When it rains, it pours. And there’s a big ‘ol flood in the Mamba household right now.
Last week, ESPN shared their prediction with the world that, to much disgust, Kobe Bryant will wind up being the 25th best player in the association this season. Now, in their annual survey, the NBA’s general managers have spoken: it’s time for Kobe – not you, Dwyane Wade – to step down from the throne and make way for James Harden.
Who is the best shooting guard in the NBA?
1. James Harden, Houston — 56.7%
2. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers — 20.0%
3. Stephen Curry, Golden State; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City; Paul George, Indiana — 6.7%
6. Dwyane Wade, Miami — 3.3%
Last year: Kobe Bryant — 66.7%
via NBA.com’s “GM Survey: Heat, LeBron remain clear favorites“
According to the league press release, this marks the first in the 12 years the survey has been conducted that Kobe hasn’t been voted as the best shooting guard in the NBA, which really, is not a big surprise. While he’s coming off one of his most efficient season as a pro, there are just too many concerns about his age and health right now for him to remain at the top. Plus, James Harden is really good.
What is interesting, though, is that Kobe went from getting 66.7% of the votes in 2012 to only 20.0% this year. I mean, yes, that Achilles injury has a ton of red flags all over it, but in reality, Harden and Bryant pretty much played each other to a stand still last season.
I’m not saying I don’t agree with the GMs; I’m just a little surprised to see that big of a drop off.
But knowing Kobe and how competitive he is, I’m looking forward to seeing how he responds to this latest knock on his game. Sure, being the second best shooting guard in the most competitive basketball league in the world is quite the honor, but he’s always looking for some extra motivation, so you know he’ll use this as fuel.
The question is: will he now change his Twitter avatar to a bullseye with James Harden’s face on it in response? Or will he go down the Dwyane Wade route and post some corny, “I have to prove them all wrong” photo on Instagram that will set the NBA blogosphere on fire?
I don’t know about you, but the former sounds like more fun to me.
/hops on Photoshop.