Off-season rankings have been all the rage this off-season, and they haven’t been too kind to Kobe Bryant. Bryant was rated the 40th best player by ESPN, the 24th best player by Sports Illustrated, and one ESPN projection didn’t even have Kobe amongst its top-10 shooting guards.
NBA.com recently released its annual NBA General Managers survey and the GMs are much nicer to Kobe, ranking him tied for the third-best shooting guard in the NBA:
Who is the best shooting guard in the NBA?
1. James Harden, Houston — 63.0%
2. Klay Thompson, Golden State — 18.5%
3. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers — 7.4%
Stephen Curry, Golden State — 7.4%
5. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City — 3.7%
It’s a little weird to see Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant on this list, but GMs apparently have their own ideas as to what position each person plays. GMs also apparently disagree with Thompson and his agent on him being the best two-way shooting guard.
While no Lakers player topped any list, Kobe did receive votes in some other categories. He was voted the second toughest player in the league behind Tony Allen, the second best player to take the last shot of the game behind Kevin Durant, and the fourth best player at getting his own shot behind Durant, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.
Steve Nash was also on a couple of lists, being voted as the fifth best passer in the league, the fourth best basketball IQ, and tied for third as the player who would make the best head coach in the league.[divide]
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