Posted Thursday, June 03, 2010 02:59 PM
OK, so you want to assemble the greatest Los Angeles Laker team of all time and you don't want to play the game of putting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at center and Wilt Chamberlain at power forward. You want honesty here -- one point guard, one shooting guard, a small forward, a power forward and someone in the pivot.
Well, guess what. Kobe Bryant ain't part of that group.
No one is saying the man can't play. No one is saying he's not the guy to go to with the game on the line. No one is saying he's nowhere near as good as Michael Jordan.
All we're saying here is that if you are ranking all-time Laker shooting guards, it's:
1. Jerry West
2. Kobe Bryant
Hourglass sands have buried West, who is known to most NBA followers not as the best shooter in the league in the 1960s and early 1970s but more as the an NBA executive and the man who traded Pau Gasol to the Lakers (and Celtics haters didn't like Kevin McHale dealing Kevin Garnett to the Celtics).
West was an NBA all-star 14 times and 12 times was named to either the all-NBA first or second teams. Four times he was on the league first defensive team, and that's playing most of his career without a decent center behind him. Playoffs? West was frustrated by the Celtics more times than he can remember, but in 1965 the man averaged 40.5 points in playoff games (God only knows what that number would be if there was a 3-point line then), and in 1969 he was named the Finals MVP even though he... [More]