Kobe Bryant Undeserving of First Team All-NBA Honors

Kobe Bryant has long been the best player in the NBA. Despite constant arguments from pundits claiming other players had surpassed him on the court he continued to prove why he was the best. But during the 2011 season he took a clear step backwards, as the beating his body has taken over the last decade finally seems to have caught up to him.

However, it was announced that Bryant was named to the first team All-NBA and first team All-Defense teams once again. While Bryant did have a good season and was one of the best players in the league, both those awards should have gone to somebody else.

Now I know that saying anything negative about Bryant is a good way to get ostracized from Los Angeles, but Bryant’s inclusion on those two teams is based on the reputation he has established over the last ten years, not his performance in the 2011 season.

Bryant did have a good season, but not one worthy of first team honors. The nod on both accounts should have gone to Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who had better numbers and better intangibles than Bryant this season. While the numbers were close, Wade’s were higher in every major category. When it came down to wins on the court the Heat had a better record than Los Angeles. And in head to head meetings the Heat won both times.

If you want to take an approach that is strictly statistical Wade has the advantage. Bryant averaged 25.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. While Wade’s numbers aren’t remarkably higher, he still put up 25.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists. Wade also averaged 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game, both are higher than Bryant.

Now many will argue that since the numbers are so close Bryant deserves the spot. But if the purpose of the word is to determine the best, then shouldn’t the player with the best numbers receive recognition?

Other arguments will claim that Bryant provided more on the court than Wade, and that those extenuating circumstances are why Bryant deserves the award. But a closer look at their season once again favors Wade. One of the main problems for Bryant and the Lakers was closing out games. Usually an afterthought, in 2011 Bryant’s ability to close became iffy at best. On multiple occasions the Lakers relied on Bryant to close games out and more often than not he was unable to do it.

On the other hand we have Wade. Miami’s fourth quarter troubles were well documented for the first two-thirds of the season. However, once the Heat made it a priority to run their offense through Wade rather than LeBron James the team came together and began to win consistently. On multiple occasions Wade won big games for Miami late in the fourth quarter. While he certainly wasn’t the only player on his team capable of hitting big shots (James), he was the focal point of late-game offense.

Next: Squashing the LeBron James Theory
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Wow.. This article should have never been put out.. Biggest piece of shit I’ve ever read..

  • Pau, Andrew, LO, and maybe even Artest. When you play in the type of defense that funnels the ball to your bigs for stops, you’re not going to get a lot of blocks. This opinion piece is a really good example of looking at stats instead of looking at games.

  • You actually measure pieces of shit?  I think you got bigger problems then bashing this article buddy. 

  • Maybe the fact the Wade had Lebron on the court with him and drew the defense away from Wade a lot more then previous seasons should be closer looked at than stats alone. Horrible piece of writing.

  •  Your opinion, but ridiculous. Why aren’t you part of the “Heat” bandwagonners? smh

  •  Serious did you 4get that kobe chop of half the NBA’s all-time points list this season and did u 4get that even though wade is averaging these super high # because without him or lebrons scoring super heron number the heat is like the biggest trash on the block and wade had a game where he scored his jersey # yes wade drop 3pts if there a reason not 2 put him on the list thats it cuz no matter how you try 2 lockdown kobe he not only gonna have 3pts

  •  I highly doubt this article would have been put out if the Lakers hadn’t gone out the way they did. Since being swept, much negativity has been directed toward them.  This is a  site for the fans of the Purple & Gold, so please don’t post stuff talking about how Wade from Miami (one of our new rivals) is better than Kobe. The Black Mamba is one of the greatest players to step on the court and for you to post this… makes me question whether you’re a real Laker fan.

  • dog i see ur point but realize kobe played 3 minutes less per game than wade and the numbers are pretty much identical. it could of easily gone to either. and realize that when kobe plays hard defense hes stil one o f the best in the league and wade didnt even made all defensive 2nd team so that says somethign right there. people forget he made all nba first defense before he made 1st all nba back in 2000

  • I agree with you comments about Kobe. I was really surprised he was on the first team this year over D-Wade. I am a Laker fan though and though bur Wade had the better season offensively and defensively. While I am a huge Kobe fan, he should have been on the second team on both offense and defense  

  • can’t believe such sacrilege would ever be allowed on a site called LAKERnation. what are you a heat fan? gtfo out of here

  • This writer is obviously a Kobe-hater!  I can’t believe the editors allowed this article to be published!  Nit-picking every single number and comparing it to Wade is ridiculous!  You need to watch the games – watch Kobe’s influence over other players – his leadership, his guidance, his work ethic, his determination, etc.  That’s why he’s the best of the best!  Wade?  Are you kidding?  Miami had to BUY half a  team to get Wade moving…Kobe DEVELOPED his own team to win 2 championships, and if it wasn’t for Gasol’s personal problems, we would have three-peated!  LeBron hitting 4th quarter shots – the man chokes every chance he gets within the last minutes of a game!….remember Cleveland? This author should watch volleyball and report on that game –

  •  Kobe deserves whatever spot he gets..He have always be a great player and he is a champion.  We “FANS
    in Los Angeles love Kobe and all of OUR Lakers..”STOP HATING.”  people are something else, always trying to kick a person when they’re down, afterall the Lakers did get to the second round some teams didn’t.  SO THEY LOST 4 GAMES, NOW WHAT?  WE STILL LOVE THEM (REAL FANS DO).  LAKERS WILL BE BACK!!  THEY HAVE CHAMPIONSHIPS PLUS RINGS, HOW MANY DO OTHER TEAMS HAVE?

  • What people don’t understand about the Kobe vs. Wade argument is that their numbers were basically identical and Kobe played almost 3.5 minutes less per game! That may not sound like a lot, but it definitely is. From a productivity-per-minute standpoint, Kobe was clearly better.

  • I completely agree, Wade should be and IS a first team All-NBA and first team All-Defense. Shoot he’s even better than LeBron. Kobe is second team from now on for sure.

  •  Look at the stats numbnuts – – its blatantly obvious to anyone who isn’t a Lakers homer that Wade was better this season. Think of it as a lifetime achievement award.

  •  Where are you from? How old are you? It’s scary what the intellect level is in America.

  • actually it was criminal that Kobe being the soul focal point on his teams of 06 and 07 and dropping 81 in a game but never got an MVP but ONE. These All Team awards don’t even compensate. Why don’t you write about that.

  • The reason Wade had better numbers than Kobe is that the East teams are not as good on defense as the West.If the West was as weak as the East,Kobe would average at least 35 points a game. 

  • Daniel:How can I get my Kobe Bryant rookie cards to him so he can autograph them?I have a complete 96/97 Topps uncut sheet with his rookie card and Iverson also. 

  • Where were all these remarks about comparing players when MVP was announced a few years back. Or how arguably the greatest coach of all time has only 1 COY award, I guess if you choose to hate on a player you can use whatever situation that arises.

  • Another BS writer who doesn’t have a clue.  Kobe is without a doubt one of the top five players in history, who are you to decide what he deserves? 

  • Funny on how kobe still gets hated on even on laker websites. It’s an ok article, if the goal was to persuade me to believe kobe didn’t deserve to make either team, then the author failed. He deserved both spots, there have been worse decisions made. If he made the team based on rep then its about time, he’s been screwed over a few mvp awards.

  •  another nuthugger who can’t read.  hardly surprising.  rapist worshippers are incredibly dumb

  •  and here come all the laker retards.  all you idiots do is worship your overrated hero.  no absolutely nothing about basketball.  your rapist wasn’t even close to the best defensive shooting guard in the league.  nor did he come close to outperforming wade in other categories.  but to know this, you would actually have to watch and understand the game of basketball.  but it’s not your fault you imbeciles lack the mental capacity to do so.  

  •  and here come all the laker retards.  all you idiots do is worship your overrated hero.  no absolutely nothing about basketball.  your rapist wasn’t even close to the best defensive shooting guard in the league.  nor did he come close to outperforming wade in other categories.  but to know this, you would actually have to watch and understand the game of basketball.  but it’s not your fault you imbeciles lack the mental capacity to do so.  

  •  Kobe played less minutes, and his numbers are almost identical to Wades. In my opinion Kobe deserves all-NBA first team. Wade deserves all-defensive first team at most.

  • first off, u dumb so called basketball fans,  u always want to hte on kobe, but this is why he got first team, he played hurt all season, knee, finger, and no telling what else, with out winying crying about it all sasons long like some players, didnt have lerbon playing next to him and still, i say still put up the same numbers as d-wade,think people

  • your just not willing to give other players cred. wade was def better. if u say bryant shouldve been 1st all team, thats like saying pau was the best player in playoffs. 

  • u need to get 50 wins to be eligible to win mvp. other wise ur just a crappy team. they were pretty crappy but these reg season awards are not lifetime awards. 

  • kobe is the best player on the team and he avged 25. wade is the 2nd best and avged 25. nuff said 

  •  All you kobe “fans” are just not lookin outside the box. You guys are giving him lifetime achievements. i was a kobe fan but this year he couldve gotten 2nd team. you deserve 1st defense when you play defense well, not playing good D once in a while. dont tell me he has to conserve energy for offense, thats just saying he needs to get it for the times he has tried. kobe let ariza go off during the playoffs. He doesnt deserve it cuz hes the greatest or w.e. he should get it if he really tried. if that was the case MJ shouldve gotten it as a wizard. 

  •  Why do some question Kobe being in the All-NBA First Team? It’s already obvious. Kobe is the best shooting guard right now (in fact, the best shooting guard all time). As long as Kobe is playing, he will keep on getting that spot(actually, those spots), not only the spot of being the best shooting guard in the game but also the spot of being the best player in the game. I also think Kobe is close ahead than MJ, that is why I don’t think we have to waste time comparing who’s better than Kobe and Wade or Kobe and Lebron. Don’t need some further explanations, it’s obvious, friends. Peace.

  • Just thinking about the last allstar game. All the best players were there. Now, who was the MVP of that all atar game, was it wade? no  was it Lebron? no Well who was the MVP of that game? Oh yes I remember
       It was Koby….

  • With a name like “Fuckyoumom” I hope you realize that no matter how much basketball knowledge or IQ you think you have, you will never have any real substance on this or any other site, troll.

  • Lifetime achievement awards are given to retired players man… There’s a box, then there’s thinking outside it, then there’s just plain absurdity.  They don’t even really have those for sports, and the NBA’s actual awards aren’t given based on statistics alone.

  • Kobe played more games than Wade and less minutes per, thus flat lining his stats even more than people have already pointed out.

  • Kobe’s stats adjusted for Wade’s Minutes (multiplying Kobe’s per minute averages by Wade’s MPG):

    45.1 FG%  32.3 3PT%  82.8 FTP%  5.07RPG   5.1APG 1.31 SPG .22 BPG  3.38TO  PPG27.69 
    That’s a +2.0 in PPG, +0.5 APG in what are probably the two biggest categories for a shooting guard. Wade holds leads of +0.2 in SPG, +0.8 in BPG, +1.3 in RPG, -0.2 in TOPG, and +4.9% FG%. Kobe had the better 3PT% advantage by 2% and the better free throw percentage by 7%. Plus, Kobe started and played in every single game while Wade missed six.

    Overall, I’d call these stats a draw, but even if you place more value on the stats where Wade leads, it’s so close that I’d still take Kobe just because of the 6 extra nights of production.

    So no, there is no statistical battle that Wade wins here.

    As for the All-NBA Defense teams, let’s just say I trust the votes of 30 coaches more than I do your subjective analysis. Doc Rivers said it best:

    “Listen, Kobe didn’t win the game with his offense. Kobe won the game
    today with his defense. I thought defensively, he was absolutely
    phenomenal. He was everywhere.
    “He was trapping; he was helping off (Rajon) Rondo all night. Trapped
    the post, blocked shots. I mean, he just had a great floor game to me —
    more than just scoring.”

  • So u wanna blame the 2nd best player for kobes performance. he played one good playoff game vs mavs. below 20 next 3. STOP 

  •  The only reason Wade’s stats are higher is because he played 40 minutes per game…5 minutes more that Kobe. Kobe deserves 1st team all NBA and 1st team all-defensive over Wade.

  • Last time I looked, this was a team sport. It’s even more so when you’re a 15 YEAR VETERAN YOU FUCKING RETARD

  • Good Article.  I can see you put a lot of thought into it, however your flaw was not going the extra distance in your research.  And just how you analyzed how a lot of awards in the NBA are conducted by popularity and only a few names pop off the page, YOU-TO fell victim to this in your argument.  Rather than using the full scope of everyone that was handed the honors and see if they are deserving, you instead said to yourself there’s only Kobe and Wade.  And since your only including those 2 you lazily look at the stats and said to yourself, “Wait a minute!” Kobe is not deserving and Wade is!   Ergo, here we are with an article that would seem credible in some aspects….IF it was read or told to someone who is not acute to the game as a whole.  Again, I think you made some valid points, but you didn’t go all the way and I’ll make my point in these next few paragraphs to explain what I AGREE with you on and what I DISAGREE with you on. 
    So let’s analyze this correctly.  First, let’s look at both Honors separately.  I see a lot of article discrediting Kobe for both honors (All-NBA 1st Team & All-NBA Defense 1st Team) but it seems to me they don’t understand how each award or honor is conducted.    The All-NBA First Team Honor is conducted or voted by Sports Writers aka the Hype Machine aka The Media.  The All-NBA Defensive First Team is voted by Coaches.  Let me explain…
    The All-NBA First Team is voted by Sports Writers and this falls in line with your argument that it’s a popularity vote.  So, for me even if Wade was voted in and Kobe out, the Honor of itself doesn’t mean much.  The Media has been shown to go for the NEW flavor in their MVP picks, but that’s another article.  SO, I agree Wade should have been in First Team, but then again it’s hard to contend with Kobe since he was talked about possibly getting the MVP this year in the Media.  The same people who vote for this honor.  And if he would’ve took the Lakers on that Hot streak win to the end of the Season and have the 1st seed…Kobe might have stolen the MVP, but who knows.  So, in the end, you have to understand that the All-NBA First team is not really an honor that matters.  It was designed to be a popularity contest and Wade didn’t get it this year.  But Wade is young and he will not be overlooked much longer.  I guess what I’m saying is that it’s better to be passed over for All-NBA First Team than being passed over for MVP awards.  Case in point, most people on here know Kobe should have earned 2-3 other MVP’s in the his record breaking seasons, but was sadly overlooked.    Which one would you be more upset about?  Get over it. 
    I will start this paragraph by agreeing that Wade Definitely should have been in the Defense First Team as well.  I’ve been watching his games and he’s been a beast on his defense.  From Steals to Blocks…he’s really stepped up that part of his game THIS YEAR!  I was really surprised he wasn’t voted.  Kobe did well too, but him coming off surgery and rolling his ankle…he was not physically 100%. 
    But there are 2 things you need to consider about the All-NBA Defense First Team Honor.  This is voted on by Coaches.  And that alone gives way more credibility to this award then the All-NBA First Team award because the Coaches that know more about basketball than anyone of us.  They witness the game first-hand and they know which players give their offense a pain in the neck more than any of us or any stat board can tell us.  Second, I believe Garnett should have been dropped to Second Team.  I’m sorry, but he really has fallen off this year.  If anyone should have been dropped from First Team it should’ve been him.  Kobe played less minutes and pretty much averaged out to his Career Averages whereas Garnett fell short in most of his career averages. 
    So, in conclusion, Wade DID DESERVE both of those honors this year, however to assume that Kobe was the weaker of the 5 that were voted in each Award is the story part you overlooked.  Also, we concluded how each award was voted on and NONE of these awards/honors are voted on by Fans!  The All-NBA First team is voted on by Sports Writers/Media – so we must consider the source.  And the All-NBA Defensive First Team was voted on by active Coaches – and we have to conclude that they know who is laying it down on the court better than any sports blogger or stats board can tell you.

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