Jamal Crawford Takes Exception to Kobe Bryant Being Left Off ESPN’s Top 5 NBA Player Rankings

Omar Guerrero
2 Min Read

ESPN recently released its all-time player rankings, with Kobe Bryant making it to the site’s top 10 players list, but Jamal Crawford isn’t too happy about it.

Bryant was listed at no. 9 by ESPN’s panel of experts, a ranking that Crawford took exception to.

Though Bryant’s inclusion in the prestigious list by one of the most reputable sports sites is quite an honor, his place among the league’s finest has often been a topic for heated discussions among fans, former players and media.

Here is the full list of ESPN’s top 10 players ever:

  1. Michael Jordan
  2. LeBron James
  3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  4. Bill Russell
  5. Magic Johnson
  6. Wilt Chamberlain
  7. Larry Bird
  8. Tim Duncan
  9. Kobe Bryant
  10. Shaquille O’Neal

The Los Angeles Lakers have the most players on the list with six, including James, who is playing in his second season for the franchise. He is the only active player in the top 10.

Bryant has a case to be a top-five player because of his body of work encapsulated within a 20-year career.

He was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA team member, one-time MVP, two-time Finals MVP and five-time champion.

The Lakers retired two of his jersey numbers (No. 8 and 24) as a sign of honor to one of the greatest players in league history. Many consider him to be the greatest Laker of all time.

Bryant also earned an Oscar award for an animated short titled “Dear Basketball,” which was based on a poem he had written in 2015.

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Omar is a former writer for King James Gospel. The very first team he rooted for was the Showtime Lakers and his favorite player back then was James Worthy. Seeing the Purple and Gold win back-to-back championships in the '80s made him a basketball junkie for life. He has witnessed and celebrated every Lakers championship since then and is now looking forward to a new era of basketball in Tinseltown led by LeBron James.