All of these guys are fantastic, but Kobe Bryant is the best and most famous. Bill Russell was a champion, but Kobe was a greater player, dominating on both sides of the court throughout his career (Bill Russell was primarily a defender). He's also one of only three players to score 100 points in a game (the other two being Jerry West and LeBron James).
Kobe has won five championships so far, which is more than any other player. He's also one of only four players to have scored 30,000 points and grabbed 5,000 rebounds in his career (the others are Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant).
Kobe had an incredible career, and he'll go down as one of the greatest players in NBA history.
I've come to the opinion that none of the all-time greats are better than Kobe Bryant. His abilities, determination, dribbling skills, pump-fakes, passing, ability to produce in a clutch, and overall game are unrivaled.
Kobe's best skill was knowing how to play to his strengths while still being effective when he played within himself. He was always an elite defender, but also was one of the best one-on-one players in NBA history. He was able to use that knowledge to become one of the greatest power forwards of all time.
His offensive game evolved as he got older. In his early years, he was very efficient because he used his size to score in the paint or on mid-range jumpers. As his career progressed, he became more of a facilitator than someone who scored every time he touched the ball. However, he was still capable of scoring in multiple ways, such as with his back to the basket, using hook shots, or even taking opponents off the bounce with his speed.
Overall, I believe Kobe is one of the most important players in NBA history and the fact that he's not higher on this list proves that. He was able to stay consistent throughout his career by playing defense first and focusing on being a leader rather than trying to be someone he's not.
The basic truth is that Kobe Bryant is not the greatest of all time (GOAT) because of Michael Jordan. Kobe's game is one of my favorites to watch. He was a winner and a warrior with an unrivaled work ethic. He was not, however, as good as Jordan on attack or defense. Also, let's not forget that Jordan had several seasons where he barely played point guard.
Kobe has always been known for his ability to make shots from long range, but this is actually the least effective way to score. Only about 25 percent of his career points were made from beyond the arc. The other 75 percent of his points came in the paint or at the free-throw line.
In addition, Kobe never scored 80 points in a game until he was 23 years old. He still holds the record for most points by a player who did not win their first game as a starter (8 points).
Finally, there is evidence that suggests Jordan used drugs to enhance his performance. There are witness reports of him shooting free throws while wearing headphones during training sessions. There are also allegations that Nike employees worked with him to design shoes that would help him be more efficient on offense and defense.
Nike denied these accusations and many others like them, but they did agree to pay $10 million out of court to settle various lawsuits related to their relationship with Jordan.
Bill Russell is perhaps the finest player to ever play the game, both offensively and defensively. While he wasn't a very good offensive player (15 points per game career average, 56 percent FT shooting with 44 percent FG shooting), his defense more than made up for his limitations on the offensive end. He is also one of only three players in NBA history to win an MVP award before the age of 23 (the other two being Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan).
Russell was a seven-foot-one-inch tall (2.33 m) center who played in the Boston Celtics organization from 1950-1970. He had a brilliant career as a Celtic, helping them win eleven championships during that period. His defensive prowess is what makes him a great player even today; he is still considered by many to be the best defender in NBA history.
He won the first of his three consecutive MVP awards in 1957-58, when he was just 24 years old. At the time, it was the youngest person ever to win the award. Today, it is believed that he would not have been eligible due to a rule which prevented players from being paid during their first year in the league. However, there is some debate about this since the original voting panel which selected Russell did not include any officials or coaches, and therefore could have chosen him regardless of his eligibility.