Ranking all of the NBA’s players is an annual rite of fall. As another season of professional basketball starts, it’s always fun to take stock of just who the best players in the league are.
And no player raises more ire every year with his ranking than Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. With so many diehard fans of Bryant and the Lakers on one side and so many people who view Bryant as overrated on the other, there’s little middle ground to be found.
So you’re going to have a visceral reaction when you read the following: According to ESPN.com’s NBA Rank exercise, Bryant comes in at No. 93 in the league:
The three players behind Bryant at 94-96 are Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson and Nene Hilario. Ahead of him: Brandon Knight and Luol Deng. The rest of the rankings have yet to be released.
Here’s a little bit of context: Even though he was injured for most of 2014-15 and played in just 35 games, Bryant was one of only five players last season to average 22 points, five assists, five rebounds and one steal per game. The others, per Basketball-Reference, were Stephen Curry, James Harden, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.