The two are at it again.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless are two outspoken characters who have no filters when voicing their sports opinions. Although both men tend to argue different sides while on air, both of them were on the same page when reacting to ESPN’s NBA player rankings. At the time of the segment, Smith and Bayless saw that Kobe Bryant (6) and Dwyane Wade (8) were not named as top five NBA players.
“That’s blasphemous,” said Smith about Bryant not being considered a top five player. Smith argued that Chris Paul and Derrick Rose should not be ahead of Bryant on the list, a five-time NBA champion and the second leading scorer in the NBA last season.
Smith also did not find that Howard being in the top five as a justifiable position. Howard is no doubt the best center in the NBA, but his all-around game is not good enough for him to go in front of Kobe Bryant in Smith’s opinion. Howard’s offensive game is not polished enough for him to be a top five player and his poor free-throw shooting could, at times, be costly.
Bayless believes Bryant was not placed higher on the list because of his poor playoff performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bryant did had trouble closing out games in the Western Conference Semi-Finals and that could have played a role in determining his position on the ESPN list.
ESPN later went on to release the remaining positions on the list with Derrick Rose at five, Chris Paul at four, Dwight Howard at three, Kevin Durant at two and LeBron James coming in first.