It is not as much comparing the stars of today to the ones of yesteryear as much as I am trying to make the point that the players today just grow into a more advanced style of basketball undisputedly compared to the “legends of the past.” Also, the fact that most stars today could fill the shoes of the pioneers of the game.

    Sorry if I repeated myself too much but I tried to just refine what I said before to answer your question. Lastly, since you said you agreed with Craig I figure you think its rediculous to compare stars today to legends and I kind of feel the opposite. Appologies if I falsely disagreed with you.


  36. If I had tanks and machine guns in the 16th century, I would be the most powerful emperor of all time. My empire would be Romanesque, a la turn of the first century. Does this statement sound a little bit silly?

    “If Lebron played in 1977 he would school Dr. J and even Kareem.” And this statement? There is no reason to compare players across eras. None. There isn’t a time machine, time capsule, or experiment that’s going to prove any of these statement. The game is different, the people are different, and the technology is different. In the end, there are those that enjoy comparing the brightness of each star, measuring the heat they give off and the field of gravity they impose on the universe, and then there are people who are satisfied enough with the beauty of the stars shining at night.


  37. 35

    I didn’t really have your post in mind when I made mine.

    As I said, my problem is when people try to make definitive rankings involving players across several decades. You and I can watch LeBron or Kobe play every week and we know the landscape of the league as it is now, but how much perspective do we have on how things were in Russell’s day? It just makes for some very flawed and incomplete comparisons in my opinion. I mean, think of all the variables you have to take into consideration just to compare Kobe and LeBron, or Shaq and Duncan.


  38. We really are spoiled as fans.


  39. What really got me was catching how practiced all of Kobe’s moves are. The fact that every great shot o his has been duplicated again and again. He knows every spot on the floor and has a shot/move to use at each spot for each situation. That level of preparation is just amazing.


  40. Joel and Craig- Very fair point on the variables of society and the game in the 60s/ 70s and how it makes a tough debate. I did take this in consideration before creating my posts, so I still stand pat in my mind of how a quazy universe would play out of GOAT. Although, both of your perspectives are correctly thought processed on the situation especially Joel’s stating “my problem is when people try to make definitive rankings involving players across several decades.” and “It just makes for some very flawed and incomplete comparisons in my opinion.”

    You can’t be more right. That’s why we can have our opinion off of limited stats and knowledge of the game. None of us could make a sound prediction of how an all time greatest player or team could be compiled.


  41. Great job. That was an awesome video compilation of the Best Laker in our era. Comparison has to stop. I will never compare Kobe to any previous great Laker players, like Magic or West. I can only judge what I see not what I hear. I’ve seen Kobe play 1000 games, I only saw Magic play one or two seasons. Plus, I know more about the game now than I did when I saw Magic play. So it’s not fair for me to make any comparison. We can compare him to the players in his era that looked as great as him but only for a short moment. Let’s name a few, Iverson, T-Mac, Carter, Garnett, and so on. Kobe carried his greatness year after year. That’s what seperated Jordan from everybody else. He got better every year. Lebron will get his fair chance. Us Lakers fan know, it takes a great team to win not just with a great player. Can Lebron be better than Kobe? Possibly. But it has to be done. Just like Kobe has to win more rings than Magic and Jordan to possibly surpass their greatness. I still know and like the Lakers’ chances to win the title. They come to realize what it takes to win another title, a healthy Kobe Bryant. I believe the Cavs have a great chance but they have a couple more missing pieces. They need more veteran palyers that can do the dirty work and motivate the team. If Lebron is not hitting a triple-double numbers, they’re not winning. Jamison was a bad pick-up. I think Marcus Camby would have been better component than Jamison.


  42. In my mind, GOAT is determined by a thought exercise.

    Your life is on the line. You must select a team of basketball players to win a best of seven game series against your opponent.

    Your opponent is also wagering their life.

    You and your opponent will be alternating picks.

    You both get 12 picks, and cannot select a player previously selected. Either of you can choose ANY NBA/ABA/CBA player to have ever played. All players will be healthy, and cannot be injured during the games.

    You have the first pick.

    Now imagine that you will be picking snake style, that is, you pick first, your opponent picks second and third, you get fourth and fifth, etc…

    Obviously, any of the 24 players selected are in the discussion for greatest to ever play. But those Top 10 picks are the GOATS for sure.

    My first pick changes based on scenario.

    In an alternating draft I choose Russell, and take the difference between Kobe/Jordan, Kareem/Shaq, Magic/Bird, Malone/Duncan.

    In a snake style draft I take Kobe. IF my opponent somehow doesn’t take Russell with the second or third pick I snatch him up with whoever is left between Magic/Bird.

    At this point, Lebron is not in the first 10 picks. Neither is Wade, Melo, Howard.

    At the moment, I think that only Kobe and Duncan are in the Top 10.

    1 ) Kobe
    2 ) Jordan
    3 ) Russell
    4 ) Magic
    5 ) Kareem
    6 ) Bird
    7 ) Robertson
    8 ) Shaq
    9 ) Hakeem
    10 ) Duncan

    (And yes, my 12th pick is Robert Horry. Oh HELL yes.)


  43. 3THREEIII,

    That’s an interesting take…

    How about this exercise? What was the single most dominant performance you’ve seen? Whose game would be transcedently DEVASTATING that his team would simply NOT LOSE?

    I think only these names come to my mind…not in particular order…

    Jordan, Magic, Kobe, Shaq, Kareem, Lebron (not proven yet, of course, just based on potential)

    Russell…though he was a fantastic defensive team player…was not a dominant offensive players. I think the above 5 players could dominate on both ends of the floor. While Magic might have been the weakest defensive player, his rebounding/steals number shows that he was no slouch. Furthermore, he made his teammates better like no one else EVER. If I had to add a couple more, Duncan and Wilt would be it…

    I guess you can see that I refused to acknowledge two Celtic greats as the GOATs….LOL…


  44. Russell has 11 NBA Championships in 13 seasons (2 of those as the first african-american coach in NBA history).

    He thwarted Wilt and West, Baylor and Robertson the while he was in the league. (Total championships are often brought up when explaining why those four greats are not in the discussion for GOAT. Russell is the one that kept them from the rings.)

    His career per game averages are: 15.1 PTS, 22.5 Rebounds and 4.3 Assists. (Honestly, imagine Bynum having that stat line for a SEASON. Do the Lakers lose even 10 games that year?)

    Russell was famous for rebounding, and throwing the correct outlet to start the Celtics overpowering fast breaks.

    We honestly have no way to know just how good he was defensively, because Steals and Blocks were not kept as records during his career. However, his Defensive Win Shares for his career are calculated at 133.64. His next closest rival is Kareem at 94.47.

    In a one year span from 1956 to 1957 he won the NCAA Championship (for the second consecutive time for the University of San Fransisco, a noted basketball powerhouse…), the Olympic Gold in Australia (leading the team in Points and Rebounds), and the NBA Championship in his rookie year (14.9 Pts, 24.4 Rebounds and 3.2 assists.)

    No matter what colors are on the jersey, Russell is an all time winner, and one of the GOATS, for sure.


  45. You know who I think is (believe it or not) underrated in GOAT discussions? Hakeem. He’s probably the poster child for great players mired in mediocre teams, and he still got 2 rings in the mid-90’s. I mean – who else stood out as a fellow great from his championship teams besides Drexler, who was on the downward slope of his career? Not saying he is the GOAT, but as far as being a complete player, he’s definitely up there.


  46. I agree that comparing players from different eras gets dicey. Believe it or not, Simmons did a good job of exploring this subject in his book when he wrote the chapters on his hall of fame pyramid. Granted, one of the major criteria that he used was each players’ grasping of what he calls “the secret”, but he really tried to explore how each players’ game translated to today’s NBA while also trying to think about how todays players would fare in different throwback eras. He really did make compelling arguments for all the guys and I mostly agreed with what he concluded.


  47. Kobe Bryant is ” Greatness Stylized ” or ” Stylized Greatness ” champion ring number 5 is coming our laker way. johnjwillard