Kobe Bryant was an absolutely fearless scorer during his career in the NBA. Kobe played in the NBA for 20 years, across three different decades. And for almost his entire career, Bryant was considered one of the most elite scorers in the league. But it wasn't just his scoring that made him dangerous, but it was also his defense.
In fact, one statistic shows just how incredibly versatile Bryant was during the prime of his career. Kobe Bryant was the last player in the NBA to average at least 30 points per game for a season while also making an All-Defensive team. Bryant did this in the 2006-07 season.
On top of that, the only times this happened before 2007 were twice in 2006 and 2003, and both times it was done by Kobe Bryant himself. Here are Kobe's stats from each of those seasons.
Kobe Bryant's 30+PPG/All-Defensive Team Seasons
2003: 30 PPG, All-Defensive 1st Team
2006: 35.4 PPG, All-Defensive 1st Team
2007: 31.6 PPG, All-Defensive 1st Team
Kobe's scoring exploits were absolutely incredible. Out of all these seasons, Kobe only lead the league in scoring in 2006 and 2007. In fact, he is one of only three players that have led the league in scoring and made an NBA All-Defensive team in the same season.
But what is even more baffling is the fact that Kobe was not the MVP in either of these seasons. In 2003, Kobe was trumped by eventual champion Tim Duncan, as he and the San Antonio Spurs spoiled the Lakers' chance at a four-peat. And in 2006, he was beaten to MVP by Steve Nash, who is widely considered one of the most controversial MVPs in NBA history.
And in 2007, Kobe was beaten to the MVP trophy by Dirk Nowitzki. But Kobe wouldn't have to wait too long, as he would finally win his first MVP trophy the following season, and lead the Lakers to the NBA Finals for the first time as the primary superstar on the team.
By 2010, Bryant had won 2 more NBA championships, thus ending his total with 5 championships in his career. And while he can have no complaints about his career, fans can wonder why exactly he was snubbed from the award in each of these seasons.