The NBA has announced their pick for the best 15 players from the most recent decade by dividing the players into three different teams based on their performance over the last ten years. Anytime a list like this one is created, it’s always going to lead to plenty of conversation and questions surrounding whether it’s truly accurate or not.
Kobe Bryant who was selected as part of the third NBA decade team has been one of the more controversial choices that divide fans. Many believe that Kobe should possibly be higher than that team, however, others such as ESPN’s Max Kellerman believe that the Lakers legend should not even be considered in this list.
On the latest episode of ESPN’s First Take, when speaking about Kobe and what All-NBA team he should be on, Kellerman announced that “he would be on the All NBA worst team.”
“He had three seasons that you could call great seasons, not prime Kobe seasons but even Kobe on the way down, better than most players who ever lived, but that’s it.” says Kellerman. “After that, Kobe Bryant became almost the most destructive player in the history of the NBA, because he was Kobe Bryant and the Lakers had nobody else, he was allowed to shoot as much as he wanted, he no longer played defense, he couldn’t, he had a million different injuries, he played 6 games one season, don’t even count that, 35 games the next, know what he shot from the field in those games? 29 percent.”
It’s a fair point that Kobe Bryant was certainly not in the prime of his career in this decade and that he only had just a few seasons where he was one of the game’s best players. However, it does seem completely over the top to say that Kobe belongs on the “All NBA worst team” since the Lakers champion on the decline is still one of the best players in the game.
The top five players of the decade according to NBA.com that makes the All-Decade first team was LeBron James, Steph Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard. The second All-Decade team is made up Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin and Carmelo Anthony. The third All-Decade team that does is led by Kobe Bryant and is also joined by Dwyane Wade, Paul George, LaMarcus Aldridge, and 2019 MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.