Standing Up for Kobe: Cooling Off Yahoo’s Over-Heated Miami Fan


Don’t get it twisted though—it’s not Kobe’s fire that makes him better than Dwyane Wade—it’s the product of that fire. (More on this later).

Desire belongs to a branch of intangibles that act as the spam of otherwise intelligible dialogue. Romantics at heart, we are drawn to these concoctions because they feed our taste for a caramelized reality with fictional elements, the sweet treat of a good story.

Do people live in realities that are caramelized in Miami? Are their realities shipped overseas to be caramelized? I’m broke, so I doubt I could afford it anyway.

So, it’s not rings which make a player great. It’s not the intangibles. So, where is this supposed universe, where Dwyane Wade and his misplaced “y” are indeed better than Kobe Bryant?

Quantifying Greatness:

So how do we determine who’s better? We watch the games. But since we are not all savants that can remember the outcome of every single play during the regular season and playoffs, there are people recording everything that happens and analyzing it.

The science is called statistics.

Let me say just this: I hate statistics in life in general—but especially in basketball. The game of basketball, to me, is simply too deep for statistics. For example, living in Ohio, I get to watch a lot of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Anderson Varajao is one of my favorite players. To watch him play on a night-to-night basis is an absolute pleasure. He can dominate stretches of games in the tiniest of ways. But if you just read the box-score after the game you’d think he played filler minutes. Basketball is like a good story—all the answers are there if you take the time to actually look and think.

People intrinsically fall back on stats to back up their points and ignore the stats which don’t. It’s human nature. I have a feeling that’s what’s coming here.

“Anyone who’s interested in quantifying greatness needs to become familiar with statistics. The Player Efficiency Rating (PER), for instance, does an impressive job at rating a player in one statistic. Career leaders in PER include Jordan, LeBron, Wilt, Wade, Kareem, Magic, K. Malone, Kobe, Bird and Hakeem, names that belong on any all time top 20 list. As explained by PER formulator John Hollinger, the PER ” sums up all a player’s positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player’s performance.”

So how does Kobe stack up against LeBron or Wade?

Unfavorably.

LeBron tops Kobe (and everyone except for Michael Jordan) 26.77 to 23.54, and Wade isn’t too far behind with 25.59.”

These tactics need to be studied for millennium in law school. Seriously. You see what ol’ Charles did here? He made an argument, then said, “all points that go against me—they don’t count.” Then he said, here’s the solution to our argument, and he brought the one place Dwyane Wade beats Kobe Bryant: John Hollinger’s PER rating.

So, I guess Zydrunas Ilgauskus is the 106th best player in the history of the NBA. Stephon Marbury? Had a better career than Jason Kidd. Jermaine O’Neal was more productive than James Worthy! And Tohmmy Heihnson is better than Gerald Wallace!

This is what PER tells you. And this is the prosecution’s crux of the case against Kobe Bryant? Dwyane Wade is better because John Hollinger (who has picked the Jazz over the Lakers in 6 games over the last six years) created some logarithm, and boom—Dwyane Wade is better than Kobe Bryant. (And I guess David Robinson was better than Shaquille O’Neal).

Let’s just ignore this idiocy for a moment and let Mr. Collins dig his grave a little deeper.

Statistically, Wade dominates.

The discrepancy between Wade and Kobe becomes even greater in the playoffs and the Olympics.

Next: Kobe’s no good in the clutch? Uh, what?
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