Kobe Bryant is perhaps one of the 10 greatest players in the history of this game, winning 5 NBA Championships and becoming the ultimate face of the Los Angeles Lakers over the past couple of decades or so.
Nonetheless, considering the fact that basketball is a team sport, you just can’t win alone regardless of how good you are, so some of Kobe’s glory definitely has to be also given to some of the guys that played with him over his career.
Of course, Bryant won’t be remembered precisely for his easygoing temper or his kindness to his teammates, but over his NBA tenure, he was surrounded by very talented guys, and today we’ll honor them with this rank.
10. Eddie Jones
The Pompano Beach native spent 16 seasons in the Association, playing from 1994 to 1999 with the Los Angeles Lakers, making it to 3 All-Star Games and even winning the MVP of the Rookie Challenge.
Despite not winning an NBA Championship with the Lakers, the defensive standout was an extremely productive player, leaving career averages of 14.8 points, 4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game on over 43% from the floor.
9. Glen Rice
Rice was a complete beast from beyond the arc, scoring over 1500 treys over 14 years in the Association as a member of the Heat, Hornets, Lakers (where he stayed between 99-00 alongside Kobe), Knicks, Rockets and Clippers.
Making it to 3 All Stars and winning the Championship in 2000, Glen Rice left career averages of 18.3 points, 4.4 boards and 2.1 per games in over 40% from three point territory, as well as stealing 1 ball per game.
8. Robert Horry
The Big Shot Rob was one of the best forwards of his era, playing in the league from 1993 to 2008 and staying at the Lakers for 6 seasons between 1997 and 2003, where he was part of one of the 2 Three-peats.
Still, he also won a couple of rings with the Rockets and 2 more with the Spurs, leaving career averages of 7 points and almost 5 rebounds per game as one of the most explosive substitutes in the NBA.
7. Rick Fox
After playing in their long time rivals for 6 years, Fox stayed with the Lakers until the very last day of his career, where he also won 3 NBA Championships alongside Phil Jackson and the Black Mamba.
He saw his minutes take a dip over his last couple of seasons in Los Angeles, but he still had a very significant role en route to those 3 rings, averaging 9.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game through his career.
6. Andrew Bynum
Bynum was one of the most talented players on the court every time he was actually able to set foot on it, although his proneness to get hurt and big mouth didn’t help his cause, making us wonder what could’ve been of him if he was more mature.
Still, his versatility and ability to put the ball on the floor even at his height made him a very interesting asset, winning a couple of NBA Championships with Kobe before being forced to retire early.
5. Metta World Peace
Ron Artest is definitely one of the best defenders in the history of the game, spending 17 seasons in the Association and having a couple of stints with the Lakers, where he won 1 Championship.
Besides, MWP has also won the Defensive Player of the Year award and is considered to be one of the ultimate badasses in the history of the game, being the main star of the infamous Malice in the Palace brawl between the Pacers and the Pistons.
4. Lamar Odom
Odom’s story is one of the saddest you’ll hear in sports, as he was one of the most talented big men the league has ever seen but his misconduct and problems with alcohol and drugs prevented him from reaching his ceiling.
Still, Odom was one of the best players to ever play alongside Kobe, being as gifted with the ball as a guard and having unlimited range at his height, leaving career averages of 13.3 points, 8.4 boards and 3.7 assists per game, winning a couple of rings and also the Sixth Man of the Year award.
3. Derek Fisher
Fisher quietly managed to stay put with the team and win the same number of NBA Championships as Kobe Bryant, having a couple of stints outside of the Staples Center just to always come back home.
Of course, he was never the most gifted player, but he has always been a very smart player and his ability to put points from beyond the arc made him a very important guy on the squad, although he was always a defensive liability due to his lack of height.
2. Pau Gasol
Gasol was the second guy on board on Kobe’s last couple of rings and his efforts really made things easier for the Mamba, who had struggled to win at the biggest stage of the league since Shaq’s departure to play for the Miami Heat.
Leaving career averages of 17.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.7 blocks per game, the 15-year veteran, 6-time All-Star, former Rookie of the Year and 2 time Champion will go down as one of the best foreign players in the history of the NBA.
1. Shaquille O'Neal
And of course, Shaq’s the ultimate Kobe teammate. Despite not always getting along, their chemistry on the court was simply insane, and Shaq was definitely the best player in the Association when he won 3 rings for the Lakers alongside the Mamba.
The Hall of Famer won another ring alongside Wade, while also winning the Rookie of the Year, 1 MVP, 3 Finals MVP and making it to 15 All-Star games due to his lifetime averages of 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.3 blocks per game as one of the most talented players in the history of the game, and definitely the most dominant center the NBA has ever seen.