Welp, this was bound to happen following Kobe Bryant‘s torn Achilles tendon at the end of the 2012-13 regular season and his broken leg only six games into the 2013-14 season. ESPN’s argument machine #NBARank dropped Mamba 15 spots this year to No. 40. You can imagine his response.
Last summer when ESPN ranked Kobe the 25th-best player in the NBA, he thought they needed drug testing. This year, by way of LakersNation.com writer Ryan Ward, he said it’s not really bothering him because ESPN voters are “a bunch of idiots.”
When Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters asked him if the ranking would motivate him next season, Kobe got another quip in saying he only uses things in the “realm of reality” to spur him to greatness.
This response is even more dismissive of the No. 40 ranking. Last year he seemed pissed. This year he seems almost amused by the disrespect, like he’s got a surprise for everyone at the Worldwide Leader. Nick Young laughed about his own No. 150 ranking, so ESPN’s NBA rankings are almost a team-wide joke at this point.
Still, after consecutive leg surgeries, ESPN is betting the 36-year-old five-time NBA champion encounters a pronounced drop in his production this season — and they’re certainly not alone.
We tend to side with Bryant — much as it pains us — because we also believe Mamba’s 30-1 MVP odds are the second-best available. We’ve watched Bryant for his whole career, and just when you think he’s dead and buried in the desert, that’s when the Mamba strike unleashes the most venom.
Did you agree with ESPN’s No. 40 ranking for Kobe?
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