In his new book, former Lakers big Metta World Peace—who also faced LeBron James and Michael Jordan—explains why he believes Kobe Bryant to be the greatest player of his age.
Metta World Peace, the Artest originally known as Ron, has had the opportunity to play with and against some of the greatest NBA players, including LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.
In his recently published autobiography, « No Malice: My Life in Basketball or: How a Kid from Queensbridge Survived the Streets, the Brawls, and Himself to Become an NBA Champion, » James weighed in on the argument about the greatest player of all time. This experience offers World Peace some interesting perspective on the debate.
Through « No Malice »
Kobe is the finest player of his generation, in my opinion. Tim Duncan, who also has five rings, is quite close. It’s hard to compare athletes from various periods, but I’d put Kobe ahead of LeBron and perhaps even Jordan. Kobe does behind Jordan by by one championship. Michael Jordan was my favorite player growing up, but by the time I entered the NBA, his career had come to an end. Kobe and I are just one year apart, so I got to see him grow. I was then able to visit him every day once I joined the Lakers.
World Peace also became interested in some of the factors that led him to think that Bryant was
Kobe was a really difficult guy. He was capable of anything. He had moved at all. He was able to shoot, turn right, turn left, fade away, and even make a three-point shot. He could pass over you or by you. Being extremely athletic made him challenging to play against. Jordan and Kobe both played comparable games. They move exactly the same, if you pay close attention.
The fascinating semantic difference made by World Peace that Bryant is « the finest player of his generation » and not « the best player ever, full stop » gives some leeway in this situation. Does he intend to imply that Bryant is the generation’s top player? And Bryant’s? The solution is not entirely evident, and even World Peace admits that it is challenging to compare players from different eras.
Even yet, it’s remarkable how many of Bryant’s contemporaries consider him to be the best player they have ever faced. However, as Bryant himself has stated, the argument is ultimately pointless and impossible to win. Instead, we should simply agree that each of these athletes is fantastic and divert our attention to more worthwhile activities.