ESPN ranks Top 75 NBA players – Kobe Bryant’s ranking will shock you!

While the Black Mamba might have to take a backseat to some of the players on the list he is definitely not 10th.

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ESPN released the top 75 list after ranking the players. Obviously, any ranking is subjective when you look at basketball because of how much the game has changed over 75 years. I’ll mainly be discussing the top 10 on the list as well as some rankings that I find egregious. The top 10 on the list are Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson, Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant at 10h place.

Now like I mentioned earlier Kobe Bryant at 10th is crazy to me. The Black Mamba is considered one of the greatest scorers the game has ever seen. The Mamba averaged 25 points in his career. The only reason that it is so low is that Kobe suffered from an Achilles injury in the 2012-2013 season. After that he wasn’t the same player, averaging 13.3 the next season, 22.3 in the 2014-2015 season and 17.6 points in his final season.

Kobe won 5 championships, was the Finals MVP twice, regular-season MVP once and 2-time scoring champ. He was also a 15 time All-NBA team member, 18-time All-Star and 4-time All-Star MVPs (tied for the most with Bob Pettit). With all these accolades it is difficult to imagine that Kobe is only ranked 10th on the time list.

Now if you want to raise his rank question is who you put him over. I think MJ and LeBron have cemented their spot on the top. Kareem is the leading all-time scorer, 6-time champion, 6 time MVP and 2-time finals MVP. Magic had 5 championships and changed the way the game is played. He also made everyone around him better and his impact is undeniable. Wilt Chamberlain set records that stand to this day while Russell won 11 championships.

To me, most players in the top 10 could be interchanged but there is one player that Kobe definitely beats out. That’s the Big O – Oscar Robertson. I love the Big O and he is a great player. Oscar was Mr Triple Double before Russell Westbrook broke his triple-double record last season. But Oscar only won one championship and that was at the end of his career when he paired up with Kareem.

Statistically, Oscar does beat out Kobe by a small margin, but winning matters. A lot goes into winning a championship and even Kobe won 3 with the help of Shaquille O’Neal but in the end, 5>1 and I have to give the edge to Kobe. the reason this bugs me is that every time it is a LeBron vs MJ debate championships and Finals records are mentioned. But now all of a sudden Championships don’t matter.

Another name I would have higher up is Dwayne Wade – The Flash. Wade in his prime was a beast, a force of nature that imposed his will on the game. He is a 3-time champion and 1-time finals MVP. During his first championship run, when he won Finals MVP, D.Wade averaged 34.7 points,7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He dominated the defensive end as well averaging 2.7 steals in the series. As great as  Chris Paul, Charles Barkley and  John Stockton are D.Wade needs to be ranked above them because championships matter.

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