The world mourned the passing of Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. Prior to his passing, he had spent 20 seasons in the NBA, treating the world to exceptional displays of his talent.
The sensational guard was a thrill to watch as he played the game with so much finesse and played it so well.
He is part of the exclusive club of three players with 18+ career All-Star selections. Before retiring in 2016, Bryant was selected to the All-Star team 18 times in 20 seasons. LeBron James only recently joined the club (18), which is led by the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 19 All-Star selections.
While Bryant was phenomenal on the court, he was often thought about in the wrong way.
He has been accused repeatedly of being selfish and hogging the ball. Some go as far as calling him a bad teammate, claiming that the two-time scoring champion does not share the spotlight.
Gary Payton, on "The Old Man & The Three" with JJ Redick, spoke about the misconceptions spread pertaining to the Black Mamba. He stated that the five-time NBA champion was just a competitor, and he was on a journey towards greatness.
"He was a great kid," Payton said. "People think about Kobe the wrong way. They think about selfishness and all that stuff. Forget that! This kid was a competitor, that's all he was. A competitor! And that's all he wanted to do. He wanted to be great."
He reiterated that it was a huge misconception, as Kobe Bryant just wanted to be great and he was never selfish.
Will Kobe Bryant make your list of the top 10 greatest NBA players of all-time?
The top 10 greatest players of all-time have always been debatable, with no one opinion being more correct than another. Various metrics have been adopted in the creation of a robust list of all-time great players.
Some resort to the use of statistics, such as championship titles won, individual awards and recognitions. Others are of the opinion that statistics do not tell the entire story.
If it did, one would question why Bill Russell is not pegged as the greatest player of all time. Russell won the most championship rings in the history of the league (11).
Michael Jordan, who has six championship rings under his belt, is often characterized as the greatest of all time. LeBron James has been compared to Jordan. Some even call him the greatest player of all time, with four rings to his name.
Kobe Bryant had a stellar career and was one of the best amongst his peers. Bryant recorded numerous accolades, including five championship rings, four All-Star MVPs, two Finals MVPs, two scoring titles and a regular season MVP. Will he make your top 10 list?