Los Angeles Lakers fans will likely cringe at Kenny Smith’s personal list of the top 10 players in NBA history.
The co-host of TNT’s “Inside the NBA” said on a recent episode of the “Load Management” podcast that LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are not even close to being in his top five.
"LeBron is in my top 10 (of all-time) BUT he's No. 10… Kobe is not in my top 10." @TheJetOnTNT isn't putting LeBron or Kobe anywhere near the top of the all-time list.
Episode: https://t.co/gq3yj65s1U pic.twitter.com/GIHmXIakni
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) July 7, 2020
Smith’s argument is that it’s easier to score in the modern era than it was when he played in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. In his mind, this makes it hard to compare modern players like James and Bryant to those who came over 20 years ago.
Of course, most people consider James to be a top-five player of all time, if not higher. A recent ESPN ranking had him at No. 2, behind only Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.
Bryant is a top-10 pick in the eyes of many. Not only do his accomplishments speak for themselves, but he was likely the greatest tough-shot or bad-shot maker ever.
Perhaps when the NBA season resumes later this month, James will win his fourth NBA championship and win over skeptics like Smith.