Kobe Bryant had 55 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists in the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over Washington Friday. Bryant’s performance against the infamous Michael Jordan and the Wizards only solidifies the fact that he is the most talented shooting guard in the NBA – better than Tracy McGrady.
Emerging from high school directly onto the professional basketball scene in 1996, Bryant was the No. 13 pick in the first round of the draft. In 1997, he became the youngest player to ever start an NBA game, won the Slam Dunk Contest and made the All-Rookie second team. In 2000, Bryant, 21, became the youngest player to be named to the NBA’s All-Defensive team.
He was also named MVP of the 2002 All-Star game. Bryant remains a dominant shooting threat in the league and is a major part of the reason that the Lakers remain the team to beat in 2003.
On March 5, Bryant, 24, became the youngest player in league history to score 10,000 career points. Racking in an average of 30.2 points, 6.9 rebounds 5.9 assists and 2.18 steals, Bryant is clearly in the elite class of legendary ballers.
His young age, coupled with his experience in the league and “in your face” attitude make him triple threat.
Bryant isn’t known for being a great team player. He is criticized for not passing the ball enough and is called arrogant.
Anyone placed in the spotlight after earning as many accolades as he has is going to display some type of arrogance. It’s part of the image. Bryant’s attitude has nothing to do with his skills on the court.
You don’t have to be a Lakers fan to recognize Bryant’s talent. After all, I’m a Philadelphia fan. I’d love to watch Allen Iverson, Eric Snow, Keith Van Horn and the 76ers shut down Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal’s game any day.
But you have to give credit where credit is due.
The Lakers are the team that everyone loves to hate; they’re the team to beat and, for now, Kobe Bryant is the best shooting guard in the league.
Elizabeth M. Broadway, 19, is a junior newspaper journalism student from Atlanta. She is managing editor for The Famuan. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.